Be Careful with those 'Combo Deals'!!!

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Be Careful with those 'Combo Deals'!!!

Postposted on Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:14 pm

Hey, gerbils..

I've been looking at Tigerdirect's combo deals and noticed something crazy, to the point of being possibly insulting to some customers. Look at this combo, for example:

'Super What a DEAL!' Combo (LOL) : $565 List Price, $500 after 'instant savings', $490 after rebate

This combo's 'Combo Price' is $500 (after 'Instant Savings'), what you actually pay upon check out, so never mind the 'List Price', which is just sorta like a pat on the back saying you did well to choose Tigerdirect. That's the AMD FX-8350 CPU, Asus M5A99FX Pro 2.0 motherboard, and Thermaltake Chaser A31 chassis. But if I check these components' individual prices, I end up getting a LOWER TOTAL PRICE regardless of whether I consider List Price, after 'instant savings', or even the 'after rebate' price (where applicable... e.g. some have no rebate offered, as you can see). So why would anyone go for this crazy (or should I say, deceptive?) combo?

AMD FX-8350 : $220 List Price, $190 after 'instant savings'

Asus M5A99FX Pro 2.0: $165 List Price, $145 after 'instant savings', $135 after rebate

Thermaltake Chaser A31 : $100 List price, $80 after 'instant savings'

Total of these 3 components after 'Instant Savings' when bought individually : $415.

Total of these 3 components without 'Instant Savings' when bought individually (i.e. 'List Price') : $485

So how is it that one saves if he/she buys this combo? They end up paying MORE! In fact, even if I take the individual LIST PRICES, I STILL end up paying LESS than the combo price!

To be clear, I'm not saying TD is trying to make a run for people's money. Perhaps this is just carelessness. Regardless, I urge people to do their homework before clicking the checkout button. It's customers that lose when they fall for these crazy combos, thinking they're paying less when they, in fact, end up paying MORE!
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Re: Be Careful with those 'Combo Deals'!!!

Postposted on Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:44 pm

This is common, no need to worry about it.

Usually what it means is that the offers were good value at the time they were conceived, but since then the individual parts have depreciated and the offer hasn't been updated. Nobody is forcing you to buy it and if you're dumb enough to not realise the offer is lousy value then you're probably also not reading TR :)
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Re: Be Careful with those 'Combo Deals'!!!

Postposted on Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:22 am

I do a lot of shopping at NCIX.com and I noticed pretty quickly that the "combo" deals never really seemed to pan out so I just started ignoring them.

But it's a good post to bring to light regardless.
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Re: Be Careful with those 'Combo Deals'!!!

Postposted on Fri Apr 26, 2013 1:32 am

.
Last edited by clone on Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Be Careful with those 'Combo Deals'!!!

Postposted on Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:29 am

I actually emailed TD about it to let them know. What ever the reason may be, people can and will fall for such combos and will come out losing. Here's TD's response:
Dear Valued customer,

Thank you for your email.

We appreciate your interest in doing business with us.

Please be advised that the individual components are on a limited time sales promotion. That is the reason as to why adding the individual items will cost lower then the bundled price.

We thank you for your time and patience.


Limited time sales promotion, eh? Hurry up, folks. That FX-8350 is gonna jump back to $220 soon! Get yours now!
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Re: Be Careful with those 'Combo Deals'!!!

Postposted on Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:48 am

ronch wrote:I actually emailed TD about it to let them know. What ever the reason may be, people can and will fall for such combos and will come out losing. Here's TD's response:
Dear Valued customer,

Thank you for your email.

We appreciate your interest in doing business with us.

Please be advised that the individual components are on a limited time sales promotion. That is the reason as to why adding the individual items will cost lower then the bundled price.

We thank you for your time and patience.




It "kinda" makes sense. They create the combo deal for a set time period (say, a month) and then for one week during that month the prices drop. They don't bother changing the price on the combo (too lazy) so just leave it. I could see that happening. Don't necessarily agree with it, but I can understand their email reasoning.
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Re: Be Careful with those 'Combo Deals'!!!

Postposted on Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:53 am

My boss was looking to get 32 GB of RAM for his home computer he was building. He spec'ed out a kit on Newegg and it came bundled with Win7. He threw it to the IT department for suggestions and I noted that the Newegg combo of Win7 and a 32 GB RAM kit was actually bundled with Windows 7 HOME PREMIUM, max ram allowed of 16 GB.

Fail.

He got Win7 Pro and the 32 GB kit as a non-Newegg combo. I guess this stuff is just randomly matched up in some cases.
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Re: Be Careful with those 'Combo Deals'!!!

Postposted on Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:58 am

Chrispy_ wrote:This is common, no need to worry about it.

