Dell Will Sell Computers At Best Buy

Dell is going to start selling laptop and desktop computers at 900 Best Buy locations in the U.S. says the WSJ. Dell has already started hocking their wares at Walmart, and has deals with “Staples Inc., France’s Carrefour SA and Gome, China’s largest electronics retailer.”

The WSJ says that Dell gets only 15% of its business from direct-to-consumer sales, and has lost its position as the top PC-maker to HP.

It’s often said that Dell loses consumer business because people want to handle a laptop before they buy it. What do you think?

Dell Adds Best Buy To Its Retail Push [WSJ]
(Photo:fallenposters)

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  1. Coder4Life says:

    They might ruin their some what reputable customer service with this.

    Also, how does best buy plan to sell these things, I swear everytime I am in there all their employees are like “DELL’S SUX”, “THEY ARE BUILT W/ CHEAP PARTS”.

    I’d love to go in there once they have them and then ask them those same questions and see what they answer. haha.

  2. savvy999 says:

    Dell Direct… straight to you, through a middleman!

    and non-customizable too.

    What the hell happened to Dell?

  3. this is a big victory for BBY. back in the day, when Customer Centricity rolled out, BBY claimed that their 2 biggest competitors were Wal-Mart and Dell. One down, one to go.

  4. sleze69 says:

    Dell is moving backwards with this move. Why try to be more like HP with their crappy computers? Why not try to be more like the Dell of old with solid computers and solid customer service?

  5. startertan says:

    @whiplashchick:

    Oh yeah I remember those days…Barry and Jill and all that crap.

    W – Walmark
    A – Amazon
    D – Dell
    E – eBay

  6. Celticlady says:

    Has it occurred to Anyone at WSJ that Dell lost market share at the same time it lost any semblence of customer service. I hate calling Dell. Having someone repeat what they ‘think’ I said 6 times, apologize and still not get it right made Dell what it is today.

    Dell at Best Buy. Can you just imagine the Geek Squad combined with Dell’s horrific outsource Customoer Dis-service?

    YIKES!!

  7. majortom1981 says:

    As long as xps support and business support stay the way they are I wont mind.

    I have an inspiron and I used online chat to get a replacement for my dead on arrival 1520 and it was much better then calling.

  8. spinachdip says:

    @Celticlady: What would I do if I ran Dell? I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.

    Really, that’s what happens when you try to market price over everything else and compete with the super budget computer makers. Sure, you’ll get a short term bump in sales, but you alienate the old customers who liked you for your products and services, and the new customers are just looking at the price tag and don’t care about any value-addeds.

  9. socalrob of the 24 and a half century says:

    I used to work as a Dell Technician. I can say that their products, Desktop wise, are crap.

    They use propriatary parts for the mobo and power supply. So if the PSU goes out, most likely you will have to call and pay a nice chunk of cash for a new one if your PC is out of warrenty.

    The only thing I would buy from dell are their higher end laptops (read anything over $1000). In college I suggested a classmate get a $300 low end dell laptop just to type. It was just what she needed and she liked it, except for the fact that after being on for 45 minutes the screen looks like someone took their thumb and just bruised the heck out of it for about 5 inches. And it was a brand new laptop to boot.

    Moral of the story: If you know a PC geek have them build you a desktop. It may be a couple hundred more expensive but its worth it. If you buy a laptop, I’ve never gone wrong with lower end HP’s but higher end Dells are good too. Or just buy a iMac.

  10. nutrigm says:

    I’m sour on Dell since I got ripped off with my 5160 laptop 4 years ago. Their laptops are only designed to last for so long which is really stupid. Even today the specs I ordered then (P4 3.2Ghz, 150GB hd, 750GB RAM) is perfectly relevant and yet I have a laptop that I’m afraid to spend any more money on repairing coz there’s almost no one who says they’ve been able to fix theirs!

  11. nutrigm says:

    er’.. make that 750 MB RAM :P

  12. Neurotic1 says:

    This just contradicts what Dell’s been all about since it was founded. What happened to ‘just in time,’ customer customization, direct sales? Dell use to be the inovator in the industry and now they seem to be just copying what HP is doing.

  13. OrangeAlert says:

    @socalrob: in all fairness to dell, i got a toshiba satellite laptop recently and it died within a month. i then had to wait six weeks (longer than i owned it before the motherboard died) to get it back. i had a dell desktop for 3 1/2 years and never once had an issue. well, i had one that was a third party’s fault; when i got a bunk memory stick that fried my motherboard, they sent a guy with a new one the day after i called. i gave it to my sister and to this day, it runs smoother than the toshiba laptop that has more memory and dual core intels.

  14. Floobtronics says:

    I used to tell those who were utterly bent on buying a PC to get a Dell. Those days are long gone though. Crappy parts, ugly designs, tech support from Bangalore, etc. All these things add up to “dude, you’re getting a Dell? sorry. next time ask me first..”

