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PC Hardware in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition by Barbara Fritchman Thompson, Robert Bruce Thompson

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Purchasing Components

After you choose the components, the next step is to order them. Rather than shopping for the absolute lowest price for each component, we try to order everything from just one or two vendors. Ordering piecemeal incurs additional shipping costs that often nullify small price breaks on individual items. Although we try to order everything from one place, we usually have to place two or three orders because one or another vendor doesn’t carry a particular item or is out of stock.

We’re frequently asked to suggest which resellers are the best or cheapest or most reliable. We can’t offer such advice because, although we buy a lot of stuff, we don’t buy enough to have a statistically valid sample from one vendor, let alone from every vendor. All we can tell you is what we do, without representing that our choices are necessarily best for you. A reseller that treated us right may ship you the wrong items, and a reseller with whom we had problems may in fact be an excellent reseller overall.

Our first step is always to check Reseller Ratings (http://www.resellerratings.com), which offers detailed ratings of hundreds of resellers, including historical information. Because Reseller Ratings uses feedback from users, there’s always the possibility that a reseller has stuffed the ballot box, so we look not just for a high overall rating, but a large number of votes. A reseller that has a perfect rating based on 10 votes may be an excellent company, or it may just have ...

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