Nice list Shamgar!
Thanks. It could be better, but it will have to do for now.
These days, I never buy anything unless the retailer has it in stock. If it needs to be ordered in, you never know when (or even if!) it will arrive. I have only made one order with MiniBox, a couple of years ago. It took months (and several emails - couldn't get through on the phone) to arrive. Never again.
Waiting months for something is pretty pathetic. Especially when you get two thirds of the parts you ordered and you can't build the rest of the system without the other parts. Seems to be a common problem though. That reminds me of a situation I had several years ago with a vendor in Perth, but I don't want to go into that as it stirs up too many painful memories. Getting burnt by these vultures is not something I want to experience or remember again.
I'm in Perth too.
Welcome to the dullest capital city in the entire world! A good thing too, honestly. I mean, do you really want to live in a crowded, 24 hour city with a 5 million plus population and air pollution thick enough you can't see through it? I like Perth the way it is, actually, the way it was a few years ago. If it's boring, so be it.
For what it's worth, I tend to use one of two computer stores these days. Golden rule with these stores is only order if it is in stock:
Sound advice. Something I have to always remember. However, only Netplus is upfront with their stock levels. The rest either don't indicate, are vague or make shallow promises. I'm sure you know which ones are which as there's only a handful of stores here.
MSY: Stock Antec cases and various quiet PSUs. Usually have the best prices in W.A. (or even in Australia).
Some of their prices are unbelievably low. The other stores must be so jealous and wonder, "How?" They are not for the inexperienced. If you don't know what you're after, don't bother, I'd say. Their stores have nothing on display; it's all behind the counter. You ask, they look, they find, you nod, you buy, you get, you leave. Welcome to the world of MSY! For the enthusiast, this system works well, but for the average joe who normally shops at HN's, it might be a bit of a shock to the system. BTW, I've heard some conspiracy theories about MSY, some pretty far fetched it seems.
Terrible website, but google for "MSY but readable" -
Thanks for the tip. I'll have a look at it some time.
However, there are times when they don't answer the phone (presumably too busy) and that's the only way to check whether they have something in stock.
I've emailed the Balcatta store a number of times just to "test them out". It's a good strategy to employ, to see how interested a vendor is in your business. They always replied promptly (same day!), to the point and told me what I needed to know. However, it's best to call up beforehand on the day that you want to drop in and pick up an item. I've only been there once so far to pick up a set of speakers.
NetPlus: Good prices, great website (shows stock levels). Stock some quiet gear. System builder tool on website. I use them for PCs I buy for my office. Customer service is good, but they try to get you off the phone or out of the store quickly (not that they are rude, just always very busy). Best if you know exactly what you want before you call or go there.
NP aren't known for friendly customer service. They are efficient and no nonsense. But they are quite reliable and usually will not lead you up the garden path. NP is probably the one still to beat (although MSY are going to give them a run for their money in coming years, assuming they keep a presence in Perth).
I used to buy from Austin, but got burnt once, and have heard a lot of horror stories.
Familiar story. You are not alone. I haven't actually been "burnt" yet by them; they were actually quite helpful with getting me some parts when no one else had them in stock, or if they did, the price was too high. The problem I do have though is that some of those parts I bought from them aren't working as they should. I have already contacted them and the manufacturer about that. So we'll see how it goes. In future however, I will avoid buying from them for the sake of saving myself some potential grief.
PLE is also a good store, depending on whether they have stock of what you're after. I went in there recently and wasn't impressed to be honest. (Over the last couple of years, I've bought quite a few parts from them.) Hardly anything on display anymore (used to have lots of Antec cases for comparison), prices are a bit rich in places, and their checkout style service counters could be more efficiently run. When I had to return something to them under warranty, they were very helpful and their tech guys were friendly and easy going about the whole process. I would recommend them if they can guarantee they have stock. They usually can pricematch other stores--within their discretion. If the price is too low, they won't pricematch. You can't hate them for that though. They have to at least make some money on some things.