Recently several forum members have been able to get Western Digital Red 4TB drives from an ebay seller for only $139.99 each. This is compared to prices at Amazon.com and other retailers around the $170-$175 range.
For those wondering, the Western Digital Red 4TB drives are meant for NAS applications. Many users have had great success with the drives in both traditional NAS appliances as well as custom built applications. Synology, Thecus, QNAP, Drobo and others all have WD Red drives on their hardware compatibility lists. Likewise, the Western Digital Red drives have proved to be more durable than the Western Digital Green drives due to firmware tweaks by the company.
At the end of the day, we are moving toward a 5TB and 6TB drive future. The Seagate 6TB drives are currently selling for around $299 each. 5TB drives are slightly harder to find but there is a source for around $180 if one does not mind “shucking” drives out of external enclosures.
Our recent experience with the seller
Recently, we purchased four more Western Digital Red drives from this seller who ships out of New Jersey. The four Western Digital Red 4TB drives were purchased on June 5, 2014. UPS received the drives for shipment on June 10, 2014 and they were delivered to California on June 17. This is just one example but the major note here is that it did take about 11 days for the drives to arrive (giving one day of leeway due to time differences.) This is certainly not a solution that will work in emergency drive replacement scenarios. On the other hand, for planned builds, this may be an excellent solution. Packing was good but not great with our drives and consisted of ESD bags for each drive and bubble wrap inside the box.
Some users have reported only being able to purchase up to five drives at a time. Users have had experience purchasing multiple lots of drives.
Also of note, the previous listing sold out at 1,400 drives so get these while you still can.