The Next Time You Shop For A New Computer, Keep My Computer Buying Tips In Mind!

PC or Mac? That Is The Question …

In this section, you’re going to learn a number of tips on how to shop for a new computer or a new laptop. Now, before we really get started, the big question always comes up … “Should you buy a Windows-based personal computer (PC) or an Apple MacIntosh computer (Mac)?”

MAC and PC Purchasing Options

Well, here’s what I know … I’ve been working with computers for over 20 years. I’ve enjoyed the privilege of working with both PC and Mac extensively during different times in my life. I’ve had the luxury to view and use similar programs on both, and programs exclusively written for the PC and for the Mac independently.

I’ve also had friends who use Macs exclusive and I have friends who use PC’s exclusively. Personally, I’ve always chosen to work with a PC and always will. Macs are beautifully designed computers great at very specific tasks, like creating/manipulating graphics, editing multi-media (i.e., movies, audio, etc.).

If you work in an environment where Macs are the preferred computer, then, by all means, get a Mac. But, if you’re on your own, and you have the choice to purchase a PC or a Mac, I would buy a PC over a Mac any day and here’s why …

Walk into a computer store and look at all the software shelves devoted to selling software to PC’s and how few there are shelving software designed for the Mac. You’ll find there are a lot more software companies (online and offline) producing software for PC’s; even though the market for selling to Mac users is increasing, and Macs can read some Windows-based software. Still, it’s a PC world out there, despite what Hollywood (and the movies we watch) would lead us to believe. Keep that in mind: more software is made for the PC.

Do PC’s crash? Sure they do. Has my PC? Three times … in 25 years! I was using Windows® XP for years and didn’t seen a crash since I was using Windows ’98. That’s a long, long time. Now, having been on Windows® 7 for seven plus years, crashes are … near non-existent for me. In the old days, yes, operating systems were pretty unstable; but now, hardly ever does my computer have problems. The biggest problem computers face today are not crashes, but virus infections!

Do Macs crash? You bet. They are not exempt. One thing about Macs you should know, I’ve had a few friends who owned Macs. Whenever they did crash, I would ask them what they were going to do about it. They said they had to take it in to the Mac shop for repair. Sounds reasonable. My next question, was “Where will you take it?” They said there were 2-5 places in town they could take their Mac to to get looked at. With PCs, there are dozens, if not hundreds of places around town where you can get virtually get any PC looked at if it’s in trouble. So, just remember, no computer is 100% exempt from crashing. So, when your computer is in trouble, how many places can you take it to? Don’t think a few is good enough. The more places you can take your computer to the more options you have when it comes to costs for repair, turn-around-time, service plans, you name it.

Another interesting tip for ya, I look at website counter statistics for all my websites and my clients’ sites and would you believe it? I find that more than 60% of all website visitors to all these sites has been primarily made up of PC users, an not Mac users! Isn’t that interesting? Wow, I guess it’s a PC world out there …

And, if you want one more reason to buy a PC (over a Mac), PC’s are much easier to repair when there’s a problem; you can add or switch out specific parts in PC, than you can with a Mac … Overall, working with a PC is much simpler and there are a number of repair shops that can repair your PC versus trying to find a special Mac store, when you have a problem.

Well, those are just some of the reasons to buy a PC over a Mac, but you make the final decision. I know if it were me, I’d buy a PC any day.

My Personal Shopping Tips For Buying A New Computer …

So, having said all that, when it comes to purchasing a new computer these days, here’s what goes through my mind and here’s what I do when shopping for and pricing the best computer for my needs:

Look in the Sunday’s newspaper for computer store magazine advertisements which announce specials on all new computers, laptops, parts and accessories. Listen, take the magazine advertisement into the store with you and say, “I want this! (i.e., point to/describe what you want) Do you still have any in stock?” HOT TIP = HURRY! Many stores offer deals specials only with limited quantities in stock. You can’t order special discounts = you have to get them while they last! So, get to the store EARLY, not later or you’ll be on the “next time” bus, before you can say “Ah, shucks!”

Ask your friends where they bought their computer. Maybe they had their computer built by someone they knew. Great! See if they’ll build you a computer too. In some cases, you can save money, and the best part, is you have total control of the quality of parts and components that get installed inside your computer, as opposed to just buying a system right out of the box made with generic, lower-quality parts from a manufacturer. If you do have your computer built by someone, make sure they know what they’re doing and will be around in case something goes wrong. Ask your friends, who have laptops, how they like theirs.

Research the Internet for deals and reviews on computers. Click here to visit the online resource section below for links to websites and companies who sell computers. Make notes on a piece of paper or print out what you see and bring it to a store near you.

When buying laptops, definitely do your research online and at each store you shop. Ask the store clerks in the laptop department what they know about specific makes and models and which brands other customers have been happy with. If you shop around, you should be able to find a great laptop for right around $999 (plus tax). Throw in a rebate or two and you’ve got yourself a pretty good deal. Your laptop should include a CD and a DVD burner, a DVD player, between 40GB and 80GB hard drive space, 1GB of memory and a slew of other great features and benefits.

