Avoid Getting

August 1998
by Reid Goldsborough

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Computer superstores today are the single most popular site where people buy personal computers retail, and they can be daunting places. Fail to prepare properly, take a false step, and you may get hit hard with a payment much higher than you had expected. To place things in perspective, you should first know about all of your shopping options if you want to go into a store and look at models of PCs with various configurations and various price points before you make a purchase decision. Here’s how the options and their respective market share break down, according to Tony Amico, an analyst for the market-research firm, International Data Corp., based in Framingham, Massachusetts. Fully 31% of consumers and businesses who buy retail do so from computer superstores, while 23% buy from consumer electronics stores (such as Circuit City). The remaining numbers are as follows: 20.3% from small computer specialty stores, 13.9% from mass merchants (such as Sears), and 11.8% from office product retailers (such as OfficeMax). Buying directly from manufacturers, third-party mail-order firms, Internet merchants, corporate resellers, value-added resellers, and system integrators are still other options, though these aren’t retail options-you can’t walk in off the street and kick the tires. Each option has its selling points, but I’ll focus here on computer superstores, which dominate the retail market. Superstores such as CompUSA and Computer City can be excellent places to buy a PC,…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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