Most of the stuff he gets for free he probably has to retur, I'm sure he gets the occasional piece of hardware to review that he gets to keep though.
As for giving it away, well he hasnt thus far so I wouldnt think he's very inclined to.
What about starting Group Buys? There are so many of us hungry for more hardware on this forum we might be able to get a lot of great deals if we buy in massive quantities. I'd trust anand much more than any single user on the forum to handle a group buy deal.
There are quite a few licensed resellers here on Anandtech. Many of which are here just to make a profit, which still might benefit the buyers too... but not really if we could be getting much better prices. I've always had this in the back of my mind but have never bothered saying anything. Anyways here's my idea: we start big anandtech group buys everytime some new product comes out so everyone here comes out ahead. Whoever does the actual organizing and buying (has to be a reseller) can get like $2-5 profit on each item so he'll have some kind of incentive. If there was say 40 people buying new nvidia NV20 video cards for example, than whoever is doing it will come out with $80-200. So we all win. This should remain the same person organizing all the group buys so that distributor relations would increase thus decreasing prices. It's unbelievable how much you can save on bulk buys cutting out the middleman... I say screw them darn overpriced bulk buy sites like mercata... Anandtech purchasing power all the way!
Seriously though, I say we actually consider and act on this one... what do you say guys?
I don't think we will see prices anywhere close to what to big online stores have. They go on volume and thus get better pricing with the distributors. The few dozen or so pieces that we buy are a drop in the bucket and the chances of use getting a good deal from Ingram or TechData are remote. Just check with local shop who buy from the big distys and they will tell you that they get charged more than the big boys.
I'm not saying that group buying doesn't work, we just have to pick and choose how we do it. A few people have done it and people have won. There was a memory buying pool in For Sale/Trade as well a RatPadz pool in Hot Deals before the leeches took over.
I suppose he could do that but then there would be even more work for him and his team to do. They all work their a$$es off to bring us the awesome reviews that we are acustomed to and maintain the forums.
Running any kind of business is not easy. And isn't Anand going to school right now? Can you imagine having to go to college, maintain a first rate website, AND run an online store simultaneously? I couldn't make it through one week! :Q
I seriously doubt Anand would be interested. Yes, it would help us, and yes, it would get him a little profit, but he's very busy, goes to school and manages this site among other things and probably doesn't want yet another responsibility. The best idea would to just find someone who we trust in the forums who we can trust and has the time to do this.
Although I have to agree that in the numbers we'd be buying in (maybe 15-20 at a time), the discount would be negligable to nil, especially after having to re-ship the items out to each person.
Yes I agree... anand is a very busy man, he's got a lot to do, running this site being one thing... anyways yes It could be ANYONE with a reseller license... how bout John? Also about the price: you won't see great differences, but it all depends on the product. All I know is that you can pick up retail ATI 64MB DDR Radeon Vivo's (retail for about $350) for about $225-235 shipped for large orders and 128MB mushkin rev 2 sticks for about $150-155 shipped (retail for $194) for large orders (about over 50 sticks) if you find the source manufacturer (which IS NOT mushkin; they buy from a large distributor, and NO REV 2 IS NOT HAND PICKED!). Yes you do add the price to ship to each individual but unless we're talking about big monitors here that shouldn't make a big difference. What do you think retailers have to do? They buy from distributers w/ a shipping cost and than sell them to us w/ an additional shipping cost which in MANY cases are way inflated and overstated. Don't expect everything to be much cheaper though...
The markup on computer hardware is typically so low already that I doubt you'd see any difference between a group buy price and one of the larger internet vendors. In fact, you would not likely be able to match them.