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PC and printer hardware discounts for employees and retirees

Advice and reference info from members.  (Updated April 3, 2018.)  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.

For any company in the printer industry, future supplies revenue depends on selling new printers. Therefore, printer manufacturers compete fiercely on printer selling price -- and part of what you pay for toner or ink subsidizes the low profit margin on the printer. (When speaking to stock analysts, HP Inc refers to printer sales as "placements.")

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. (Member tips on buying HP printer supplies.) 

There are many reasons why a reseller may have a lower price on HP hardware than the Employee/Retiree discount:

- 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. (Many retailers now have lower prices for online orders than the prices posted on local store shelves. Before buying any product at a retail store, such as Staples or Office Depot, go to their website and print out the page with the online price. They will match their own company's online price. These days, Impulse shoppers pay more than people who plan ahead.)

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.

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 this topic and many others, join the independent HP Alumni Association. 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, join the HPAA. No charge, thanks to HPAA members.

 2018 Hewlett-Packard Alumni Association, Inc.  By using this site you accept these terms  Operated by former employees who volunteer their time. Not endorsed or supported by the company.