    These days, I recommend people go with a MacBook or MacBook Pro first. If they’re the die-hard, never-want-to-touch-a-mac type, I still recommend it, along with a recommendation to use BootCamp to run their beloved Windows natively on very high-quality Intel-based hardware. If they’re still bent on a “classic” PC, I send them off to get a ThinkPad. Even though Lenovo makes them these days, they’re still built like tanks, and priced very competitively to Dull, err.. Dell.â™ 

  15. Leiterfluid says:

    For those of you too young to remember, Best Buy sold Dell computers in the early ’90s. In ’94 or ’95 (while I was working at Best Buy), Dell pulled out of the brick-and-mortar market to focus on direct-to-consumer sales.

    Everything old is new again.

  16. BugMeNot2 says:

    Ha, that picture is up here in Arlington VA. Taken from I believe the Courthouse Metro stop. Hilarious. And hell, when can i build my own laptop like my desktop!

  17. ninjatales says:

    Cmon Meg. It’s “hawking” instead of “hocking” seriously.

  18. justelise says:

    @OrangeAlert: You’re about the only person I know who’s had that serious a problem with a Toshiba laptop. I have had two, dropped both on wood floors and low pile carpets multiple times, and never had to service them. That begs the question that it may have shipped flawed or you did a number on it.

    I have also worked in tech support and seen more Dell laptops either ship DOA or die in less than 6 months than products from any of their competitors. Cheap parts combined with poor design and crappy customer service on all levels is what has driven Dell to this point. I don’t think the inability to touch the device before making the purchase has much effect. If it did, Dell never would’ve made it to the top of the heap in the first place.

  19. FLConsumer says:

    Dell’s cheapening of their brand really needs to stop. They need to learn that there is still a market out there for quality products, despite what they might think. Ditch the consumer-grade labels (Dimension, Inspiron) and just sell the enterprise-grade systems. The Dell Optiplex desktop series are rather rugged, with the exception of a bad run of capacitors a few years back. I still have quite a few clients running 5+ year old Dell Optiplex systems that keep chugging along. Great find on eBay too, usually $30-50 for all you’d ever need for an office computer.

    Dell’s Latitude laptops also are quite tank-like and the parts are very interchangable. I still think Lenovo’s Thinkpad is a bit more rugged, but I still have a 4 year old Dell Latitude as my laptop, no issues other than having to replace the LiION battery due to age.

  20. FLConsumer says:

    @justelise: I have a pile of dead Toshiba laptops here, from “vintage” to less than 3 months old from various clients. All but one I’d mark up to poor design/cheap materials. The One exception was someone spilling water into it. If it had been a Lenovo 6x series laptop, this wouldn’t have been a problem with their sealed keyboards & liquid drain channels.

  21. theblackdog says:

    Eh, my HP Pavilion has been running for over 5 years without an issue. I love it :-D

  22. IndyJaws says:

    @Leiterfluid: Don’t forget that they used to sell at Sam’s Club around the same timeframe. That experiment didn’t work out too well…I have a feeling this will be the same.

  23. rickhamilton620 says:

    I agree on the Latitudes- I’m typing on one now and it’s rock solid, and good looking to boot.

  24. MrEvil says:

    I <3 my Latitude D820. Best Laptop I’ve owned. A large improvement over my Inspiron 8200 that I used to have. I think it’s built better than a Thinkpad T series (which I also happen to do warranty work on).

    I reckon the sticking point between Dell and Best Buy was who handles warranty service and support. Dell is pretty picky about who works on their systems. Bad experiences aside I think Dell does a better job of customer service directly than Best Buy does. I wonder how long Dell will put up with Geek Squad’s incompetence before pulling the plug.

  25. reasonsnotrules says:

    This is obviously a big win for both companies, Dell wants more marketshare, and Best Buy wants to sell more computers. Adding this to their assortment is good for all. Loyal Dell consumers can touch and feel a computer before they buy which you couldn’t do before.

  26. spinachdip says:

    @reasonsnotrules: I’m thinking this is a bigger win for Best Buy. For them, the benefit is obvious – they get a recognized brand that most other retailers don’t carry.

    For Dell, an increased footprint is nice, but I wonder if it doesn’t come at a cost, not necessarily the Best Buy agreement, but their retail strategy in general.

    Their probablem really isn’t availability, but the diminished brand equity. To get into big box stores, you have to play their price games, and that means you either sacrifice quality or profit margins. Neither is a good strategy for a reputable computer maker. Plus, you’re releasing your products to an environment when you don’t control stuff like display, promotions, customer service, etc.

    Dell doesn’t know whether it wants to be a quality or budget computer maker (and it doesn’t help that there’s such a gap between their enterprise and consumer lines, but they’re sold under the same brand). It’s leaning towards the latter, and that’s not likely to help their fortunes.

  27. anmlStyl says:

    I’m modestly impressed with the layout of Dell’s laptop and desktop in the Staples stores (had seen them the week they premiered, happened to be in the store for supplies) and the care that Staples is taking showcasing it, on the endcap with clear signage and functionality (no running sample demo and wasn’t locked down with a screensaver). I’m not sure how Dell will stick out at BBY, what with the competition for attention from other companies, based on how and where Dell would be displayed.