The best time to buy is when you need something. Over time, prices often go down as features go up, but waiting too long when you need a product does not make sense. We offer special promotions throughout the year. Discounts during the summer and back-to-school time periods are typically highest due to the high sales volume. We encourage customers to sign up for our Sneak Peek mail list to receive notification of Showcase specials.
We know that many of you are shopping for your student and would like to purchase products from us directly. Our business rules (associated with the educational discounts and licenses provided by our vendor partners) dictate that we must match each sale directly to a registered U-M student.
The easiest way to purchase is to come in with your student at the time of pick up so that we can charge your credit card. Please note that your student will be required to show UMID and sign U-M's software licensing agreement(s) at that time.
For parents who are not on campus and wish to pay for their student's computer package we suggest one of the following:
The only way we can release a student's order to another party (including a parent) is for the student to sign a software licensing agreement (if applicable: Microsoft End User License Agreement) in advance AND tell us who will be picking up and paying for the order. Your student should send this request (using his/her U-M mail account) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For security reasons, please do not give your student a credit card number to use (that is not his/hers) or send us credit card information via e-mail. Please contact the Showcase at 734-647-2537 or email@example.com if you have questions about credit card authorizations for Showcase purchases.
All of our communications regarding purchases (confirmations, back-orders, etc.) are directed to the student's U-M e-mail account since the student is the official "purchaser."
Unfortunately, retired staff may not purchase from the Showcase, although retired faculty can do so. Detailed information about university services for retired staff and faculty can be found on the Benefits website.
Large departmental orders should go through the departmental ordering process on M-marketsite. However, as a convenience to departments, we are able to sell many of our products on a limited basis. See our departmental orders page for more information. We cannot accept a P-Card, as it is intended for use outside the university only.
We accept American Express, Visa, MasterCard and Discover credit cards. We do not accept personal checks, although travelers checks and cashier checks (exact amount, payable to University of Michigan) are allowed.
The Computer Showcase is not able to not offer financing for computer purchases, although the U-M Credit Union may be able to help you. While not a loan program, our payroll deduction program is available to faculty and regular staff and may help finance a computer purchase.
Students needing assistance with loans or funding for a computer purchase are encouraged to discuss their options with a financial aid advisor.
We occasionally open or have extended hours for a special event or busy sales period. Any exception to our normal business hours will be posted well ahead of time under the Sales & Announcements section of our home page.
We do not feature a flat-rate discount since our prices reflect the best deals we can get from our vendor partners at any given time. Many factors influence our ability to reduce prices; volume purchases of select items, licensing agreements, product lifecycle and more. Our biggest discounts are on software (typically 20-80%). Keep in mind that the Showcase is a not-for-profit reseller so our markups cover the cost of running our program.
No, because products specs and prices tend to change frequently. Current prices (and availability) can be viewed online at any time on our website.
The university signed a campus-wide agreement with Microsoft, permitting great price savings on many of their products. You can read more on the ITS Microsoft page.
We are happy to help you choose products for use at U-M. We publish an overview of general computer specifications, and many schools and colleges post their own recommendations or even requirements. Please see our New Students page.
As far as other products go, almost everyone at U-M uses Microsoft Office, which we sell (both Mac and Win) at a significant discount under our campus license. We strongly recommend a good computer lock, a protective sleeve for your laptop, a back-up device (external hard drive or USB flash drive) and an Ethernet cable if you are planning to live in a residence hall.
Other popular items include i>clickers (required for some classes: please refer to CTools), adaptors for connecting your computer to a projector and some curriculum-specific products. Not all students need printers because U-M has an excellent networked printing environment. We try to carry everything you'll need: check out our product catalog.
It depends on personal preference and your academic program. Some programs favor (or even require, as with the School of Art) Macs, whereas others prefer PCs. Many programs leave the decision entirely up to you. We strongly suggest that you check with your school or college to learn which, if either, is preferred in your field of study. Please see our New Students section for more information.
It varies with the manufacturer, but we prefer manufacturers not to include software because it adds to the price and we can usually sell the software to you at a lower cost than they can.
The short answer is only the price (plus, you must be eligible to purchase an academic version). Licensed software often has installation limitations and comes with online help resources.
It's challenging for us to stock cartridges due to the variety of printers on the market. However, we do stock a limited selection of HP, Dell and Epson cartridges. If you have an HP printer, you should consider buying direct from HP (at discounted prices with free shipping) through our HP partnership site.
The telephone consultants at 764-HELP are trained to assist with questions related to the campus computing environment. They can answer operating system (OS) questions pertaining to connectivity problems, virus issues, U-M wireless access and U-M provided services (such as e-mail, printing or file-sharing). Questions pertaining to commercial software and hardware products should be directed to the vendor's product support hotline or website. Residence Hall Ethernet questions are handled by ResComp consultants (764-6208).
Most of the campus offers wireless connectivity. Please note that some residence hall rooms feature Ethernet (not wireless) access, although common areas in residence halls do have wireless. U-M has a website devoted to the most up-to-date campus wireless information.
Yes, our Computer Support & Repair Service is authorized for Dell and Apple repairs. We can also provide a variety of support and maintenance services for all kinds of computers, in or out of warranty.
Unfortunately, we don't provide this service. However, the Cell & Developmental Biology department runs a Data Recovery Service for both Macs and PCs.
Yes! We also offer a reasonably priced software troubleshooting and hardware/software upgrade service. However, we cannot work on notebooks unless we have the AC adapter (charger) and the original system discs that came with the computer. Read more about our Support Service.
Yes, although you would need to purchase additional memory from another vendor (we don't sell memory) and bring it with you. For more information, see our Support Service page.
Yes, we offer a software troubleshooting and hardware/software upgrade service. For more information, see our Support Service page.
Be sure to remove all prior versions of Office (Mac or Win), including trial versions sometimes included by computer manufacturers. Then reinstall the Showcase-purchased version, and enter the serial number or keycode when prompted. Look for the "Product Key" sticker that's attached to the back of one of your Microsoft discs: this is the number needed to activate your Microsoft installation. It can only be used twice.
Contact us by phone or e-mail or come to the store you purchased from with the product and receipt. If you're unhappy with a purchase, ask to speak to a manager. Returns (of eligible items) must be made within 10 business days with original packaging and receipt. If a product is defective, a replacement will be made. If you changed your mind and no longer want a product, a 10% restocking fee will be deducted from the return amount. Software and some other products may not be returned.
The Showcase uses one e-mail address, firstname.lastname@example.org for all correspondence related to Showcase business. Mail is read frequently and routed to the appropriate staff member for action. Please use this address for all correspondence regarding purchasing, current or past orders, warranty or licensing questions, employment inquiries or other business.
Please do not send credit card information via e-mail: we will contact you with other instructions if credit card information is required.
Phones: Numbers are listed on our Contact Us page. We are not always able to answer our phones when we are helping customers. However, please leave a message and we'll return your call as soon as we can. We apologize for the inconvenience. Your patience is appreciated.