I've found that Dell perpetually runs a "special" of one kind or the other. These vary from discounts, rebates, free peripheral devices, free system upgrades, etc. and sometimes, in combination. What I would advise you to do is spec your system out occasionally and monitor the particular "special" that has the most appeal to you personally.
Like Dan says, Dell always has something going on with deals of one sort or other.
But your wrong to think that prices will drop as new models come out. Dell only buys what they need and have orders for. There is not 'stock' so to speak to clear out.
Mis Dos Centavos,
Helping Dell talkers here since 1997
Mis Dos Centavos,
Gadfly at large
Helping Dell Customers here since 1998
My systems ...
Dimension XPS D266 - Now retired
Toshiba Tecra M1
Dimension 4300 - Received DOA as a gift. Reinstalled XP and still working great
Dimension 9150 - Pent D 3.2GHz, 4GB dual-channel 533 DDR2 Windows 7 Pro, Firefox 3.6.14
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Buy when you can get the most money off from the specials...they usually come with the free CD-RW/monitor/memory upgrades at the same time. Dell ALWAYS has a special going because it's a very good marketing tool. They figure if someone is wanting to buy a computer and they have a sale going, the customer is more likely to think that he/she should buy now instead of later because he/she can get free stuff and save money.
If you see how they do their special offers every so often you will notice a pattern. I have noticed with some instances you can get a computer $200-300 dollars less with the same configuration if you just want until you can get the best discount. This still wont lead me to ever buy a dell though hehe, since you can get a better computer for less if you make it yourself.
Alienware Aurora (Legacy P2) Phenom II X4 2.8 Quad Liquid Cooled, 2GB ATI 4870 X2, 4 GB RAM @800mhz, 300 GB 10k Velociraptor, Lightscribe drive, Blu Ray Read/Writer drive, Vista Premium, 24" Dell Ultrasharp 2408WFP.
Apple Macbook AIR 13" 1.86 C2D, 4GB 1066, 128GB SSD (2010) Apple Macbook PRO 15" (2008)
Previous Systems: Dell XPS Gen 3, Dell 600M, Dell 8100, Dell 8200, Dell 4600, Dell Lattitude, Dell Studio
The prior post really summarizes it. The total discount off is almost always the same. $250ish. Sometimes it's a rebate and a hard drive upgrade. Or a discount and free memory upgrade. Or a burner upgrade and a free printer.
Keep in mind that some of the discounted/free items have different values in the real world. For example, while you can upgrade memory cheaply yourself, you cannot go from a 40gb drive to an 80gb drive for $40. You can buy a 80gb drive for $80 though and have 2 drives totally 120gb.
And some of the discounted/free items have good value on eBay. You can sell a free Palm M105 on eBay quite easily, whereas a free Lexmark printer has little value - especially when it comes with only a little ink, and requires a $50+ purchase for new ink.
Some of the items will have little value to you depending on your circumstances. If you're buying a 17" monitor with a tube not an LCD, a free upgrade to a higher model LCD monitor will have little value - since you weren't buying an LCD to begin with.
Best thing is to configure your ideal computer several ways - on the Home Site, on the Small Business Site, and then rerun it the next week (promos seem to end on Wednesday mostly) and see how it shakes out, then wait for what you want and go buy.
Also - if you read the press and note a big upgrade coming, you know prices will drop soon (maybe). For instance, Intel is releasing a 3ghz chip in November, so the 2.8 ghz chip will fall in cost - and the bottom chip offered today (2.0ghz) will probably be dropped from Dell's lineup.
Hope this helps.
With over 30,000 posts (through early 2007), Rickmktg hasn't bought a Dell computer since July 2005, but has bought two Lenovo laptops...
Dell Latitude 6430u, w/USB 3.0 dock, Venue 8 Pro Tablet
Free shipping is a must. And the rebates are great. But don't skimp on the RAM. Many people do this and find out the hard way. 256MB is'nt enough for me. You can save some money by getting a 17'' FlatscreenCRT (not LCD) instead of the desk hog 19 inch. 17'' is so much clearer and you can either save the money or use it for that extra RAM. Hope this helps.\
PS I got my $1500 machine for only $1200.