Triple-Check Any PC Parts You Buy From Amazon


Illustration for article titled Triple-Check Any PC Parts You Buy From Amazon
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Alright, geeks. You did your Amazon Prime Day shopping last week, scored some good deals on some PC gear, and you’re ready to unpack the fruits of your digital labors and get to upgrading (or building) your PC. But not so fast. If you’re shopping on Amazon—whether it’s for a giant sale or just any ol’ day—you should always take a moment to inspect what you bought before you open it.

That sounds more ominous than it should. I’m not talking about checking a package for physical deformities—although you should do that too, but you’ll probably be able to tell very quickly if someone (or a robotic sorting machine) played hockey with your shipping box.

Instead, you’re going to want to open your Amazon shipping box, take out whatever it is you purchased, and stop. Don’t open those boxes; but take a moment to look at your item, and then pull up your invoice on Amazon’s website to confirm that you received exactly what you ordered. If everything looks clear, make sure you do the same thing once you’ve opened the box, just in case someone the actual product somehow got swapped.

While you’d probably be able to remember if you order a 850w power supply instead of the 750w power supply you received, quarantine-induced brain fog is real. You might not be able to recall the specific RAM you might have purchased for your system. And you shouldn’t just assume that Amazon got it right. As some Redditors recently reported, Amazon shipped them the wrong RAM bundles they ordered on Prime Day.

I have no doubt that you’d notice your system only booting up with 8GB of memory instead of the 32GB you ordered—this one Redditor’s predicament—but it’ll be harder for you to make your case that you received the wrong memory if, or when, you tear open the packaging and plop it into your system.

I realize this sounds completely basic. Who doesn’t check what they’ve ordered? But I can also see myself just absentmindedly opening up some new gear—memory, a CPU, a microSD card, a hard drive—and not realizing it’s the wrong item until it’s too late. And, yes, this issue happens more than you might think.

For example:

doglywolf

“this is a super common thing with them- i once got a 500 gb old hd from them when i ordered a 4tb drive . Someone opened it switched it out , resealed the box and sent it back.”

MidnightW0lf2

“As someone who works in a fulfillment center right now... Ugh. This is such a huge problem my building deals with, as I’m sure every other building has to too. I want to say that you’re lucky you even got ram in the first place but, I know clearly it sucks. Most of the time an order will kickout because it’s the complete wrong item, and it weighs different enough for the computer to know something is wrong. Which also sucks, because how are people even putting the wrong sticker on the wrong item in the first place?”

Shadow703793

“I stopped buying SD cards from Amazon a while back because of this. And no mater where you get the SD card from, ALWAYS test it for the full capacity before you trust your data to it. I’ve gotten 3 fake SD cards over the last 4 years all from Amazon.”

UsePreparationH

“Same exact thing happened to a friend of mine. He bought a similar set of Crucial Ballistix a few months back where he bought either the 3000mhz or 3200mhz E-die set but got a shitty 2666mhz set instead due to the wrong sticker on the box. They only would refund the set instead of exchanging it for the one he bought which was no longer at the same price point. Basically he was told that he needs to spend +$15 for their mistake and the new computer would have to be out of commission for 2 weeks. Since his old computer was parted out for to be used in the new build he couldn’t wait the 2 weeks and now he is stuck with it.”

I could keep copying and pasting various comments, but you get the idea. While you don’t necessarily need to Sherlock Holmes everything you buy from Amazon, I wouldn’t just blindly tear open boxes of PC components before I double-checked that Amazon got it right.

And if you’re one of the lucky shoppers who receives a mislabeled item, don’t hesitate to keep on bothering Amazon until you get what you want. For example, one customer service agent might ask you to send back the entire shipment for a full refund—screwing you out of any sales or discounts you might have taken advantage of that have since expired. Another customer service agent might give you some kind of promotional balance for whatever the item cost at purchase versus what it costs when you make your return.

And once you go to return said item, it wouldn’t hurt to leave a little note in the box explaining to Amazon what the problem is. That’s especially true if an incorrect item was mislabeled as a correct one; you’ll be doing your fellow geeky shoppers a favor.