What’s so Hard about Hardware?

I just got back from a mini buying spree of computer equipment for some friends of mine who are doing a major upgrade in their office. I am trying to keep everything uniformed, such as, buying all the same components, keeping each station identical to each other to make maintaining the network is nice and clean, and trying to build everything with compatible units. That is a lot of work!

I am buying four printers. I did some digging around, and this involved researched beforehand and then narrowing it down to eight possible “dream” printers that I would buy. When I completed my list, I then started checking the local computer stores to see if any of the them had the makes and models that I was looking for. From that list, I compiled a cost sheet for presentation to my friend for his approval. As it turned out, 90 percent of the equipment I researched as good were available from most of the local stores, so doing a price search was very easy, and narrowing down the best merchant to go to took only fifteen minutes. However, buying the product was a bit of a challenge.

I chose a large “big-box” store as the best place to buy from, mainly because of the cost savings and also proximity, as we are all well a where of the high cost gasoline today. I phoned in ahead of time to check to make sure that everything I needed was available and that the prices were indeed the prices that I budgeted for. Everything was good—so far.

It was not until I got to the store that trouble started brewing. Not the bad kind of trouble, just that inconvenient type trouble of someone wasting my time through ignorance. The clerk started asking me why I would not look at the “sale” items instead of the items that I was purchasing. I explained to him that I had no interest in them based on my needs and cost. The clerk looked puzzled because he claimed that my research was flawed. In fact, he claimed that his experience was worth more than the three consumer reports that I had read and that I was basing my purchases on. I tried to ignore him and put the four boxes into the cart, but he kept on trying to sell me the sale items. I could not believe this guy. I thought, “go away….”

Finely I got out of the store. When I was driving back to the office, I could not help but think about how close that clerk came to loosing a sale, and a customer. Not once did I ask for his help because I knew exactly what I wanted. It would have been a different story if I had walked in their with no clue. Walking into a computer store with no clue as to “what you need,” versus, “what you want,” is probably the most dangerous thing that you can do because I could probably bet that you’ll walk out of that store spending way more money than you should have, and everything that you bought might be complete junk anyway. Planning out what you need, then finding what is available, to me, is common sense. Someone who tries to tell you that you need something else, something different to what you need, is a fool.

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