If a custom-made computer and software are what you're looking for, consider value-added resellers such as Nate Chadwick, owner of Seagreen Technologies Inc. in Easton, Massachusetts. Chadwick, a software consultant, often finds that clients want him to put together a computer system to meet their needs.
"We can order a variety of brands of computer hardware and software, depending on clients' needs," Chadwick says. "We don't usually mark it up much. [Customers like the fact that] we're a one-stop solution for their computing needs."
Resellers' prices often beat those of retailers because resellers don't have to carry inventory; instead, Chadwick says, they use distributors that can fulfill orders on demand.
"When buying from resellers, always compare the extended warranties and service plans offered," Chadwick says. "All the companies have different offers."