Buying a computer system/buying online

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Question
I'm thinking of ordering a new desktop pc from Dell and never ordered something online costing many hundreds of dollars. This is not really a computer question per se, but is it fairly safe to buy a computer online?
And as far as the order being filled accurately and correctly, would it be better to actually talk to a salesperson over the phone or order it online?
Thanks

Answer
Generally there should be no problem with online purchasing from a reputable and secure source, like Dell's own website, Amazon, etc. If you're going to less known sites you should investigate further to make sure you're dealing with a legitimate vendor and will get what you've ordered, as well as have appropriate right of return. I would suggest using something like ResellerRatings or a generic web search (e.g. "amazon.com + customer satisfaction" or something) to try and get a feel for a less known site. As far as calling in to order, many online retailers don't support this anymore, but there shouldn't be any significant difference (aside from spending more time on it) dealing with a phone CS rep than ordering online (because most likely the phone CS rep is looking at the same pages/screens/information as you can find on the website).

If you have further questions, feel free to ask.

-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.

Education/Credentials
15+ years of experience

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