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[ The PC Guide | The PC Buyer's Guide | Understanding PC Sources, Vendors and Prices | Sources For PC Systems and Components | Retail Sources ]

Electronics Stores

There are several chains of stores that are dedicated to selling primarily electronics. They carry items such as cameras, video cameras, televisions, stereo equipment, and of course, computers and related items. The degree to which the store covers PCs and related equipment (as opposed to other electronics) seems to vary by the chain, as well as between different stores within a chain. This may be based upon the amount of competition from other types of stores in the area. Chains in this category include stores such as Best Buy and Circuit City.

While these stores and office stores both sell computers, that is often the only overlap in their merchandise. Office stores often sell some consumer electronics items, but not nearly as much as electronics stores do. And of course, you'll have a hard time finding overhead projectors, desks and photocopiers at electronics stores.

Despite their differences, electronics stores and office stores are very similar in terms of their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to buying PCs and components, so rather than repeat them here, I'll refer you to the section on office stores. Comparing the two categories, office stores typically have better coverage of supplies, and may have more selection of lower-end peripherals like keyboards. Electronics stores often have slightly better prices and more selection when it comes to actual PC systems and higher-end peripherals like drives and printers. Both can be good choices for buying retail-packaged items, as I discussed in the section on office stores.

I don't consider either of these to be in the same category as a store dedicated to the sale of computers and computer-related products.

Next: Computer Superstores

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