PSA: Upgrade your gaming PC before January to avoid the component price hike

Gaming PC upgrade

Get your gaming PC tech buying done this side of the new year, people – the trade tariffs are coming and if there’s one thing we know is that manufacturers and retailers are going to try their damnedest to turn it to their advantage.

The new trade tariffs imposed on pretty much all tech exports from China to the US came into force at the end of September, placing an extra 10% tariff burden on a host of PC upgrades. That’s already a pain in the wallet, but come January those tariffs are going to rise up to 25% making practically everything more expensive.

So the advice is, if you’re a US resident, get your upgrades and PC building done this year because El Presidente 45 is only set to escalate his manhood measuring contest with China. US manufacturers are already reportedly heeding this advice and getting their buying in now in order to fill their component warehouses before the worst of the tariffs come into effect. Just don’t expect that to necessarily benefit you come January as prices are still likely to rise however much the stock was originally picked up for.

A quick note on a recent GamersNexus report notes, in passing, that it’s heard manufacturers in the US are stockpiling Chinese imports ahead of the 25% January increase.

PC tech trade

“We’ve heard that hardware manufacturers are trying to pull-in inventory to fill Stateside warehouses prior to the tariff increase in January,” says GamersNexus. “Anything that comes in ahead of the tariff increase will dodge the charges. This affects nearly every company in the US market.”

If we’ve learned anything from the Great Cryptocurrency GPU Armageddon of 2018 it’s that stock, manufacturing, and pricing problems will always be passed onto the consumer whether those issues are real or simply perceived. If there is a general consensus that prices could be going up then they will no matter what.

Even if US manufacturers have largely mitigated the impact of the January tariffs by stockpiling parts now, once the 25% hits in the new year there will be a blanket price hike straightaway. But that said, if these tariffs stick around for the long haul, what little buying companies can do before 2019 will only be a temporary, sticking plaster solution.

It will be interesting to see whether this increase in US pricing will be seen across the rest of the world too; whether manufacturers and retailers will hike their prices globally in sympathy. I hope not, but wouldn’t discount the possibility entirely…