Ask any [Ed from Ian: US-based] computer/technology enthusiast about the best place to buy hardware online and it’s almost inevitable that you’ll hear the name “Newegg”. They have been around just about as long as I can remember in the computer world – founded in 2001, a couple years before I actually started writing for AnandTech. The reasons for their success are too much to get into right now, but having good prices and good customer service with a large selection of products is at least a big part of the story.

The Internet boom over the years has also caught many retail outlets with their proverbial pants down – we’ve seen companies like CompUSA, Incredible Universe, and various other companies expand and contract over the years as more and more people began shopping online. Newegg has largely avoided all that, starting with an online presence and generally avoiding rapid expansion, but they’re always looking for new ways to grow their business. They started out as a company primarily focused on selling computer components and software, but we’ve seen them expand into other electronics items, books, clothing, outdoor accessories, and numerous other products. This week, they’re going to try another new idea: a pop-up store.

The ideas pretty straightforward: erect a temporary structure, stock it with popular devices, staff it for a few days or a few weeks, and when you’re done you take it all down and store it again… or take it somewhere else and erect another pop-up store there. Newegg will be doing exactly this from August 16-18 at the Oaks Shopping Center in Thousand Oaks, California. Obviously that limits who will be able to attend in person, but Newegg promises to stock a variety of laptops and Ultrabooks, tablets, digital cameras, hard drives and solid-state drives, and various other devices that any back-to-school shopper might find useful. The available inventory will definitely be more limited than what you find at, however, as the announcement says they will have “over 70 products from Intel, Samsung, Sony, WD and more.” As an added bonus, the first 100 shoppers to come by the store each day will receive a free gift – we don’t know what that the gift will be, unfortunately, so we can’t say whether it will actually be worth the trouble of waiting in line. There will also be "discounts and giveaways" at the event.

Going back to what we were saying earlier about large retail outlets that have come and go over the years, the pop-up store gives companies a way to offer a short-term presence in an area without the long-term investment. While this initial trial by Newegg will be primarily for residents of Southern California, if it’s a success we expect to see future pop-up stores, and not just from Newegg. If you happen to stop by, let us know what you think of the idea and how well Newegg executes.


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  • agent2099 - Wednesday, August 14, 2013 - link

    Hmm. How much is your gas and time worth? A 20 minute drive, so I'm guessing at 40 minute round trip. That's about $5 in gas depending on vehicle, plus lets add 20 minutes for parking plus getting in queue to pick your your item.

    So an hour of your time plus gas money. No I'd prefer to just pay the $5-$7 it costs to ship most items and have it delivered to my doorstep.
  • karasaj - Wednesday, August 14, 2013 - link

    A 20 minute drive could be 10 miles, and 20 miles to me is 2/3rds of a gallon. That's ~2.30 where I live. And considering I'm not a CEO or important manager like most people, every second of my time is not worth money, and if I could get an item on the same day instead of paying AND waiting, it'd be worth it to do that. Plus, I might have other errands to run.

    you can spin it one way, but its not nearly as bad if you look at it from a different angle. Most people don't literally count their time as money unless they need to be available 24/7. Now, time with family is something different, but is much harder to measure since its pretty subjective.
  • rudolphna - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    Wow, what a boring life you must have. Personally unless I have other things to do, I wouldn't mind going and picking something up. Instant gratification and all that.
  • KendoTek - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    Will-call is an awesome option if you are lucky enough to be near a warehouse. I would drive from Riverside, CA to City of Industry to pick up my MWave orders. Newegg is there too? That's awesome. I wish I knew that when I used to live in Riverside. No postage, no waiting for so many working days, and I can feel confident that my new hard drive hasn't been punted into the back of a truck. Definitely worth the 40 min round trip. It doesn't matter who the retailer is, being able to physically pick up your merchandise is nice. You gotta admit, an internet retailer is using a physical presence (even if temporary... "Newegg tour coming to you!") has a nice irony to it.
  • dac7nco - Wednesday, August 14, 2013 - link

    If you're ordering hard drives it's worth the pickup.
  • TGressus - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    "Once you know, you will-call"

    I worked at Micro Center for three years and never saw the DOA rate that Newegg reviewers report. Part of it has got to be the effects of shipping products individually through the public couriers.
  • Kevin G - Wednesday, August 14, 2013 - link

    I'd love a walk-in NewEgg store to actually see some of the items they sell instead of purely basing orders on online reviews etc. However, I don't need NewEgg for this as my home town has Microcernter which has a massive overlap. I'm there often enough people think that I work there. Ultimately 'd probably wind up splitting my shopping between the two places, Microcenter has the best CPU prices where as NewEgg has the best GPU prices.
  • pdjblum - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    Hope they limit this to states they already have a physical presence: otherwise, we will all be paying taxes on purchases from newegg.
  • chizow - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    Yep good point, similar to Dell and their "kiosks" that resulted in sales tax for many. I'm not that too worried about it though, it seems they are more focused on West Coast for now.
  • Impulses - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    " They have been around just about as long as I can remember in the computer world – founded in 2001, a couple years before I actually started writing for AnandTech. "

    Wait, how old IS Jarred? :P I'm only 31 (says he optimistically) and I definitely remember shopping for parts before Newegg... I remember using CDW and PC Connection a lot early on (I think they cater more to businesses and IT these days?), then MWave and Outpost.

    Whatever happened to Outpost, I think I got a 19" Samsung CRT from then when I moved for college. I remember them tossing in lots of free swag with their orders (to promote the brand), something Newegg did for a while too. Shame they seem to have ceased entirely, I could use another Newegg cap to broadcast my geekness... :P

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