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Why Buy A Desktop From A Specialist Independent Computer Store

Today it's easy to buy a PC or a laptop from almost anywhere. There are high street electrical chains across the country that sell low cost laptops that will meet the needs of the average user such as Currys, national PC stores you could turn to such as PC World and a plethora of general stores that are getting in on the act including Argos, Tesco and even budget retailers like Aldi that have realised that selling PCs and laptops is big business. However, is this really the best option when looking for a new PC?

I've always been thought of as being the family's computer "expert" and as such continually had everyone in the family come to me for buying advice for as long as I can remember. The first thing that's been said to me is "I want a computer, what should I buy?" and that's the one question that larger stores love to hear. What that often does is sets cash registers ringing in the ears of retail staff as they frequently steer customers towards special promotions or computers that the store has a higher than normal profit margins where manufacturers have offered discounts to the retailer. It's common practice for incentives to be given in exchange for a greater emphasis on their products so you never know whether you are getting genuinely impartial advice.

Similarly if you go into a store like the Sony Centre (and don't get me wrong, I've been using one type of Sony product or another for years and haven't had any complaints) they're hardly going to be impartial and certainly not going to advise you to choose another manufacturer! At the same time, catalogue stores won't be able to give you the opportunity to see computers running before you purchase them and supermarket chains seldom have staff who are PC experts...and neither are able to set them up prior to you taking them home, let alone discuss upgrade options with you.

So we come to specialist stores...Buying a PC these days is no longer a simple case of going to a store and grabbing one off the shelf and your local specialist will know that. They'll be able to find out exactly what you want the PC for, what you may want it for in the long term and find exactly the right computer for you. Buying software at the same time? Most will install it for you and set the PC up so it will be ready to use as soon as you get it home and usually be able to advise you on the best software that you need as well.

There are a few questions you need to ask yourself before embarking on a new PC or laptop purchase and those will no doubt help you decide whether or not you can manage with a typical high-street retailer. How confident are you in your own abilities as a PC user and can you set-up and maintain the PC yourself? Have you researched all of the PCs on offer at the stores you are planning on visiting? Do you know what you want from a PC now and in the future and more importantly, do you know what performance you want from a PC to be able to deliver that? If you're not 100% confident on all of your answers and not certain that the PCs or laptops on offer on the high street are perfect for you, then you really need to visit a specialist store instead.

Whether those in the retail industry like it or not, we as consumers are becoming increasingly demanding not only in terms of what we get for our money, but also for the service we receive before, during and after any purchases we make. Having spent time in retail I found that customers prefer dealing with businesses and staff who have proper product knowledge and who are willing to spend time talking to and listening to their customers and trying to understand what they want. You want the cheapest you can find? Then Argos and the chains may be where you'll be headed, but you'll be coming back to the independents when you need support several months down the line and those are the people who will be there when you need them the most.

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