Does A White Box Computer Make Sense For Your BusinessDoes A White Box Computer Make Sense For Your Business

When your business needs new computers, you might want to look beyond the big names such as Dell, HP or Gateway and consider local vendors who assemble so-called white box computers from industry-standard parts.

Of course you should take some precautions. Ask around about the local computer store, both among your friends and business partners and on local bulletin boards. Check whether any complaints have been lodged with the BBB. Decide on a configuration and get a written estimate, then compare that with the prices asked by the national vendors. Find out about store hours and exact warranty terms.

Decide whether you can live without 24-hour phone supports (but then, is it so useful to talk to someone who just reads from a script, as opposed to waiting until the local store opens and you can call them or drop off your computer?)

Here are some of the advantages of local computer sellers:

1. They are are more likely to value you as a customer. After all, you may be 1/1000th of their annual sales, rather than 1/1000,000th of the sales of a big company.

2. They are more flexible. Do you want an Intel or AMD processor? A particular motherboard? A hard drive by a specific manufacturer? They can provide that, while the major brands often restrict your options.

3. They have a low overhead. While large companies can buy components more cheaply, they also spend millions on advertising. The local store can often compete on price, particularly when you upgrade the configuration offered by the big brands to something that is actually usable.

4. They use standard parts. Some of the big names in computers use proprietary parts, such as power supplies, that cannot be replaced with industry-standard parts. With a local computer store, you can specifiy exactly what you want to get.

5. They don't pre-load your computer with useless software. All the trial and demo version of AOL and other programs can really clutter your computer. If your local store installs Windows, that is all that will be on your computer.

The major drawback is that your local computer store might go out of business. I had that happen with a store that had been around for over 10 years, but the computers I bought from them still work, and when they have to be fixed, any other local computer store can repair them.

by Pamela Bruce
References and Bibliography

Pamela Bruce lives in Austin, TX. She is the owner of Love Beads Unlimited and sells the sterling silver, Czech glass and Swarovski crystal bead jewelry she designs and creates both in her Etsy shop (http://lovebeadsunlimited.etsy.com) and on her website at http://www.lovebeadsunlimited.com, where you can also download the free e-book "A Consumer's Guide to Buying Bead Jewelry Online".

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