Shop Around for Best Computer Equipment Buys

       Prices on computer "stuff" are never better than at Christmas-time.   But with all that's out there, the choices are sometimes overwhelming.  There are new buys, new products out there virtually every day, so you need to shop smart, and you need to shop around.   It can be a challenge, but everything you need is right at your fingertips. To set the stage, begin with the Sunday flyers, then follow-up with catalogs, and computer magazines.  They'll give you ballpark figures of what's out there, and what you should expect to pay. Next, borrow a friend's online computer if you have to, but get out on the internet, and start doing some window shopping  I like, because prices are competitive, and if you want to buy, the shipping's free. is another site that's a favorite, you'll get the rock-bottom price quote here from dealers all over the nation, but it's not a terribly user-friendly site. Also Dell( and Gateway ( are two of the best-selling computer out there, and their best buys are online.  Your next stop should be your favorite local electronics store.   A quick stop at Circuit City, or Office Max, or Comp-USA might give you a chance to put your hands on the products, and do some more comparison shopping.  Even the computer user with everything could always use a new mouse.  The optical mouse by Microsoft only costs about $50.  Keyboards are even less.  Sometimes you don't realize how much spring goes out of the keys after a while.  Or digital cams could be a consideration.  At Circuit City, we found a selelction costing everywhere from $100 to $1200.  You might also want to consider a new printer.  Low cost, and higher resolution output is standard now.   Scanners are coming way down in price, and CD-re-writables are almost a steal these days. Hand-held or palm computers are quite the rage right now, and web-cams. They're designed to put your image on the 'net while you're chatting online are also popular and inexpensive.   But remember, shop around, compare, then buy.... There can be as much as 50-100-200 dollars difference in price for the same equipment depending on where you buy.  If you buy online, you may not always find it easy to get service or repairs...if you buy locally, at least you know there's someone you can complain to, and talk to in person. You can find very impressive systems with all the bells and whistles, a monitor and  a printer for less than a-thousand dollars, now.