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Gateway marketing scores 100%

  • Computer Shops
  • Marketing
  • Gateway
Last response: in Opinions and Experiences
November 12, 2000 7:13:19 AM

I always feel cheated by ads for custom made PCs like Gateway's "Country where people rule". When I go o their site I could never get to say "I want a 1.2GHz Athlon, Asus A7V, 256MB PC133 Crucial, Samsung 75DF, Microsoft natural keyboard etc". All I could do to their system building engine is fooling around drop down boxes of 20GB ultra ata etc and that's all. They never mention brands. Is this a violation of some sort of law?

Morgan 1.6Ghz + 256DDR SDRAM = Dream on
However dreams are approacable :wink: <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by machow on 11/12/00 07:23 PM.</EM></FONT></P>

More about : gateway marketing scores 100

November 12, 2000 8:09:37 AM

I know what you mean. This is why its so hard buying a computer because the big guys have the buying power but don't give a [censored] about what you really want or need they just classify them into 3 B.S. groups i.e value, power and dream machine. But yeah go to some big online store or computer shop (Future shop, IBM etc. in Canada) and ask them what make their RAM is haha, the salesman has to start calling his district manager before you get an answer. Just know that knowledge is key so learn all you can about the product. I can't see how any laws are broken because as long as thier giving you 256 SDRAM it doesn't matter who makes it.
November 13, 2000 5:28:15 PM

You can always FAX em what you want.. I did.. some time ago. They will tell you what they can and can not supply.

Be and let others be as well!
The Dark-Knight
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November 13, 2000 6:34:08 PM

I have never and will never buy a system from a big vender or on-line store. If I can't drive to the store in 1/2 hour then its not worth it. Usually what I want is not what they have.
That's about the only thing I like about big cities, it just down the street or a few blocks away.

The small business is not without its problems but I would rather support a small store and pay a minor amount more then one of the big corparate chains.

Power to the people.
November 13, 2000 7:28:20 PM

I think I can explain the problem here. Major computer suppliers have to design each system they put out for sale. The have to choose the hardware that works together. Mother boards, harddrives, sound cards, video etc. Now they also need to get price competitive with their competiion. So they get special deals on the sound and video and motherboards etc, so they can sell at their best prices. If you went to the manufactures of those individual products and bought them it would cost you more, and you still wouldn't get the same part. More then likely yours would be better. The computer manufacturer gets the special Mass produced less expensive part. Then they have to test the pieces of their new sysem for compatibility under each "OS" that it will be sold under. Mind you this is still the beginning of the tests and the final configurations haven't been made yet. After they take all the hardware that they are testing and complete all the tests, I'd image their testing is quite a bit like tom's hardware, they have to optimize the systems for delivery with each "OS" utilizing the hardware that passes testing. Test some more to get the optimization down. Then develop and train their technicians and salemen on the new product. Then set up the website for the release day of the new product. This is why they are less flexible. Even with all the development and testing sometimes the systems come out with a flaw that was overlooked. I'm sure everyone can think of a story like that. Even though they did this with all the latest stuff they could get their hands on there are special customers that want more, Like us. The rest can buy their optimized systems from the major manufacturer, as form me? I like a fixer upper.
November 13, 2000 8:08:20 PM


Naw just saves them from buying the expensive stuff. I might have to spend more to buy my own parts but I know whats going into my machine.

Timothy Stankus
One of the First AMD Athlon Users =)
November 14, 2000 7:37:47 AM


Thank you for your comprehensive description of the reason for the problem. However, <i>why</i> they would not have such service is not much of my concern since <i>what</i> they are advertising is. They should not say "Gateway Country. Where People RULE" when you could not get the things you want (and afford). You have limited flexibility and it is not as good as it sounds. I know companies have to buy in bulks of the same thing to stay competitive but that doesn't mean it is an excuse to say it is 100% configurable (<- is there such word?) compared to home-built systems.

PS I like discussions like this.

Smart guys are not smart; they only see things in different perspective.
1st <b>ENTHUSIAST</b>!
November 21, 2000 10:23:34 PM

