Matthew Proctor, March 2004

Buying a Computer: Small Stores Vs. Superstores

This month I would like to discuss where you should buy your next computer. A local computer shop can provide the highest quality computer and superior service before and after the sale. As an owner of a local computer store, I have an obvious reason for championing this type of company. My own company was started to help people make better computer purchases and to provide customers with the best possible service.

A real computer store, as opposed to a large super store, should have a very knowledgeable staff with an in-depth knowledge of computer hardware, software, and related technology in general. Your local computer store can provide the information you need to make an informed purchase instead of purchasing more or less than you need. By evaluating your own needs, a local shop can put together a custom solution that fits your specific needs. Large chain stores cannot do this with packages that have only some of the things you need, too much that you do not, and still come short of providing the things you need.

Large manufacturers many times use proprietary parts in their systems. The use of proprietary designs that require vendor-specific replacement parts result in expensive repairs or the need to purchase a complete new system when repairs are needed. Proprietary systems also limit or even preclude upgrading a system. No system is illimitably upgradeable, but custom-built systems that use standard parts offer a much better upgrade path than proprietary systems.

PC gamers are one segment of consumers that are worst served by pre-packaged and proprietary systems. Most pre-configured systems on the shelves of large superstores are not suitable for modern PC games. Large direct vendors that advertise custom systems or systems designed for gamers normally sell these systems at very high prices and still limit their configuration.

Getting useful support from many large manufacturers is so cumbersome that many consumers have given up and have to buy services from other companies even when they are entitled to such services free from their PC vendor. The services provided by many large manufacturers, even those with high service ratings in the past, have suffered because of outsourcing of these services. Many consumers are finding that it is becoming increasingly difficult to get timely and useable service from large vendors. Service from your local computer shop is much easier to access and more personal.

I can only speak for my own shop, YourWay Computing. You should still check out your own local shop. Not all local shops have high caliber products and quality services. Stop by your local shop to get a feel for its culture and extent of expertise.

YourWay Computing has a history of providing the highest quality products and services before and after a purchase. A good shop will have the talent to provide the information you need and build a system that is right for your needs. It should then offer a quality product that uses industry standard parts which provides upgradeability and the functionality that you need. Only a local shop can provide the easily accessible service and support that you deserve. You may not have the time or the desire to do all of the research needed to make an informed computer purchase. Your local computer store is there with the knowledge you need to make your next PC purchase as painless as possible.

If you have questions about your next computer purchase, please give me a call at YourWay Computing, or contact a local shop near you.