The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Wow! Amazon Sells a 250-Gigabyte Compact Desktop Computer for $309.99?

Posted on | September 10, 2011 | 19 Comments

It’s amazing the stuff I discover while checking the Amazon Associates sales report. Somebody bought the Acer AspireRevo AR3700 compact desktop computer for $309.99 — providing a 4% commission of $12.40 for me — and it’s a pretty cool setup at a bargain price. Of course, that price doesn’t include a monitor, but maybe the buyer plans to use the AR3700 to run videogames via their HDTV, which is one of the recommended uses. But you can get an Acer 19-inch widescreen LCD monitor for just $94 at Amazon.

We also recently sold an MSI notebook computer for $739. The product description reads, “MSI FX620DX-256US Notebook Intel Core i5 2410M(2.30GHz) 15.6-inch 6GB Memory 640GB HDD DVD Super Multi NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M.” I don’t know what all that means, but I do know that my commission was $25, which means Mrs. Other McCain will be $25 happier when the Amazon Associates check arrives next month.

Keeping Mrs. Other McCain happy is, of course, essential to the continuation of my blogging career and not just because, as I have previously remarked, she’s got a kitchen drawer full of knives and I’ve got to sleep sometime. The business of monetizing Web traffic — i.e., getting the occasional check in the mail — is the difference between me flying off to Iowa and taking a train to New Hampshire to cover the presidential campaign and me going down to the temporary agency to apply for a job as a forklift driver. So when you see me promoting Amazon sales here from time to time, you understand what it’s all about: If blogging is more than a hobby, the bills have to be paid.

When I first started blogging, I thought of Amazon as just an online bookstore. I didn’t realize that (a) once readers click through one of the Amazon Associates links, they can browse around and buy anything and I still get the 4% commission, and (b) they sell everything at Amazon. So when I started seeing on the sales report that people were buying all kinds of stuff — including jewelry, computers and big-screen TVs — that I’d never even realized they could buy at Amazon, it was like one of those cartoon scenes with the lightbulb over my head. “Ohhhhhh!”

You want a 26-inch riding lawnmower for $799.99? You got it — and free Super Saver shipping, too! You want to buy your kid a $349.99 mini-bike for Christmas? You got it! And if you want to surprise your wife with a Mikasa 45-piece china service for $169.99, why shop anywhere else?

See, I understand that many of our readers have wives or husbands who might get peeved if you were to hit the tip jar for $20.

“Giving money to a blogger? Are you nuts?” But your spouse won’t have any cause to complain when you get a great bargain on a useful household item — or a thoughtful gift — from Amazon.

Of course, we haven’t sold that 7-carat diamond ring for $120,000 yet, but I’m still hoping. Because if I can just sell one . . .

UPDATE: Got a question on Twitter from Debbie, who was concerned that I might know who buys what on Amazon. Rest assured that, while the Amazon sales report tells me what items we’ve sold, it does not identify the buyers. And so your privacy is guaranteed. IYKWIMAITYD.



19 Responses to “Wow! Amazon Sells a 250-Gigabyte Compact Desktop Computer for $309.99?”

  1. B
    September 10th, 2011 @ 7:34 pm

    Thanks for all you do, Stacy.  From now on all my trips to Amazon go through you.

    Now it’s time for important things, priorities, you know? The ‘Bama game is about to start! Roll Tide!

  2. B
    September 10th, 2011 @ 7:34 pm

    Thanks for all you do, Stacy.  From now on all my trips to Amazon go through you.

    Now it’s time for important things, priorities, you know? The ‘Bama game is about to start! Roll Tide!

  3. Anonymous
    September 10th, 2011 @ 7:42 pm

    Hey Stacy, that MSI laptop can probably run Tweetdeck.

    Just sayin’

  4. elaine
    September 10th, 2011 @ 7:42 pm

    Hey, Stacy!  MSI laptop buyer here.  Usually I give my Amazon purchase blog love to Insty, but since you had to pay for that trip to NH…

    BTW, the new laptop is teh awesome!  So fast and the video is great.  I’m enjoying using it for all my needs.

  5. Anonymous
    September 10th, 2011 @ 8:16 pm

    Thanks for the sale, then! I’m always amazed when I go to the sales report and see what we’ve sold. Yesterday we sold a $274 office chair, for example.

  6. Anonymous
    September 10th, 2011 @ 8:16 pm

    Is Smitty paying you to poke me about Tweetdeck? Or is it a labor of love?

