“A computer is like an Old Testament god, with a lot of rules and no mercy”

Thursday, December 17

18. Picking the Right One: Ebay a-go-go

You can find a lot of good places to buy computers and computer equipment. There are retail stores, internet stores, and small, local companies who build them, among others. All of these are good alternatives because you can call someone if something goes wrong. In these cases, you'll have a warranty, you'll have some coverage in case the darn thing breaks. But if you buy the computer second-hand, like through regular users on Ebay, you're stuck with it. What you buy is what you get.

Now, there are are retail stores on Ebay. Dell has an Ebay branch, so does Lenovo, and a lot of other businesses. When you buy from those guys, generally you are getting a warranty of some sort, even if it's really short.

Small, local shops have businesses on Ebay, and you can generally get the same kind of deal, but they aren't necessarily local to you. If something goes wrong, you may not be able to get much help from them. In short, if you're going to spend a lot of money on a computer, make sure it's from a source that will help you if you need it.

I know that you have some protection on Ebay if the item doesn't work or isn't what was listed, but you'll still be out of your money until the matter is settled, and you're left without the computer you wanted. It's much easier to buy it from a retailer or manufacturer and will be much safer. If it arrives broken or wasn't what you purchased, they will work to fix the problem quickly. The same isn't true about everyone on Ebay, so be careful what you bid on.