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Advantages /Disadvantages of shopping online

Jason Boggs

I am about to purchase a laptop and I am willing to spend up to $1500. I see some really good deals online but I am a little nervous about spending $1500 on something I won't be able to see until it gets to my doorstep. I am also nervous about all the hassles I might have to go through if something is not right when it arrives. If I buy it locally at a store such as BEST BUY and it doesn't work, I just simply drive a couple of miles and return it and get another one. So, for some of you that have made large purchases online, what would you recommend doing? By the way, here are some of the specs on the computer that I "MIGHT" buy online:

COMPAQ V5000Z series

Windows XP Pro
AMD Turion™ 64 ML-40 (2.2GHz/1MB L2 Cache)
15.4" WXGA BrightView Widescreen
128MB ATI RADEON® XPRESS 200M w/Hypermemory™
2.0GB DDR SDRAM (2x1024MB)
80 GB 5400 RPM Hard Drive
DVD/CD-RW Combo Drive
54g™ 802.11b/g WLAN w/ 125HSM/SpeedBooster™
12 Cell Lithium Ion Battery
1-year HP Accidental Damage Protection with Express Repair extended service plan
6-in-1 digital media card reader
PC Card slot
IEEE-1394 (4-pin) port
One expansion port 2 connector
One ExpressCard/54 slot (also supports ExpressCard/34)
Three USB 2.0 ports
1 consumer IR (remote receiver)
S-video TV-out port
RJ-45 port
RJ-11 port
Microphone port
Headphone port
VGA monitor port
Security lock

PRICE: 1,461 after $50 mail in rebate
I've bought several times from "hpshopping.com" with no problems whatsoever. Your configuration seems to just about exactly match their price and offers. Anyway, they ship very well and quickly and I've never had any problems with them.

...And if you should need service, the "1-year HP Accidental Damage Protection with Express Repair extended service plan" will pick it up, fix it, and deliver it back to you free.
Just make sure the place you buy from is a certified reseller of the product you want to buy. If it's not, then you probably won't get the manufacturers warranty/etc..
Sounds like a nice machine, Jason. You got some great advice from everyone here, so I haven't really got much to add. If you stay with a name brand, from an established dealer, don't think you've got much to worry about.

I bought my first laptop online five years ago from Dell, and it was a great purchase. There's nothing like getting it right to your front door!