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A Hands on Look Before You Buy... Gateway

Techstination feature for Monday, May 31, 1999

A hands on look before you buy. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a report on computers and technology. Most of us wouldn't think of buying a car without taking a test drive. You should try to do the same when buying a PC. Most big stores that sell computers have models on display, but not many let you sit down and use one before you make your purchase. If you're one of the millions of people, especially first time buyers, who don't speak computerese.... 8 gigs, 64 megs and 56 megahertz.... it can really be confusing. Gateway Computer built its business on buy direct telephone sales followed by selling over the web. But now it is putting more and more emphasis on what it calls Gateway Country stores. CEO Ted Waitt says the idea is to let consumers come in, sit down, see the different models, use them, and ask questions...

"It's really added to our growth. For people to be able to come in, see a machine, but it's not just like to able to test and drive the product, it's also to be able to interact with a sales person who is very well trained in technology to make it easier for people."

And even if you buy, you don't walk out with a box. The computers are built to order. Sounds strange, but it works...

"That consumer understands that...hey, they're not trying to sell me something that they've already got built, this person is trying to really design the product that works best for me."

Another plus, most of the stores provide on-site service. You can find more information at