Usually what it means is that the offers were good value at the time they were conceived, but since then the individual parts have depreciated and the offer hasn't been updated. Nobody is forcing you to buy it and if you're dumb enough to not realise the offer is lousy value then you're probably also not reading TR :)


It's deceptive. I wouldn't just dismiss this as fine because it's "common." If the combo offer is no longer a net savings over buying pieces individually then the combo deal should be removed. It can trick consumers who (ignorantly) have placed good faith in the retailer. That's taking advantage of people, which even if common in business, is a disgusting practice.
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Re: Be Careful with those 'Combo Deals'!!!

Postposted on Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:43 am

slowriot wrote:That's taking advantage of people, which even if common in business, is a disgusting practice.

This way to the Egress. Look it up.
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Re: Be Careful with those 'Combo Deals'!!!

Postposted on Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:56 am

What about the cost to assemble and test these combos? I might be naïve but I really don't think the vendor assembles these kits and doesn't even power them on to check for DOA parts. I'm not expecting a 72 hour burnin either, but there HAS to be some sort of Quality control. That's at least part of the extra that you're paying.
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Re: Be Careful with those 'Combo Deals'!!!

Postposted on Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:34 pm

Would it be too far fetched to think that these e-tailers 'don't bother' checking whether customers save money with these combos or not because they'll end up being paid more? Who doesn't want to get paid more?

"The heck with the customer! If they don't do their homework they deserve to pay more! But let's pretend they're still promo deals anyway.", I could just imagine them think.

As for the response email they sent me, let's go back to my first post: EVEN IF I pay the List Price for each item (that is, without those silly 'instant savings' tricks... I wanna pay FULL PRICE!), I still end up paying LESS than their combo deal price ($485 vs. $490 even after rebate)! I must say I can't accept their explanation. I made this clear in my email to them. In fact, my first post here was just slightly edited before I sent it to them. Either they're caught with no good counter argument or they just plain ignored what I said.
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Re: Be Careful with those 'Combo Deals'!!!

Postposted on Fri Apr 26, 2013 1:44 pm

You are paying a convenience fee. All those extra clicks aren't free, you know.
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Re: Be Careful with those 'Combo Deals'!!!

Postposted on Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:00 pm

piccolopete wrote:What about the cost to assemble and test these combos? I might be naïve but I really don't think the vendor assembles these kits and doesn't even power them on to check for DOA parts. I'm not expecting a 72 hour burnin either, but there HAS to be some sort of Quality control. That's at least part of the extra that you're paying.


I would be completely, totally, and absolutely shocked if there is any testing done at all. There is no extra QC done, I'd stake a great deal of money on it.
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Re: Be Careful with those 'Combo Deals'!!!

Postposted on Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:36 am

Forge wrote:
piccolopete wrote:What about the cost to assemble and test these combos? I might be naïve but I really don't think the vendor assembles these kits and doesn't even power them on to check for DOA parts. I'm not expecting a 72 hour burnin either, but there HAS to be some sort of Quality control. That's at least part of the extra that you're paying.


I would be completely, totally, and absolutely shocked if there is any testing done at all. There is no extra QC done, I'd stake a great deal of money on it.



You may be right. There's still the labor costs involved in assembly. That has to be made up somewhere. My guess is that the combos aren't the loss leaders designed to bring you in. and as for those of you thinking nasty thoughts about vendors over a $5 price difference over buying individual parts, I have this to say. First, you are NOT the target audience they're shooting for. Second, =-PPP. I have better things to do with my time than worry about $5 savings when buying a system. Call me when it gets close to $50 and we can begin to talk.
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Re: Be Careful with those 'Combo Deals'!!!

Postposted on Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:58 am

Meh, I remember going to Fry's when I lived in CA and picking up a $120 combo with a basic CPU and no-name POS motherboard and not having any doubts that it was far cheaper than anything that could possibly be found elsewhere. Good times. Those sort of deals seem to have gone by the wayside though.
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Re: Be Careful with those 'Combo Deals'!!!

Postposted on Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:15 am

piccolopete wrote:You may be right. There's still the labor costs involved in assembly. That has to be made up somewhere. My guess is that the combos aren't the loss leaders designed to bring you in.

What assembly? The last combo I bought that was assembled and pretested was an Athlon. Not A64 or even Athlon XP, mind you, but first gen. These days, nobody I've heard of assembles and tests, or even opens the retail boxes, for fear of screwing up the warranty.
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Re: Be Careful with those 'Combo Deals'!!!

Postposted on Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:45 am

Forge wrote:
piccolopete wrote:You may be right. There's still the labor costs involved in assembly. That has to be made up somewhere. My guess is that the combos aren't the loss leaders designed to bring you in.

What assembly? The last combo I bought that was assembled and pretested was an Athlon. Not A64 or even Athlon XP, mind you, but first gen. These days, nobody I've heard of assembles and tests, or even opens the retail boxes, for fear of screwing up the warranty.



Hmmm... never heard of that. I assumed that the bundle in question was indeed preassembled. Don't mind me. I don't get around much.
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