Frequently Asked Questions (Part 6)
Q) Where should I buy computer accessories from?
A) As with most anything, you can get better deals by buying your accessories from online wholesalers that don’t have to pay for expensive storefronts and thus pass that savings on to us, the consumers. Most technically savvy consumers buy their computer hardware from a couple different wholesalers. The most popular are newegg.com and tigerdirect.com for general technology purchases, and monoprice.com for cables of any kind. You can certainly purchase equipment locally, usually at a Best Buy or a privately owned computer equipment store, but you should expect to pay much higher retail prices if you do, not to mention deal with high-pressure sales associates. Our advice is to buy online if you can wait for it to be shipped, and only buy locally if you absolutely have to have it now.
Q) Where should I buy software from?
A) Again, you can usually get a better deal online vs. a retail storefront. Any more, we would suggest just searching for the software you are looking for on amazon.com, as they will show you multiple options for buying whatever software you are looking for. Sometimes you can even get software used at a deep discount. If you can’t wait, Best Buy will probably be your best bet unless you have a Fry’s Electronics in your city. Walmart even has a tiny selection of software if you need something like Office or Windows.
Q) Where should I take my computer to get it fixed?
A) Not to Best Buy! Avoid big box store chains that offer PC repair services. There have been articles written about the shady practices these companies use to “repair” your computers and then charge huge fees to do so. Our suggestion is to find a small, locally-owned computer repair shop or computer services company and see what their “bench fee” is. Anything under $100 is usually a good deal. You could do a quick craigslist search for PC repair in your area, and you might be able to save money by having a freelancer do it, but unless they work at a repair shop and have good credentials (and they are just moonlighting to make extra money), we would suggest sticking with the shops vs. individuals since they will have liability insurance if they do any damage.
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