Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Consumer Video Editing Computer Cost Considerations

That title is a mouthful but I rarely see the real cost of buying a computer in a tech article. People seem to assume you can just knock around a grand here, $495 there and folks don’t have an issue with it. 

I love buying tech but I also love a roof over my head, food and clothing. I can’t have it all. I have to plan for what I want and need.

I want a decent desktop computer. My purse is my guiding light and my needs are adjusted to what I do and don’t have to spend.  I’m frugal but I am not afraid to pay for value. 

Looking In My Purse of Possibilities

I have a ceiling of about $1,000 and that has to include sales tax, shipping and incidentals. I don’t want to go past that line if I can help it.

Entry Level
Mid – Range
Computer Price $689.99 $1,299.99 $3,999.99
Sales Tax 8.25% 63.44 107.23 329.99
Shipping 20-50 20-50 20-50
Miscellaneous 200 200 200
Software Replacement 150-300 150-300 150-300
Re-shipping to Vendor 50 50 50
$1,353.43 $2,007.22 $4,929.98

Sales Tax – Depending on where you live in the U.S. you may or may not have to pay sales taxes on your purchases. That is changing. Many a state and local government are hounding on-line retailers to cut a deal.

If the online vendor has a physical presence in your state you pay sales tax.

If the vendor has cut a deal with a state government that on-line sales generated from state residents will be taxed (Those of you in Texas that shop Amazon, you have until July 2014 to rack up sales tax free purchases.)

California, has on their tax books that consumers are supposed to keep their on-line receipts and then send in their equivalent sales taxes money. Many Californians are unaware of the California Use Tax. Per the web site, it has been in place since 1935.

One more thing about California sales tax. Depending on where you live it can be as low as 7.25% or as high a 8.75%.  No fooling.

Many states have a Use tax in place but have not enforced it. Let’s say that it isn’t going to happen in an election year. It is easier to go after the vendor than the consumer.  

Cost of Shipping. Don’t think free shipping doesn’t cost you anything. It cost you time. If you don’t have free shipping most computer desktops weight between 23 to 45 pounds so figure at least a dollar or so per pound.

No worries you say, you shop at Amazon and have Amazon Prime. Yeah? What that set you back? $89 upfront right?

Miscellaneous. You have to buy the missing cables that hook up your HDMI television to the computer. Or you decide you cannot tolerate the integrated graphics so you purchase a video graphics card.

Here is another scenario. You can’t get your vendor’s customer service on the phone, you can’t afford a 40 pound paperweight so you take it to somebody to fix it. 


Software Replacement. You have bought a computer with the 64 bit version of Windows 7. You have 32 bit software. Most applications will run just fine under the various versions of Windows 7. Some software will run in an emulation mode; if you have the correct version of Windows 7.

There will come a time when you have to buy new or upgrade your software. You should allocate money for that purpose.

Re-shipping to Vendor. Yeah, it was supposed to be free.  If your vendor gives you a hassle and you can’t get them to budge then you will be paying for return shipping.  It happens.

My Re-Evaluation

Now just by doing that cost table I can see I need to up my spending budget.  If I don’t, I am going to be clenching my teeth as I peel off more dollars than I intended.

Denial is costly.

Now sure, if you walk into a store you will save money on shipping. Or if you order on-line and pick up in the store.  There are all kinds of variables. Just be aware of what it could cost you up front and be prepared for it.

My budget just got adjusted upwards of about $1,200 to $1,400. I don’t intend to spend that much but I’m am prepared if I need to do so. 

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