Scoring computer deals direct from the manufacturer this Fall

Man shops for a computerBack-to-school sales are traditionally one of the best times to buy, a computer, but according to financial reports from Intel, which supplies 80% of computer processors, demand during the back- to-school season was weak. The good news for computer shoppers is that manufacturers are expected to slash prices this fall to make up for lost sales.

There's even more good news for consumers. Speaking to the Associated Press, Barclays Capital analyst Ben Reitzes noted that the prices manufacturers have to pay for hard drives and memory reached their lowest prices this year in August, which means that manufacturers can sell computers cheaper and still make a profit.

While we may see sales and prices come down in stores and on line, the best deals will likely come directly from the manufacturer, such as HP or Dell, where shoppers can customize their computers. Because the manufacturer is in control of the process and computers don't need to be built ahead of time, we expect to see many good deals.

So, if you are looking for the best deal on a computer this fall, you should sit down in front of your current computer and head to HP, Dell or another manufacturer's website, where bargains are likely to be the best.

There are several places you'll see sales.
  1. General discounts -- Look for general discounts on laptops and desktops. These can be found by visiting the manufacturer's home page or signing up for their e-mail list. Discounts can be as low as $25 off or as high as several hundred and often can be combined with coupons.
  2. The next location for deals will be on the specific product pages. With prices for hard drives and memory down, manufacturers can easily offer upgrades to larger hard drives and more RAM, which translates into more storage space and a speedier system.
  3. Coupons, Coupons, Coupons. Manufacturers love coupon codes. Dell, HP, Lenovo and others routinely offer coupon codes that can be tacked on to existing sales to cut the price of a computer by up to 40%. Look for these coupons in e-mail newsletters and on technology sites like and Liliputing that publish daily deals. You can also search to find coupon codes.
The final tip for scoring the best deal on a notebook this fall is to do your research now, find the notebook or notebooks you like, and then be ready to buy one as soon as you see it available for the price you're willing to pay.
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