Laptop Case: When buying a portable, protective case for your laptop, be sure there’s ample room for laptop cables and power cords. Also, make sure when you close the lid of the laptop case there isn’t a zipper clip sticking out which touches, I mean scratches, the top surface of your new and beautiful laptop when closed. After closing the protective case time and time again, the top surface of your laptop can get scratched and beat up. Whoa, not good!

Now, if you find a case you really like and there is a zipper clip, just place a small cloth or thin sheet of foam protection between the two when you pack your laptop and you should be all right. Travel Mouse: You might purchase a regular mouse or mini-travel mouse (about 1/3 the size of a regular mouse) to fit nicely in your portable laptop case to be used with your laptop (cost: $9-$29). You might find it more user-friendly moving the cursor around on your screen if you have a real mouse versus using just a finger or two on the touch pad of your the laptop. Regular Keyboard: You might also purchase a regular keyboard (cost $9-29) to use when spending long hours at a time typing on your laptop.

Some Laptop keyboards, not all, are small, cramped and often do not have the same keys (located in the same place) on a regular keyboard. So, why not just use a real keyboard? You don’t have to use it all the time; just when you’re working for long periods of time and you’d like to type on a familiar, regular keyboard. Just remember, you have these options.

Again, PC or Mac? For most users, PC is the preferred choice over a Mac. The reasons are quite simple, it’s a number’s game. The world has moved in the direction of the PC over the Mac in large numbers. Walk into any large, reputable computer store, such as CompUSA®, MicroCenter®, Fry®’s, and the like, and look at the number of aisles dedicated to selling PC software and computer accessories compared to the number selling Mac software and accessories. Then, look at the number of PC systems they offer versus the number of Mac systems. After making these comparisons, you make the decision. Now, I have experience with Mac products and while I appreciate their capabilities, I’ve decided to go with the flow on this one. My choice stands with using a PC.

Keep your eye out for special deals and bargains where it relates to new and advanced computer parts and technology. As technology improves – prices drop! A good thing! Memory, hard drives, CD burners, DVD drives, motherboards, video cards, sound cards, monitors, etc.

Check to see when stores open and when they close by looking up their hours at their website. When you’re shopping for a computer, no doubt, you’ll want to visit a lot of stores to shop around for the best price, best computer, options, features, customer service, rebates, specials, discounts … you name it! So, having said that, it would be nice to know when these stores open and close so you can make the most of your shopping day (or evening). Go online, find the store you want to visit and click on the STORE LOCATOR (usually at the top of the web page), find their hours, or call the store if you need to and plan your computer shopping day with timely precision. You’ll thank yourself that you did.

How much money should you spend when buying a computer? If you’re buying a laptop, you can pick up a very good laptop for between $700 and $1,200 depending on the number of features, bells ‘n’ whistles you want on that laptop. Also, the screen size, hard drive space, memory and other features that come with that laptop will play a role in the final price. If you’re shopping for a PC or desktop computer, you might not have to purchase an entire system. Instead, ask yourself, is your monitor in good shape? Do you have a nice set of computer speakers? How about your keyboard and mouse, are they working fine? If so, and if you don’t really need to replace these items, you might be able to just purchase (or replace) the PC tower unit. If this is the case, you can easily pick up a PC tower unit with all the latest upgrades, bells ‘n’ whistles for between $250 and $500 depending on the store you shop at. Do your homework, do your research and shop wisely!

What about protection plans and warranties? Are they worth it? In some cases? Yes! If you could spend an extra $100 (or so) to add additional protection in the event something goes wrong with your computer, it’s worth it. Here’s why, laptops wear out faster than desktop computers. If your laptop is on the brink of dying, you might wish to take advantage of the special protection plan to get it fixed while you save up the money and research for buying a new laptop. Desktop computers? They’re a little more durable and tend to last longer. But laptops, definitely, consider purchasing the extra protection coverage if you can afford it and it applies to your purchase.

Also, visit PriceWatch is the fastest way to find a great street price on almost any computer product. A very cool site; loaded with lots of products, price and vendor options where you can look up cost-comparison pricing for: Computer Systems, Tablets / Notebooks, PC – Desktops, PC – No OS, PC – Barebones, Servers, Memory, Hard Drives, you name it! is an online search engine that allows you to find the lowest price on your favorite items and view big discounts as they occur. You can find sales, filter discounted items, sort by lowest price or price plus shipping, read vendor reviews, and much more.

Also, check out these online computer/electronic stores below. When you first visit their site, look for specials. Then, compare prices, features and service/warranty plans between the different sites. You can do this on a piece of paper or PRINT OUT each computer you’re interested in. Then, you could call the store in your area to see if they have that particular computer available. If so, go down there and check it out. Bring the printout with you! When you’ve done your homework, you know you’re getting the best deal possible! Good luck to you!!!

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About Bart Smith

Bart Smith is the author of several books, professional marketer and self-publishing consultant, a personal coach, and a dynamite, motivational speaker. A self-starting, life-affirming, renaissance man, Bart is an entrepreneur at heart, who also bakes the world's best chocolate chip cookies at He shares his insights, skills, training and knowledge here, on his training website,, and helps people make money online with his online marketing shopping cart software,

Check out some of Bart's books on business, motivation, networking, coaching, checklists, and personal development.

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