[Review] Razer Insider CES 2016 Sale = Disappointment Maybe

Razer For Gamers By Gamers

Let's get this out of the way right off that bat. I love Razer products. My first gaming mouse was a Deathadder and has been a Deathadder ever since. I have a Razer DeathStalker keyboard and was looking forward to upgrading to a Blackwidow Chroma finally with the Razer Insider Consumer Electronics Show 2016 50% sale on peripherals and other items.

Unfortunately this was impossible even though I had my cart ready to go and promo code in hand when the clock turned 8:00pm CST.


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The servers simply could not handle it and by the time anything could be done, hours later, every Blackwidow keyboard was out of stock (except for a refurbished Ultimate 2014).

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As has already been established, it was disappointment. I had the keyboard that I wanted in my cart and ready to be purchased when refreshing the page at 8:00pm CST to enter my Razer Insider promo code. Once the page was refreshed though initially my cart turned up empty instead. Then going back to the Store page, first neither the "Add to Cart" or presumably by that point "Notify Me" buttons would display due to the server load that was occurring, and then the page wouldn't even load with that infamous Error 503 Service Unavailable.

After about an hour of hoping that one of those times I might get luck, it was time to give up for the night.

The following morning I figured I would just see how bad it was picked over. Knowing that it wouldn't be good. But lo and behold, the Blackwidow Chroma Stealth still showed that it was in stock and could be added to my cart. My "prayers" were answered.

Razer Blackwidow Chroma Stealth Add to CartIt wasn't my first choice as I would have preferred one with green kailh switches over orange but I was perfectly happy to compromise. Unfortunately that was not to be the case. Rather, when clicking "Add to Cart" it transported me to my cart and informed me that it was still empty. To make matters worse, I went and tried another item (a Deathadder Chroma because I figured it might be worth just picking something up at the discount so that way I have another backup), which proceeded to recommend that I add the Blackwidow Chroma Stealth to my purchase to complement my order.

Blackwidow Chroma Stealth Recommended PurchaseAlright Razer, I'll play ball. Maybe it was just that particular "Add to Cart" button on the Razer Blackwidow Chroma page that was not cooperating (knowing full well that this was likely not the case). You can probably guess what happened next. The Deathadder was the only item in the cart.

FUUUUUUUU do I just buy the Deathadder by itself and pay the shipping cost since it would come out to be less than 49 dollars with the discount? Nope! The shipping cost was close to 14.00 making it the full cost needed to ship the item for free. So what 15.00 item could I possibly want to buy that would be worth it? A gray coffee mug and 2 analog stick rubber grip caps? Neither sounded great so it is time to buy refurbished.

I was pleasantly surprised that while the Blackwidow Chroma was sold out on the Razer Outlet, the standard Blackwidow Ultimate 2014 model was still in stock. This put the refurbished keyboard at a price point of 37.50. Which is very reasonable given the 1 year warranty that is included on all refurbished items. I will get to upgrade afterall. But what of still needing the extra 11.50 to get free shipping? Never fear, the promotional code that was supposed to only work on a single item actually covers the entire purchase. Adding the Deathadder Chroma back into the cart brang the total up to 75.55 after free shipping and tax. I would be more happy with this if it didn't lead me to believe that this is the reason why all of the keyboards that I actually wanted were sold out.

It may not have been what I really wanted as the color coding available with the Chroma keyboard backlighting would be fantastic but it is still an upgrade from the chiclet keys of the DeathStalker.

I wonder how everyone else's experience was. Checking Razer Insider there was clearly some unpleasantness with Razer's response, who put the blame on the media for mass publicizing the event. What did you really expect them to do? It's a pretty big story. Any sale on name brand peripherals gets an article. Much less a sale where everything is half price. On top of this, the moderators over at Razer Insider were less than sympathetic, with NazgulStig standing out.

Razer Sale Rain CheckThe above response that someone doesn't have a clue what "sale" means is simply ridiculous. When would one ask for a rain check if the product wasn't on sale? You don't ask to buy a regular priced item at regular price later on, you just go do it. I agree that with an online retailer it doesn't make sense to offer rain checks as it would be impossible to turn a profit that way, but to say that someone doesn't understand a sale because they request a rain check clearly shows one's own ignorance.

And so it devolves - Razer ForumsWhile I agree that the original question was a bit silly given the context, what is the purpose of having a forum moderator if they are going to simply get into fights with the community that they are supposed to be supporting. Having been a forum moderator (unpaid) for R2 Games (western publisher for F2P MMO's such as Wartune and League of Angels) you are expected to both maintain the company line as well as to work with the community, not drive them away. If a support representative (even an unpaid one) ever responded in the above way and that was my only interaction with the company to that point, it is likely that I would not continue to do business with them.


So what do we give the sale? I would have to give it

Razer Snake LogoRazer Snake LogoRazer Snake Logo out of 5 Razer logos. The sale would have been excellent but it was very poorly planned for and I couldn't buy what I actually wanted so had to settle for a lesser product (though there was always the other option of simply ignoring the sale). It was still worth participating in though as it allowed me to upgrade some of my equipment at a more reasonable price. At the time of writing this, the sale is still going on if you wanted to pick through the scraps over at Razer Zone or the Razer Outlet.

At the end of the day, I still love Razer keyboards and mice. Though my heart will always be with Steelseries when it comes to headsets.


What are your thoughts on the sale? Did you get what you wanted? Did you like it? Hate it? Wish they did promotions like this more often? Or are you a die-hard Steelseries, Corsair, or Ducky fan? Let us know in the comments below.


About Matt Merlenbach

Matt Merlenbach is the founder of MetaGamr. He loves RPG's and fears no gazebo. Connect with him at the links below:

One Response to [Review] Razer Insider CES 2016 Sale = Disappointment Maybe

  1. themerlen says:

    While I don't think you can use the code twice, it was also only supposed to work on a single item, so I'm just going to leave this here in case anyone wasn't able to obtain theirs from Razer Insider.


    Best of luck.

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