Buying a computer system/buy online or call?

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Question
When buying a new computer (Dell), I always bought it by calling them and placing the order that way, instead of ordering online. I know what I want and want to avoid a salesperson trying to upgrade me to things I don't want. On the other hand, it's a big purchase and I'm a little hesitant to doing it online, in case they get the order specifications wrong. Are there any real disadvantages of ordering online vs placing the order with a live person?

Answer
In general there should be no disadvantages to online shopping from a reputable source (like Dell). On the upside, you can see an overview of what you're ordering as opposed to relying on the CSR reading the order back to you over the phone. When dealing with retailers like Dell, if they make an error on the order they will generally work to correct it (this will very likely require a phone call though); although such errors are generally rare (just as they would be if you ordered via phone).

My best advice would be to go with whichever method seems more comfortable - online shopping can be very useful, but some people don't like the impersonal nature. One thing I would suggest if you're shopping online, which will require your attention, is to look for any promotional deals they happen to be running at the time of your order (whereas I would assume the CSRs on the phone to point these out, and try and sell you on them) - depending on what you're ordering, you may be able to save money (or get an upgrade, etc) by taking advantage of a promotion.

-bob

Buying a computer system

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Bobbert

Expertise

I have nearly two decades of experience in IT, computer repair, and related fields and will attempt to provide the most solid, brand-agnostic advice when it comes time to purchase a new computer, or upgrade an existing machine. I can answer anything from the seemingly basic to the downright complicated - and will do my best to provide this information in a clear and concise manner.

Experience

I have been an enthusiast of PC's for many years, and can answer questions about the purchase/use of a new computer or the purchase, installation, and use of upgrades for existing computers. There probably isn't a whole lot related to the home computer that I haven't seen over the years.

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15+ years of experience

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