Memory Primer - Giordan on Graphics | 3
I think that the way to determine where you should buy memory is first to temporarily eliminate the price issue. Ask yourself: "If all pricing issues were equal, where would I want to buy my memory?". That is a question for you to answer, but for my money, Id like to be buying from the manufacturers. They have the most knowledge of products, and more importantly, they are able to test and evaluate products, to ensure that they are up to spec.
Whatever source you choose, you then have to add price back into the mix.
In general, the adage that if a deal seems too good to be true it probably
is, certainly applies here. The memory market is a sophisticated one, and
if someone is selling at an outrageously low price, there has to be a reason
for it. Be wary of deals that are way below what everyone else is charging.
When you have a few prices in your hands, you should see some sort of delta, usually differing in a range of 20-30%. Armed with these quotes, you should then approach the memory source you decided on when price was not a factor, and see if they will play ball.
Many manufacturers sell through dealers, as well as selling direct. What
I would do in buying from a manufacturer is to call them directly as see
how they wish to sell to you. If they say that they must go through dealers,
ask them who their highest volume dealer is in your general region. Then
call the dealer and tell him your situation. You have all of these other
prices and (assuming that they are lower than his), you want to know if
they will match the price. Be careful about giving them bogus pricing, as
these guys know the market very well, and they know if you are lowballing
them. In addition, the reality is that they are in business to make money,
and there is only so low they can go. Having said that, my experience is
that if you find a dealer who sells memory in high volume, they are more
likely to dicker with you. If you get close to the low price from another
company you never hear of, go with the manufacturer/dealer option. This
way, you have both a local and a national vendor that you can go to if problems
Going through catalogs is a little tougher to do, although at times they
may be the low price already. Try to use the same approach with them, that
you will buy their product if they can meet your price. One general note
is that if a vendor meets your price as you have asked him to, follow though
and buy the product through him.
Brokers are the most likely group to dicker with, as their number one marketing tool is price. If they cant win a deal on price, they usually dont win it. Telling them that you have other prices and you want to know how they compare is the only way to approach a broker. In addition, the onus on the broker is to actually beat your best deal, not just to match it. If a broker gives you the same kind of price as Microtech or Mac Mall, go with the established vendor.