Big Computer maker "discounts" are not always bargins...
On a whim I checked out a Dell 20% employee discount offer. I built my ideal PC and I thought it was too expensive. So I cut down my required parts...all the way to a bare minimun. Then I opened another browser and went back to Dell.com without the employee pricing (regular online customer) and priced out the exact same parts. Guess what I found? Between the two PC's there was only $1.50 difference, with the "employee discount" being slightly more.
I clicked the "detailed" report and found that the Employee Discount PC had a 20% markup on the base price of the model. It was nothing more than a marketing scam - a rip off.
So, I decided to ask around and found a friend at American Airlines that had the similar type of "discount" but only 15% with HP. Just guess what I found on HP's site? Yep, the exact same thing. A %15 percent markup on the "discounted" base model price.
If these two are doing it, everybody else is doing it. The lesson here is that discounts are BS or they are peddling old, outdated MB/processor combos that are at their end-of-cycle and need to be dumped.
I can easily build a better PC and buy software that I want cheaper than the "big computer" sellers.
More recently these "big computer" sellers have been hawking software packages that expires 30-days later. One of my clients just bought a new Gateway with 3 Firewalls. That's extra, extra, extra secure. And the best part is, she only wanted Office 2003, which expired 30-days later. It's just a bunch of worthless crap, which messes up your registry, boot record and leaves your PC wandering in the DLL badlands.
It's actually good for my business, people pay me to clean up all that junk and fix their registry when they can't get the software they wanted in the first place, to actually run on their new PC.