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Shopper's Tip


Last Edited: November 25, 2006, 3:01 pm

Just wanted to give some advice to those who might be looking for bargains this weekend. 

I prefer checking put prices online before going to a large store like Best Buy or Circuit City.  Sometimes I've ordered an item on the internet and picked it up at the store, but I still get the web-only special price.

Friday was a big shopping day, but I had to work.  I honestly can't afford to shop right now, but there are some things I need for my office. I'm low on ink and haven't used color in months, so I got on CircuitCity.com and several discount sites and was facing over $50 for 2 cartridges for my Canon photojet printer. I noticed that Circuit City had an HP deskjet 3915 printer with a black and a color cartridge for $70 but had a special "check out price in cart" ad.  It was $19.99!  However, it said "only available in stores."  I called the toll free number and cust serv said I would get that price at the store in Naples. So I  printed out the page and went to Naples at 5:00.  There were no printers displayed with this model number available. I asked a salesman if he would look in the back, and he found it. Yay! (I thought.)  However, he rang it up at the regular price without the $50 discount. He said that was probably one of those 5 hour internet specials. Since they have lots of computers, I got on CircuitCity.com and showed him the ad. He got a manager who also told me that must be an internet-only sale, so I clicked on the price and pointed at "only available in stores." After all, why would I drive 18 miles in traffic if I could have purchased it online? (I had free shipping.)  After she closely checked out the ad and realized I was not able to buy it online, she used her passcode to override the system and I was a happy camper.  BTW, I don't think this is being cheap at all, just a good consumer.

So I just wanted to let everyone know that you can get a brand new printer for $19.99 if you can find one at your local Circuit City store. I wonder if the cartridges are full size, but even if they're not, it will be like paying $10 apiece, so it's still a bargain to me.  Most people like the all-in-one printers, but this might make a nice gift for many people if they use a USB cable (which can cost as much as the printer, but I have one already)  Also, if you buy a USB 2.0 cable for a printer or scanner, don't spend the $25 at the store. I made that mistake last year when I bought my laptop. I didn't realize my old style cables were obsolete and drove to the nearest OfficeMax, paying over $20 for just one.  You can get a really good Belkin 6 ft cable for under $5 on Amazon or at discount stores. Check it out.

Entry #23


emilygComment by emilyg - November 25, 2006, 3:29 pm
Good to know. thanks.
guesserComment by guesser - November 25, 2006, 4:00 pm
I buy all my ink off of EBay, I found a decent seller, I have an Epson that takes 5 or 6 different color cartridges and 1 B&W, instead of paying $15 each in stores I pay about $25-30 (at most) and get 4 B&W and 2 each of all the colors - saves me a bundle.

Another place to check ad prices is

Rick GComment by Rick G - November 25, 2006, 4:01 pm
I saw a printer on line recently from tigerdirect.com for $19.99. Couldn't believe that price. Now I know they actually exist. Thanks for the consumer tip!
justxploringComment by justxploring - November 25, 2006, 5:20 pm
Thanks, guesser. I will put that address in my favorites folder. I also found that I can buy a combo of the HP 22-Black and the 21-Color for around $25 directly from HP when I need them. Staples also has generic cartridges. I hope I'll be buying an all-in-one someday soon anyway. I know those are also on sale, but I'd rather buy something of quality than something else that has more functions, but is a piece of junk (am I making sense?) This was a temporary fix.

Rick, I don't have any personal experience with TigerDirect, but I've thought their prices were high when doing comparisons. NewEgg seemed to be very competitive. Biggest mistake I made last month was losing a bid on eBay for a new HP fax. I need a plain paper fax/phone and the same model is $120 in the stores and the winner got it for $52. I have been considering using eFax instead. I have a working fax, but it's old and I receive on thermal paper. Regarding printers, in my very humble opinion, many people only print once in a while so I don't feel it's necessary to get the expensive photo quality printers, although even my old Apollo inkjet was great (just not compatible with my laptop and XP)

When I purchased my laptop in 2005, I saw a back-to-school web special that included a free Canon Pixma 1500 printer, a free Icon laptop carrying case (in stores it's $49) and a free D-link wireless router. Then I picked everything up at the store. Anyway, they didn't have the model 1500 left, so they substituted the newer Pixma 1600 printer. It's faster but the ink cartridges are much more expensive. If I printed hundreds of pages it would matter, but I'd rather wait a few extra
seconds and spend 1/2 as much in ink. Anyway, the Pixma 1600 has the clearest print I've seen so far and after a year, it still runs great. I only got this HP printer because of the price, but now I think it only comes with 2 starter cartridges after reading a review. However, to the best of my knowledge 5ml is average size. I just went online and googled HP deskjet 3915 and it's selling for around $69 almost everywhere. So my $19.99 purchase for a brand new printer in the box with a warranty was a great purchase.

I have a technical question. Todd, TrueCritic, Guesser - or for any of you "techies" out there....
Before I open the box, I just want to ask. My Canon Pixma uses a USB 2.0 cable. I just looked up the specs of my new HP printer and most sites simply state "USB" but a review on CNet specified USB 1.1, so does that mean I can't use the same cable? What I can't figure out is how I found 6 and 10 foot USB cables for as little as $2 bucks and the retail stores are asking $25. The picture sure looks the same as what I saw in the store. Anyway, this is a new printer so I can't imagine it only uses USB 1.1. Are they interchangeable? AFAIK, USB cables are interchangeable and will simply run up to the optimum speed allowed by the device. Just want to make sure. My laptop is USB 2.0 compliant, so does this mean it automatically will accept 1.1? I think the person who wrote the review is wrong. I'll keep searching.

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