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High street price confusion on hard drives

While major online retailers like Aria move stock around very quickly, some high street stores can be left with several generations of product – sitting on their shelves – side by side. This kind of stock challenge can lead to some rather bizarre offers. KitGuru braves the snow to cycle over to Maplin for a look at price confusion in operation.

At the peak of the Thai floods, Western Digital's hard drive production capability was decimated and the world staggered in the face of continuous upward price movement. We tracked the 1TB Samsung drive at around £110 on Scan and, around the same time, Scan's price for an Enterprise Edition was closer to £180.  Prices have been tumbling nicely since Christmas and we're seeing the effect take place across all the major online resellers.

While the peak was up around £110, today's pricing is a lot better.

So how much does that change if the store in question is in the high street?

Maplin carries a broad range of kit – from wire strippers and PA systems for DJs, through to component bundles for computer enthusiasts who forgot to order online during the week and who now find themselves scrambling on a Sunday. Slower moving stock can lead to price disparity issues and, from what we can tell, that's what's happening right now.

When your price for a 2TB drive is £10 under your 'Special Offer Price' for a 1TB drive, something has gone very wrong

KitGuru says: It won't often be the case that online stores like Aria will be £40 cheaper for a component than a high street store like Maplin, but carrying loads of stock does bring challenges. Yep, we know that the external drive comes in a caddy, but you can counter that with the fact that it's a lower performance product. If you're in the market for a hard drive before June – be very careful that you're not buying older ‘made under tremendous price pressure' product.

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