“WARNING: Do not buy a computer until you read this

Written By: Helen Cho

On a perfect summer day in 1997, life as I knew it was
changed forever. I lost all trust in the human race, and
felt my life was over — but I vowed to seek vendetta in
the most violent way. Yes, the taste of blood was in my

Okay, so maybe it wasnt quite as melodramatic as all that
- but I sure was seething mad.

I had been ripped off to the tune of $2800 by a scam artist
who “sold” me a Gateway laptop over the Internet.

Id tell you the details, but theyre just too painful to
relive. And frankly, I feel more than a little embarrassed
for being conned.

After that distasteful experience, I embarked on a personal
crusade not only to expose the deceptive sales practices in
the computer industry, but also to scour the globe for the
best computer deals in the world.

I voraciously read computer manuals, specs, ads — and
scrutinized anything that even remotely resembled a PC. My
brain became the Geiger counter for computer-buying

As a result, Ive become the Head Purchasing Manager for a
worldwide non-profit organization consisting of 7000+
members in charge of purchasing computer equipment for
overseas branches in South Korea, Russia, the Philippines,
China, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Europe.

But Im getting ahead of myself. Flashback to 1997.

Back then, I learned quite a few things about
computer-buying that very few people on this planet know
about. Im going to reveal some sneaky — and in some
instances, illegal — things that computer vendors do to
bilk you out of your hard earned cash.

1) Bait and Switch – Computer vendors generally resort to
any means to get you to their website or store first. The
most common way is to lure you there with the promise of
the lowest prices. When you fall for the bait, and visit
their website or store, youll find that their prices are
higher than they advertised. They feed you the story that
the advertised price was last weeks price, or that price
doesnt include this component or that peripheral. Vendors
do this because, in the highly competitive business of
computer sales, this is sometimes the only way they get a
shot at showing you their wares. Then, they do the usual
song-and-dance routine: But while youre here, have I got
a deal for you hoping you wont go looking elsewhere.

2) Bankruptcy Routine – This trick consists of opening a
new computer outlet, selling product for a few months,
shipping only a portion of the orders, and then declaring
bankruptcy and taking most of the customers money. The
people who do this are real crooks, and typically engage in
this practice many times.

3) Opportunistic Pricing – This is something very few
people know about. Mail order companies change their prices
and specifications regularly. They have a complex pricing
policy where they employ experts whose only job is to
determine exactly how much the market will be willing to
pay for a specific model.

4) Delayed Shipments – Some firms charge your credit card,
and ship your order within a week — but since it is a
legal requirement that the goods are shipped to you within
30 days, it could take all of 30 days before your goods
leave their warehouse. And you may not be able to cancel
your order. They are, of course, earning interest on your

5) Shared Memory – As a cost cutting measure, some systems
are designed for the video card to share memory with the
system itself and not to have its own dedicated memory.
Therefore a system with 64 MB RAM advertised with a 4 MB
card has only 60 MB of free RAM after the video cards
requirements. On budget systems, this is common but you
should be told about it. You could end up buying a computer
that has 64 MB of RAM and then find that you only really
have 58 MB — and you can’t run a program that needs 64MB.

6) What You See Isnt What You Get – As the components that
go into a machine are numerous and constantly changing, you
may find that the machine you receive is rarely the exact
machine you ordered. These differences are caused by the
frequent non-availability of various components.
Additionally, some big name mail order firms sales reps
get into the habit of “forgetting” what price they gave you
for the equipment you asked for and, as a result, you get
sent a system thats missing parts that you wanted.

Now, before you go running to the first reputable
computer store thinking its your safest bet, you have to
know that those big players also have a slew of deceptive
practices up their sleeves. Furthermore, they go to great
lengths to hire professional salespeople. Quite frankly,
unless youre one of the small percentage of people who
possess computer-buying savvy, you are putty in the hands
of trained computer salespeople. They know exactly how to
manipulate you, entice you, allay your fears and, most
importantly, close the deal. How about you are you a
trained computer buyer?

Do you know for instance.

what day of the week its best to buy a computer to get
the best prices?

the closely-guarded tactic to saving at least $500 on your
next computer purchase?

what advertised feature you should never pay a single dime
for when buying a computer?

when its OK to buy “clones” or generic brands?

why you should beware of advertisements that scream Free
Printer, Free Scanner and Free Software?

My friend, Mark Joyner, and I reveal those secrets for free
in another article located here:

http://www.roibot.com k_cbsr.cgi?cbsrfreecontent

I dont want you thinking there are no happy endings in the
world of computer buying. It’s absolutely mind-blowing what
astronomical margins some firms make on PCs, and how
incredibly simple it is for buyers to get huge discounts on
those prices – if they know how.

Epilogue: I have a recent success story of my own to tell.
I just bought myself a new laptop — a beautiful IBM
Thinkpad T20 with all the bells and whistles at about $1400
below listed price!

All I can say is, beating the computer bullies at their own
game is the best revenge.

About the Author

Helen Cho is the author of Computer Buying Secrets
Revealed!, the only book of its kind that shows how anyone
can save at least $500 on their next computer purchase:

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