i have never seen a store bought system that had all optimal components in it.(and around it)
some no name special motherboard that they had a run manufactured just for them that has just enough slots for their design. a cheaper sound card,video card etc that don't even have markings on them so you can't tell what they are.
as a general rule you can build yourself the same computer but with all the good parts for the same price.
there is no profit margin left after that to make a small profit if you wanted to build a batch for your friends.
or someone where you work thats wanting you to build them a computer,then they would never pay more when all they know is that the computer is a pentium 800.
the salemen cannot tell you what's in it because the info is intentionally covered up inside the computer(sometimes just by being plastered over by a black plastic sticker that you can peel off) and the manufacturer does not provide that info to their salesmen.
comparative shopping is not encouraged because they are trying to make a profit. not help you undercut them.
on the other hand to be fair most of these e-machine specials while not scary powerful will mostly run ok and have some kinda support(important for a first time buyer)
systems from small shops are often the same thing but using off the shelf components that can be identified and some will even tell you what they are. the margin is smaller in this arena and will almost certainly have some cheapy components.
the people who build the real super systems are very expensive and don't advertise. word of mouth gets them all the business they can handle and they don't even want to meet the unknowing guy who's first words out of his mouth is what do you mean 2,500, i can get a pentium 800 for 1500 at best buy.
these persons have also done all the research but it's like: what is the absolute fastest video card among the gf2 ultras etc etc,among all the fastest components what is the absolute fastest combination for the intended purpose like say video editing,music editing,games. (synergy)
i know one such and i can't afford him,mainly because i build my own systems on the cheap. if i ever win the lotto. he's building my next system tho! :-)
November 23, 2000 4:58:52 AM

Other advantages to a small shop. I chat with the customer to see what his/her needs are. I usually deliver and setup the system. ALL of their software is already setup and checked, programs setup for business or whatever they need, Internet settings and accounts all in place so they just have to click on the little blue e thingy to be online. All of my advertising is by word of mouth. I cannot afford to use cheapie components due to the 'return' factor and I just hate em. I also am able to stay for an hour or so and show them around, if they haven't played puter before. I am a phone call away and can be there fairly quickly. No matter what, if it's a small business I am servicing, they won't be down more than an hour or two even if it means taking a complete spare system over and temping it in. When they call, I answer, not a phone system where you get bounced for a few hours. And I get to develop a good relationship with them (usually that's good) :-) I built their first system, second system, networked them, upgraded them, fixed them, blah blah but there isn't much guess work since I built all of em. BUT like I said, this is a small business, I probably don't have over a 100 customers but they all trust me and know I won't screw them. I also check in periodically with updates/patches/drivers if/when necessary.
I like this.

December 13, 2000 1:42:10 PM

Tech-heads do not like the big stores because of limitations (rephrase: extreme limitations) on customizations possible for computer systems. Techies know what they want and what the compontents are suppossed to do. The masses however, are relatively ignorant of computer technology and will most likely remain so. This great glob of IT-uneducated humanity is exactly who the superstores pander to. It is their niche in the market (not to mention a very successful one.) I find it amusing that because the performance of the products are substandard from a techies point of view, the stores receive bad reviews and dour remarks from a segment of the population that the stores do not even target. Many people do not even care to know what a sound card is or that thier HDD spins at an astounding 7200rpm. They are mostly after the biggest bang-for-the-buck (don't want a Yugo, cant afford a Mercedes; let's buy a Ford.)
December 13, 2000 9:59:29 PM

Yeah, I prefer buying a barebones setup and install what components I want with it. The price is about the same for computer systems when you start adding the monitor, printer, scanner, and software (we're all paying for that Microsoft license aren't we?).
December 18, 2000 5:30:03 PM

yes I tried to get my boss to allow me to build the CAD station we have here but he was determined that Gateway was the way to go. Well it turns out that the 2 new machines we got intermittently refuse to POST. I figured it was the 250Watt power supply seeing that the comps were 1.1GHz, w/512MB RAM, 64MB Geforce ultras, both w/CD burners, and IBM 7500RPM HD's. Don't laugh they actually thought 250W would do. We contacted them and they sent us everything else MB, CPU, RAM, and another P/S except that they were the same peice of crap that were in the machines in the first place. Get this, the first question they asked was what OS we were using!! I told them that it wasn't even POSTing and asked why they were asking. The chick thought it was a driver prob (not a BIOS issue, a Win2k driver issue)!! When we finally got it through their heads that it wasn't gonna stop till we get the new PS's they finally come back saying the 300W won't fit!? I told them to go [-peep-] themselves, that even if it voids the warranty their warranty wasn't much help, and I proceeded to put INWIN 300W's that indeed fit (I have no idea what they were thinking about) and we never had the problem again. Oh and for reference Gateway uses MSI motherboards.

This new forum sucks
December 19, 2000 9:57:58 PM

If you go to Gateway's web site and do a search for a BIOS upgrade, you'll be taken to their mbd page. CompUSA and MicrCenter combined don't carry as many mbd as Gateway has used. It's as another fella said here. Whatever they can get for the cheapest, that's what they'll use.
December 20, 2000 4:42:38 AM

I think, Gateway is done and through, unless work with new Kids on the block like High End PC cases manufacturer like HansanSystems,or others similar innovative OEM manufacturers.

It's all downhill form here man! Just able to see the picure right now.
December 25, 2000 6:40:01 PM

Heh, their technicians probably get paid at least 20 to 30 an hour. Their R and D engineers probably get much more. Could you imagine how many man hours it would take to support every new type of motherboard/cpu that came out? They probably stick to as few solutions per generation of products as possible. Otherwise their price of doing business would go through the roof.