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PC and printer hardware discounts for employees and retirees

Advice and reference info from members.  (Updated December 6, 2017.)  Questions or comments to: info@hpalumni.org

Call the 800 number given at http://www.hpshopping.com -- the phone agents have access to a database of current employees and those classified as Retirees.

The employee/retiree discounts on hardware are generally not good. To start with, profit margins are very thin for every PC manufacturer -- not much room for significant discounts. Printers are sold at very low margins in order to place machines that will need supplies.

There are many reasons why a reseller may have a lower price:

- Advertised to draw customer traffic. At a call center or store, the salespeople are heavily incented to upsell to a more-profitable product, add high-margin accessories, and sell software installation or an extended warranty. A website will be designed to do the same -- for example, Amazon's "Customers who viewed this item also viewed" and "Customers who bought this item also bought."

- Less-desirable models: limited features or performance, poor reviews, discontinued or obsolete, excess inventory, returned, display units, damaged cartons -- or merely out-of-fashion. (Note that the term "Factory Refurbished" used by resellers does not mean that the inspection, testing, or repair was performed by -- or under the control of -- the original manufacturer. Just that it was done in a "factory" somewhere.)

- Online resellers often don't collect sales tax; HPShopping is required to collect and remit your local sales tax.

If you see a steep Employee/Retiree discount on a hardware product, research the product -- including Amazon and Newegg reviews. The product may be discontinued -- but still fine for your purpose. On the other hand, it may be another TouchPad -- heavily promoted to employees and retirees, many of whom may not have been aware of the downside of owning a machine that runs on a defunct operating system with no future security updates.

When using an employee discount account on HPShopping, if the list price is not given in small strike-out type, then the price in large red type is actually the list price. The product may have a very low margin, or have been just introduced, or be in very high demand.

You can often do better buying a PC or printer from a reseller -- especially if you are flexible as to which specific model you want and are careful about selecting the supplier.

If you purchase from a reseller and you have early problems with the product, the reseller's return policy may be more flexible than HP Shopping's return policy. For example, HP has been known to replace a prematurely-failed product with a refurbished one.

Members report that the Employee/Retiree discounts for HP printer supplies are no longer as good as they used to be. Be sure to check prices for genuine supplies from major online sources and office supply chains. One member reported prices for the same genuine HP toner product: Employee $128; Staples online $126 matched in Staples store; Amazon Prime $116. Details

Details and links:
- If you are classified as a HPI retiree, details are on the official HP Continuum password-protected retiree website.
- If classified as a HPE retiree, details are on the HPE retiree website

See also: Directory of member advice on all discounts (wireless service, HP PCs and printers, printer supplies, non-HP products and services -- and the Retiree Gold Badge.)

For more mutual help on these topics and many others, join the HP Alumni Association. You are eligible to join if you were formerly a regular, direct employee of Hewlett-Packard, HP Inc, or Hewlett Packard Enterprise– or have a defined retirement or termination date.  Thanks to the HPAA's Supporting Members, there is no charge to join the HP Alumni Association.

The Hewlett-Packard Alumni Association is an independent volunteer organization of former HP, HP Inc, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise employees – and current employees in the process of leaving. Operated by former employees who volunteer their time; not endorsed or supported by HPI or HPE. 

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