How I bought home theater audio for half price

I’m taking a break from web development topics today to talk about one of my other interests: home theater. It all started when I saw a pair of Pioneer bookshelf speakers on woot! for half the retail price. A few years back, I bought an all in one surround/DVD player/receiver. It was one of the few times that I didn’t do a lot of research before making an electronics purchase. Being somewhat of an audiophile, I was never happy with it. It worked, but the sound wasn’t crystal clear and there was very little bass. Fast forward to this past winter when I saw that pair of bookshelf speakers on woot!. Pioneer had always treated me well for car audio, so I was interested. I read tons of reviews, checked prices on Amazon.com (my online retailer of choice), and decided to make the purchase.

When the speakers arrived, I plugged them into an old receiver I had since college (not part of the all in one) and was amazed at the clarity and overall performance. I did some research and discovered that there were matching center, floor standing and subwoofer speakers from Pioneer as well. I checked out the other speakers and various receivers on Amazon and was taken back by the prices. Amazon’s prices are usually pretty good, but it was still within 10% of suggested retail. I wasn’t counting on everything showing up on woot!, nor did I want to wait that long. However, another service from the good people at woot! was able to help me out.

Deals.woot! is a community run site that lists deals found anywhere on the internet. I did a search for “Pioneer” and found a few expired results that matched my bookshelf speakers. Then I clicked the advanced search link and unchecked the “expired deals” box. Perfect! but I didn’t want to commit to checking this search on regular basis. I took my chances with the RSS feed icon in Chrome’s address bar. The feed matched my search parameters, so all I had to do was add it to my Google Reader subscriptions and I had instant Pioneer deal notifications. Over the course of the next few months, every remaining piece went on sale for 40-50% off at Newegg.

I may have gotten lucky, having the entire set of speakers plus receivers go on sale in such a short amount of time, but that doesn’t mean I won’t try deals.woot’s search results RSS feed again.

John Rummell

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