Ask any [Ed from Ian: US-based] computer/technology enthusiast about the best place to buy hardware online and it’s almost inevitable that you’ll hear the name “Newegg”. They have been around just about as long as I can remember in the computer world – founded in 2001, a couple years before I actually started writing for AnandTech. The reasons for their success are too much to get into right now, but having good prices and good customer service with a large selection of products is at least a big part of the story.

The Internet boom over the years has also caught many retail outlets with their proverbial pants down – we’ve seen companies like CompUSA, Incredible Universe, and various other companies expand and contract over the years as more and more people began shopping online. Newegg has largely avoided all that, starting with an online presence and generally avoiding rapid expansion, but they’re always looking for new ways to grow their business. They started out as a company primarily focused on selling computer components and software, but we’ve seen them expand into other electronics items, books, clothing, outdoor accessories, and numerous other products. This week, they’re going to try another new idea: a pop-up store.

The ideas pretty straightforward: erect a temporary structure, stock it with popular devices, staff it for a few days or a few weeks, and when you’re done you take it all down and store it again… or take it somewhere else and erect another pop-up store there. Newegg will be doing exactly this from August 16-18 at the Oaks Shopping Center in Thousand Oaks, California. Obviously that limits who will be able to attend in person, but Newegg promises to stock a variety of laptops and Ultrabooks, tablets, digital cameras, hard drives and solid-state drives, and various other devices that any back-to-school shopper might find useful. The available inventory will definitely be more limited than what you find at Newegg.com, however, as the announcement says they will have “over 70 products from Intel, Samsung, Sony, WD and more.” As an added bonus, the first 100 shoppers to come by the store each day will receive a free gift – we don’t know what that the gift will be, unfortunately, so we can’t say whether it will actually be worth the trouble of waiting in line. There will also be "discounts and giveaways" at the event.

Going back to what we were saying earlier about large retail outlets that have come and go over the years, the pop-up store gives companies a way to offer a short-term presence in an area without the long-term investment. While this initial trial by Newegg will be primarily for residents of Southern California, if it’s a success we expect to see future pop-up stores, and not just from Newegg. If you happen to stop by, let us know what you think of the idea and how well Newegg executes.

Source: Newegg.com

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  • chizow - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    Outpost got bought out by Fry's and became their webstore, I believe.

    But yeah it was kind of the Wild Wild West for PC stuff before Newegg consolidated things. I remember there was a lot of local PC stores like Monarch Computers, a bunch of shops in Ohio, Googlegear/Zipzoomfly, whatever popped up on Pricewatch. Buy.com was actually a decent source at the time for things like HDDs. Newegg killed off most of them in short order because they were one of the first to offer a wide selection of builder-grade DIY gear from the big Asian component makers.
    Reply
  • john23 - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    I wonder why they didn't open one near their head quarters in City of Industry. Reply
  • GotThumbs - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    Personally, I prefer NOT having to stop by a physical store.

    I can browse multiple products/sites in seconds using multiple windows without having to walk from isle to isle or store to store.

    Todays retails store clerks lack any extensive knowledge and I'm savvy enough to research and figure out what I want/need. I've seen clueless shoppers hang on every word of the BB associate and the guy was so weak in his knowledge....I was tempted to step in to help inform the consumer of the REAL differences and the pros and cons to each. I thought better and moved on.

    IMO NewEgg should drop the idea and stick with what has been working very well for them. Why take a step back? You have to pay those temp staffers and Cali is NOT the best place to put up a store anyway IMO.
    Reply
  • WeaselITB - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    Good gravy, this thread was a trip down memory lane. Thanks for the nostalgia of checking dozens of different sites and comparing/contrasting prices. :-) Reply
  • Zak - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    I don't buy from NewEgg as much as I used to. They have been constantly getting worse. I had some major problems with DOA and was bitten by their draconian restocking fees. They're no longer the cheapest as well. Both Microcenter and Amazon have often the same or lower prices and no issues with returns. With NewEgg they always make it seem like DOA is my problem, that I'm an idiot who broke it. I had stuff returned to me that was smashed, blaming me for it. I only buy CPUs and motherboards from MicroCenter stores now (walk-in). I no longer trust NewEgg. Reply
  • Impulses - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    I still buy a lot from the egg largely because they have such a good selection and the site'd easy to navigate (something that still escapes Amazon), but more importantly because of Shoprunner (Prime is a complete mess in Puerto Rico). Amazon does have better prices a lot of the time tho, and much better return policies indeed. Newegg's support has still been pretty good to me outside of the restocking fees tho (crediting me the difference when price drops occur a week after my order etc). Reply
  • asians - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    they said everything will be shipped for free during this first pop-up store event. http://www.ciol.com/ciol/news/193648/ontrac-delive... Reply
  • piiman - Saturday, August 17, 2013 - link

    Amazon ships just as fast as Newegg. I recently bought a driving wheel for my PC and had i shipped free but it was supposed to take 4 to 7 days but it only took 3 so no complaints there. I'm a BIG Newegg fan but Amazon is really starting to give them some competition and I now always check both places for the best deal.

    Newegg has great customer service and they have even let me return items that they said weren't returnable. But again Amazon is closing in and are very easy when it comes to returns also.
    Reply
  • piiman - Saturday, August 17, 2013 - link

    I find your story hard to believe. They have always been nothing but nice to me when I needed to return items and NEVER charged me a restock fee. I have also never gotten anything DOA from them. Not saying it couldn't happen but I'm sure they would replace it ASAP and with a smile if it did.

    The one thing that always kept me coming back to NewEgg was their great Customer Service.
    Reply

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