How to Buy a
Here are proven methods for finding the best
items and vendors and how to buy a computer and parts the cheapest way
There are 3 basic choices for buying a computer;
- Buying from a national vendor, generally on the
- Purchase from a computer store
- Search and select on the Internet
Buying from a national vendor
You may want to the comfort of buying from a
leader in the computer marketplace. There is some level of reassurance
going with the big guy.
This company will have the sales and support team
in place to cover your needs. However, you will probably pay some
premium for this value.
If you're going to buy a name brand, I would
suggest buy direct and buy Dell. Dell will generally have better prices
than the other major dealers such as HP and Gateway because they can't
undercut their own retailers. Additionally, my own experience and input
from other experts has convinced me that they make a solid product that
is basically well supported.
However, the other major brands have good products
also and you won't really go wrong purchasing from them.
Purchase from a computer store
Best Buy, Staples, CompUSA, or most other major
retailers - even Walmart - generally charge a good bit more than what's
available on the internet. Additionally, since their major interest is
in pushing hardware out the door, they don't put much emphasis on
support. If you have a problem you will likely encounter some
A dedicated local dealer can be a real find. If
the shop has been in business for a while, seems to be busy and its
customers give it high ratings, this would be your best way to buy a
computer locally. You will get a computer that will make you happy and
you will have strong support but you may pay a premium for this.
Search and select on the Internet
If you want to get virtually unlimited information
and find the cheapest vendor, take advantage of the Internet shopping
First, research the item that you are interested
in. For example, go to your favorite search engine and enter computer
system reviews or computer system ratings and look over the results. Be
sure that the information is fresh by setting the date of the search to
something like the last 3 months.
If they offer user ratings, check the trend. Read
a couple of the negative ratings to see if they show a pattern or seem
to be a unique problem. If there are less than 10 ratings then the
information isn't really too reliable. However, if it's a new item not
too many people may have seen it yet.
The same approach can be used for any particular
item that you are interested in whether it is software or hardware.
Once you have settled on a particular item, look
for the place that sells it for the lowest price and is a reliable
vendor. Use one of the shopping sites for this such as froogle,
shopping or CNET shopper .
The following example uses the Froogle shopping site but the
concept is applicable to the other sites as well. We will go through
the process for purchasing a high quality 19 inch monitor for a great
Research the monitor by looking for reviews and
selecting up to date reviews. The example will use Google.
Select Google advanced search
Search for 19 inch monitor review and limit the
search to items with information from the last 3 months.
Select the review site
Find an item with a good review and a low price
Verify a significant number of reviews mostly
Now search the shopping site for this item
Sort the results by price, low to high, to find
the best price
Bingo! Low price and highly rated store
Sometimes the low price items will not be that
actual item that you are looking for and the shopping site will show
you accessories that are a fraction of the cost of the real item. In
this case you want to set the price range so that the search only
returns the actual item of interest.
Adjust the price to a price an amount
below the price of the item so that it knocks out cheap junk and
returns the item that you are looking for
If you are open to refurbished or recertified computers, there are real
bargains to be found. Dell refurbished and Tiger Direct recertified are 2
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