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Purchased: Dell 2005FPW 20" LCD Widescreen

By hagrin - Posted on 05 August 2006

I know, I know - it's not the 30" cinema display that I had previously talked about on my wishlist, but this monitor will more than suffice.

After running out of space on my desk (which now houses my 32" TV, my DVD player, my 21" CRT and some other electronic equipment (speakers, 2 keyboards, 2 mice, etc.), I decided that it was time for a monitor upgrade. I had already decided that the experiences I have had with my work monitors (multiple Dell LCDs of varying sizes) that I would price the different Dell monitors and get the best one for the cost.

When trying to figure out the cost of purchasing a monitor, the one major drawback of buying a monitor of the Internet is the shipping costs. Therefore, when I went to Dell's website, I had to figure in not only the cost of the monitor, but the shipping charges (plus any insurance charges). However, one way to offset the costs (when ordering from Dell) is to find an online coupon code that applies to the item you are trying to purchase. Finally, when determining costs, you have to account for available markets - in this case buying from Dell directly or through a reseller like Ebay.

First, I headed over to Dell's web site to see which models fell within my price range and immediately wanted the 2005FPW. It's widescreen display, high resolution, low price, portrait orientation option and other features all attracted me to this model right away. In addition, Dell has had this model on sale a lot recently (probably due to the release of their 30" display) so the monitor had the following cost structure:

  • Normal Cost of $529.00, but was on sale for $105.20 making the base cost $423.20.
  • Shipping costs were $19.00, but were also waived due to being on sale. Final shipping costs were free.
  • Tax came out to $36.51.
  • Final Cost: $459.71

Now, with the Dell coupons I could find online, I would have been able to knock another $20 off the price to make the final cost ~$440.00. Being miserly, I decided to monitor hunt on Ebay to see if I could get myself a better deal. First rule of Ebay is to not bid until the final 2-5 minutes. I really don't care what any Ebay buying guide may tell you, if you bid before this timeframe, you're only going to have your maximum price exposed to the seller. After almost two weeks of scouting and bidding on 2005FPWs on Ebay, I tracked the median price to be around $410 after shipping and insurance and the minimum price to be $380. However, I didn't win any of these auctions and after two weeks I was still monitor-less.

At this point, a buyer must make the decision whether or not the uncertainty, the wasted time and the hassle of trying to save ~$60 (13.6% savings off the Dell cost) is worth trying to acquire the monitor off of Ebay. Personally, the $60 savings was worth it and when I was offered a "Second Chance Offer" from a respected seller, I jumped on the opportunity. The 2005FPW arrived brand new as advertised and works without any dead pixels.

Since I may try and buy a second 2005FPW for a dual monitor display, I plan on trying to hunt down a really good Dell coupon first and then seeing if Dell's final price is comparable to the prices found on Ebay. Be aware, it seems as if the price of this monitor is dropping so check back to the Dell web site frequently and keep updated on available coupons.