Where Do You Buy Computer Hardware?

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Adam asked over on Lockergnome which sites I would recommend he order computer parts from. With so many online retailers out there in cyberspace, he’s not sure where to turn for reputable parts. The problem though, is that there is no right answer. Some places will have better prices than others. Some will have better parts at higher cost. It all boils down to choosing what’s best for YOU – and doing some research.

There are “big names” out there, of course. Most people will tell you to run to either TigerDirect or Newegg. There’s also a small site a friend of the community helps run, called Shark Systems. From what I’ve seen, their prices are pretty competitive. They also have excellent customer service. Sometimes, it’s the smaller companies that will have the best relationships with their customers, ya know?

In any case, buying computer parts and pieces online is no different from any other type of Geek purchase. You have to know what you’re looking for, and do your research. Ask around – get opinions. Find out who you feel will serve your needs the best.

If you have suggestions as to which place online you feel is the best to buy from – backed up with reasons WHY you feel they’re the best – please leave us a follow-up comment!

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  1. I would argue (and I think effectively) that local computer supply houses can be the best (and often the cheapest) places to buy hardware. The reason for that is:

    1) You can often get discounts from good reputable local dealers (we have a couple here in Greenville, SC)

    2) You can RETURN the stuff if you are not satisfied with it (try that with the resellers and even many well-known computer manufacturers.

    I would also argue that if you have specifics for computer design that apply to your business, going to niche computer builders is also a good idea as long as you check them out and get references.

    I would not buy hardware from Amazon or very many of the on-line vendors (unless you are buying screens or hard drives). I would stick with locals if you are buying cable connectors or associated hardware. You always “know where they live” If something goes wrong.

  2. I love Microcenter for computer parts but if they dont have something I go to Tigerdirect.com both of the places are great and dont forget to support your local merchants aswell

  3. Thumbs up: newegg.com for strictly PC-related.

    Good pricing & shipping. Quick replies via email. Great source of product reviews.

    Also used mwave, chiefvalue (supposedly newegg, e.coast), staples, officemax (ok on all previously noted). Plus you get rebates via Staples/OM that can significantly reduce cost & shipping. Make biz accts. (nothing needed to join) & free ship is more prevalent.


  4. One of the features of TigerDirect I like are the customer reviews. And I usually add my review to products I’ve purchased from TD. A couple of weeks ago, I purchased a pair of earbuds from a recognized mid-high end speaker manufacturer. The original list price was supposedly $99 and they were on sale for 29.95. Needless to say, I was disappointed in the earbuds. They were not horrible, and I did not write a disparaging review. I merely said it was hard to believe that the list price had once been $100, since they were averageat best. I also criticized the design as they would not stay in my ear if I was active. My overall rating came out to between 2 and 3 (on a scale of 5) which would mean average or slightly below. On Saturday, I received an Email from Irrington Roberts-Isaacs, Customer Retention Manager for Systemax (TigerDirects parent company), apologizing for my experience and offering me a credit or replacement. I was surprised and pleased and I will sing the praises of TigerDirect to anyone willing to listen.