In this article, we’ will provide some guidance on, “Should you buy your gaming monitors online or at your local store?” Gaming monitors are difficult to purchase since they are a bit huge to carry around from a store, and yet you have to see them if you want to check out how they perform and if there are any defects. Some of our readers may have difficulties in choosing whether to purchase online or run to a store and get one of the best gaming displays due to these reasons. If you are stuck in between, check out this guide on what to consider before pulling the trigger on that awesome gaming display you’ve been saving up for all this time.
Thue Asus PG278QR; One of the Best and Top-Selling Monitors
Points to Consider Before Deciding Where to Buy
The primary concern for any shopper whether they are bargain hunters or out to blow a lot of money on a full-priced product is the cost of the monitor online and in a retail store. Our experience and research almost always tell us that buying online saves you some cash most of the time, although some brands have UPP or unilateral pricing policies.
UPP means that a certain monitor from a big brand should sell similarly from every authorized retailer, whether online or in-store. It is important to note that some stores will try to sell these items for a lower price, but as a responsible buyer, you should be aware that they might not be certified or licensed resellers.
Buying from these stores isn’t illegal, but you may not enjoy the full warranty benefits bestowed upon items purchased through a certified store. Brands like Asus sometimes issue promo codes through their partners, which buyers can then use to claim freebies such a game coupon or a goody bag with novelty items.
If you choose an online or in-store purchase, always ask or check about price guarantees or matching and try to understand their mechanics. Some stores will gladly bring price the down to match the lower cost you found online, but a lot don’t allow this mechanic.
As mentioned above, shopping online can save you a few bucks even if you have to pay for shipping. We went window shopping for a few popular models around some nearby retail stores and checked online to compare. What we found out is listed below:
|Gaming Monitor Model||Online Price (Amazon)||In-Store Price (Micro Center or BestBuy)||Price Difference/Savings|
|Acer Predator XB271HU||$682.02||$799.99||$117.97|
|Acer Predator X34||$1197.22||$1299.99||$102.77|
*Note: Price listed was taken at the time of this writing, and may change at any moment without prior notice.
As you can see, buying online can sometimes save you anywhere from $20 to as much as $100+ and you have free shipping. But if you look at the Asus PG258Q in the list, the prices are identical. This result is because the product is mostly new to the market, so each seller is capitalizing on popularity and selling it for its regular price to maximize benefits. But as soon as the hype goes down, we’re betting that the online price for the Asus PG258Q will drop lower.
On the other hand, the Dell S2716DG which is touted as one of the best value G-Sync monitors out in the market has considerably dropped in price. Still, Amazon sells it $20 lower than the listed competitors. As mentioned, online stores do not have expenditures for stock upkeep and storage unlike physical retailers, so there are savings that Amazon passes on to you.
One annoyance from driving all the way to that store which sells your favored gaming monitor is to find out it’s out of stock, or in some cases, another person beat you to it. Most stores also keep a limited number of units since their stockrooms have limited space, plus they might only have a few models to choose from depending on location and size.
Some stores including big brand names like BestBuy tend to avoid stocking premium gaming monitors because they are big ticket purchases and highly specialized. The chance that the branch has in selling a $700 monitor in their area is minimal, so they might end up having to store it for a long time. Good business sense dictates that your wares should move as fast as possible for quick investment returns, while upkeep and storage of said items incur losses one way or another.
Online sellers, on the other hand, have a nearly infinite number of models to choose from, making the search easier and more convenient. You don’t have to drive around to canvass for availability and lower prices, all the necessary information is one click away. You can easily find your desired cutting-edge gaming display online, and most of the time, the listed price is set below the SRP which retail stores often follow.
These companies also ship from gigantic warehouses via a sorting facility and through reliable logistics companies, making it easier for you to track availability. You also don’t have to worry about where to buy that new gaming monitor you read about because they will simply arrive at your doorstep after ordering.
3. Returns and Exchanges
If you find that your monitor has horrendous backlight bleeding or it doesn’t perform up to spec, it would be easy to drive it back to a physical store than ship it back to an online retailer. Most computer store chains have 15 to 30-day return policies, so only have to spend a bit of time and gas to return your item. Some shops might ask for a restocking fee, so it would be wise to ask beforehand regarding their return terms.
Online sellers have differing rules and regulations regarding this part of the purchase. Reputable companies like Amazon have a 30-day guarantee and free return shipping on most of its wares, so you won’t need to worry about the hassle of lugging that 34-inch ultrawide monitor back to where it came from. But remember, some smaller retailers use sites like Amazon as a vehicle for their sales, so it is always wise to check the fine prints before buying a big ticket item.
Both of your options in the purchase of a new monitor have more or less similar terms regarding defects or device failure, so you shouldn’t worry about having a shorter warranty span. You can also spend some time looking for deals because there are popular retailers who sometimes extend the manufacturer’s warranty whether for free or after a small fee.
But if you have to pay for extra months of peace of mind, in our experience, the money goes to waste. This is because modern LCD monitors nowadays have reached the peak of reliability and durability, thanks to the highly competitive market of gaming monitors which introduced better durability and reliability.
5. Evaluation/Selection Process
One problem with online stores is that you can’t physically check out a gaming monitor’s display abilities before purchasing. Pictures and videos are nice, but you can’t experience the difference 144Hz, or FreeSync/G-Sync makes unless you see for yourself. If you look around the web for answers to how technologies like these work, most would say you have to find a demo unit and check it out with your senses.
On the other hand, visiting a computer store does not make any difference because most of the display units in every location have settings like brightness at max so that the images will appear more vibrant against the ambient light. Stores and homes have different environments so what works in the store could be dismal in your dark room. Some companies sometimes forbid visitors to tinker with demo units, so looking from afar is no different from a picture on the internet.
Hands down, online shopping is one of the best inventions of the century thanks to the convenience it provides. One downside is you sometimes have to pay for shipping fees, although there are options like Amazon Prime which gives you expedited shipping for free on most items.
Meanwhile, driving to the store takes up a chunk of your time and gas money, so it isn’t always practical to skip that $15 fee your store requires to facilitate a purchase and transfer to new owners. You also get instant gratification one you bring home that shiny new gadget, but it isn’t entirely practical due to rising gasoline prices and increases in traffic.
Judging from these facts, purchasing your gaming monitor online is the best and most practical way to acquire your rig’s crowning glory. You spend less time and effort and no gasoline costs, plus you can transact at the comfort of your home and office.
But in my opinion, driving or taking a road trip to a bargain sale across town can sometimes be an adventure worth taking. You can’t replace the instant gratification and jubilance once you take home that fresh new device and operate it at once.
But before you pull the trigger, always remember to read terms and conditions for pricing and warranties, honest reviews from websites like www.monitornerds.com, and accurate specs from the manufacturer website.