As you saw in the previous post: Computers for College Students: Specs, you need to consider a lot of specs before purchasing a computer for college. Now you need to figure out when is the perfect time for buying that computer. The perfect timing can get you a couple of hundred dollars in discount, free color upgrade, free shipping, and a larger hard drive. At least in my experience that's exactly what I have gotten.
With my last computer I searched for over five weeks on numerous sites and I found laptops that I was quite satisfied with, but I just couldn't cough up the money. So I waited and waited until one day I received an email telling me there was going to be a three day sale on Dell.com. I was quite skeptical and wondered if I'll really find something reasonable. The timing was about two weeks before school started, thus I was in a bit of trouble.
I started searching for a laptop during those three days and found what seemed to be a perfect fit for me, not necessarily perfect for other college students. The laptop originally cost $950, but there was a $300 discount, so I got it for $650. I received a free hard drive upgrade ($45), free color upgrade($40), free shipping ($25), and since I was on vacation in the West Coast, I received a no tax purchase ($50). Those are the estimates for how much each of the free things I received cost. Aside from the $300 discount, the total of those other discounts was $160! I think that's the best deal I have gotten thus far.
As you can see, all you have to do is wait until some kind of sale occurs; a three day sale or something similar would be the perfect time for purchasing a computer for college students. Keep track of the sales by visiting sites of interest or subscribing to their email list. Ask friends and family about sales as well, they probably saw something they can tell you about.