I know that it’s best to buy your food from local growers, producers.
How about a computer, or parts for one?
I figure there are a few factors which might influence the choice:
1. Experience: How comfortable you are putting your machine together, or changing parts.
2. The type of hardware you want might not be available locally.
3. Urgency: The internet can deliver very quickly, frequently without shipping costs. However, local shops might be even faster if the outlet is large. There might be an added plus: The part might be installed at no added cost.
4. To what degree price influences your decision. Generally, the internet will be cheaper than a local shop simply on a volume basis and “shelf time”. That shelf time bias might end up delivering a computer (or part) which comparatively has lower specs than one on the internet if compared.
Local purchase, especially when your computer skills aren’t “epic” certainly has a lot to be said for it. In addition, other problems might arise and having a relationship with a local store owner can be a big plus. The store owner can be a huge resource. The Geek Squad is excellent in my neck of the woods, as well. Just take into account that both might have a bias, namely selling you stuff which might be more expensive and in excess of what you really need. Bear in mind, level of ‘expertise’ can vary widely.
Another “Pro” is replacement. If a computer or part is defective, you might well get a replacement on the spot with additional perks to keep you as a customer. The internet generally could care less (there are exceptions, especially when dealing with a ‘branded’ item), and delivery might keep you waiting when you really need the computer ASAP.
The big “pros” of the net? First, you can stay at home. For disabled people (and lazy experts), this is a plus. Also, if the “local store” is relatively distant or difficult to get to, this becomes more of a plus.
The “cons”? Returning an item isn’t usually very convenient, “support” might be “outsourced” and not comprehensible or not very skilled.
There is another factor: The internet itself. One can glean quite a bit of info on various Forums…ours included. Luckily here at WC, many folks have excellent knowledge and skills and are usually fond of diving in to help with problems whenever they can.
Did I miss anything? Anything to add?