1. Introduction
  2. The Computer

    Parts

  3. The Case
  4. Inside the Case
  5. The Motherboard
  6. The Microprocessor
  7. The Memory
  8. The Hard Drive
  9. The CD-ROM
  10. Other Storage
  11. The Monitor
  12. Keyboard and Mouse

    Purchasing

  13. Buying Parts and OEM, where to get manuals
  14. Shopping Smart
  15. Manufacturers
  16. Websites for Shopping

Computer Shopping Techniques

When it comes to wisely shopping for computer equipment, there are some techniques that will increase your chance that your purchase will have the following characteristics:

  1. You will get a good price.
  2. You will get a good product.
  3. You will get what you expected when you order.
  4. You will get the order when you expect it.
  5. You will not get ripped off.

Shopping Steps

  1. Research the product you want to buy. Read the reviews at on-line magazines such as zdnet.com. Also computer gaming websites may review sound cards and video cards. Another technique to find reviews is simply to go to a search engine or a super search engine and search for reviews on the product you are looking into buying. For instance go to mamma.com and search for "asus video card reviews".
  2. Be aware of somewhat deceptive pricing. This refers to the fact that various vendors charge a wide variety of amounts for shipping, even when you are buying product of similar weight and cost. This is because some vendors build some of their profit into shipping costs. This should not prevent you from purchasing from a particular vendor, but if you are aware of it, you will know what you are paying. This pricing policy will make the vendor show up with a deceptively lower price on a price search engine.
  3. Use price search engines to find the vendors with lowest price.
  4. Use web sites that compile customer ratings on vendors to tell what vendors have good reputations.
  5. When you place your order:
    1. Be sure your order is placed using a secure server so no one can steal your private information.
    2. Always use your credit card such as Master Card or Visa. This is another line of protection between yourself and the vendor. If you have trouble such as not receiving the product but still being billed for it, they can look into the problem.
    3. Check shipping costs before finishing your order.
    4. Print a copy of your order and get and print your order number.