I would like to start purchasing parts for my first pc, but I have a small problem. I have learned that a popular strategy is to buy parts when they are on sale and accumulate them over a period of a few months and then build once you have collected everything. But my question is, how does this work when most products are covered by a standard return policy? If I only have 30 days to discover if the part is functional or not and then return it, then what do I do when I build months later and find out that it is broken or not working? Also, what good is the supposed 2 year warranty if I can't return my item for a refund/replacement after only 30 days? Do most people just not worry about this problem and ignore it due to rarity of occurance? I feel like I might be missing something basic here. Any advice/help is much appreciated
First of all, I would question the wisdom of buying parts well in advance of building.
Over time, parts usually get cheaper, and newer, more cost effective parts are launched.
Never mind that your needs may change.
If you do buy in advance, stick to those parts that do not get obsolete quickly.
Like a monitor, case, psu, keyboard, mouse.
I would defer on hard drive/SSD because they are constantly dropping in price.
For cpu/motherboard/ram, new products may well arrive.
Some parts are dependent on others.
For example, the psu wattage needed is dependent on the graphics card selected.
The ram is dependent on the motherboard model.
In the end, I don't think you have much to worry about.
Most products will have at least a year warranty. Some will be 5 years, and even some lifetime.
I don't know where you heard that it is "popular" to buy parts over time. Most people would recommend saving your money and buying the parts at on time when you can afford them all and mostly for the reason you mention.