  7. Leslie Eastman
    September 10th, 2011 @ 8:23 pm

    Let me promote another Acer products, in hopes of inspiring more patrons for you:  Acer’s projector –

    I do on-site training, and some facilities I hit do not come equipment with PowerPoint/projector/computer set-ups.   This item was easy to use, comes with a great case, and was a relatively inexpensive way for me to ensure that I am able to do PowerPoint shoes wherever I go.  Love it!

  8. Anonymous
    September 10th, 2011 @ 8:25 pm

    All love, baby.

  9. Anonymous
    September 10th, 2011 @ 8:34 pm

    Stacy, if they sign up for Prime, Amazon becomes  a cost effective way to buy even canned goods and other groceries. Can’t beat free 2-day shipping….

  10. elaine
    September 10th, 2011 @ 8:39 pm

    I have several grocery items set up as subscriptions.  Works great, and I enjoy a locked-in price.  So inflation worries?  Not me!

  11. doc weasel
    September 10th, 2011 @ 8:44 pm

    It’s cheaper just to go down to BestBuy and buy the exact same item, without shipping costs, with the ability to bring it right back if there’s a problem, plus you can actually see the item and try it out. Not that I’d buy an Acer for anything other than a light boat anchor or heavy paperweight. Certainly not as a computer.

    I don’t really get “blegging”. Why don’t you just get a free blog from WordPress, then you have no hosting costs at all. Or, if you can’t monetize your blog without resorting to begging for tips or amazon buys, you might want to consider getting a job for which you are more suited. By that, I mean if you aren’t getting paid for blogging, perhaps you aren’t very good at it.. However many awards or adoring commentors you may boast, if it ain’t paying the bills, in reality it’s just a vanity blog or a hobby.

  12. AngelaTC
    September 10th, 2011 @ 9:01 pm

    The last two times I went to Best Buy, I waited for 20 minutes only to have some college dropout tell me the item wasn’t in stock and no, the floor model wasn’t for sale because if they sold it, nobody else would be able to buy one.  (And no, I’m not making that up.)  Plus, Amazon lets me set up a wish list, so my Mom and kids can hopefully get a clue about what I actually want for Christmas. 

  13. AngelaTC
    September 10th, 2011 @ 9:03 pm

    I think Tweetdeck is for the younger set, Stacy.  You’re probably just too old to appreciate the technology.

  14. Anonymous
    September 10th, 2011 @ 9:23 pm

    if you aren’t getting paid for blogging, perhaps you aren’t very good at it

    Yeah. I’m no Tina Korbe, I guess.

    Really appreciate the encouragement, buddy.

  15. elaine
    September 10th, 2011 @ 9:27 pm

    Not only did I not pay shipping on my purchase, but I got it the next day.  And a much better product than I’d get from Best Buy.   (I know… I’ve bought product from Best Buy before.  My last laptop was from there.  Piece of utter crap and fail.)

    Lefties think “giving” should come from the government (forcibly taken from the “haves” and given to the “have nots”); free market capitalists know that giving can and should come from those who wish to freely give to those who need it.  Stacy needed help, he asked, I (and others, I’m sure) gave.

    What’s your problem, then, weasel?
    If you don’t like reading bleg posts, you don’t have to be here.

  16. JeffS
    September 10th, 2011 @ 9:59 pm

    Give him no never mind, Stacy.  Dollars to doughnuts, his momma made him brush his teeth with baking soda to save the price of tooth paste.

  17. elaine
    September 10th, 2011 @ 10:51 pm

    Weasel’s just jealous because even if he blegged, no one would help him out by buying something…

  18. Anonymous
    September 11th, 2011 @ 1:56 am

    Nothing wrong about blegging. TANSTAAFL.

    As a consumer, I read what I like. I reward what I really like. Better still, I get to set the terms.  Seems like a pretty fair and equitable exchange. If there was less “freeloading,” blegging wouldn’t be necessary.

    Now much more importantly, who has a plan on rewarding exceptional commenting? Clearly after years of contributing, some people have earned more than $0.02. Not me, of course… but some.

  19. Casey Tompkins
    September 11th, 2011 @ 2:39 am

    Stupid question time. First, what’s the point of getting something like the compact desktop computer? It’s unexpandable, requires special parts (unlike a desktop) for replacements, and doesn’t even have an optical drive. Please note I’m not bashing the item, but that’s what I see from where I stand. Are there circumstances where such a machine is a preferable solution?

    Second, I’m familiar with more than one blog with Amazon-style link-throughs, and my question is: does it matter if I click on the link directly, or if I click “open in new tab/window?” Does the hosting blogger still get credit?