These days, we definitely live in interesting times. Much of the world is completely shut down in an attempt to keep COVID-19 under control. Some people have lost their jobs, some have been furloughed, while others have shifted to working from home. No matter the scenario, many people still need to purchase things, including electronics. For some of us, it's about reworking our offices to allow us to more easily work from home. For others, it's about enhancing their downtime. For all of us, picking the right retailer is important.
All of the online and brick and mortar retailers have changed their policies in the wake of the shutdown. Some companies are no longer shipping regular products, some are not shipping at all, while others are working hard to fulfill orders. Before you try to make a purchase online, make sure that you know the current policies of the store.
For example, Amazon has changed its shipping policies, moving its priority to essential products. So, if you are trying to buy something that is more of a luxury item, it could take a while to receive. For example, Avram purchased over a dozen different Raspberry Pi cases and has only received one so far. For other maker components, a popular store is Adafruit. The company has converted all of its manufacturing to personal protective equipment (PPE), so it is unlikely that you will receive a product in the near future.
On the other hand, stores like Newegg and B&H Photo have committed to trying to keep business running as usual. That means that if you are looking for a computer, audio video, or photography component, these should be your go-to retailers right now. The key is to check with the company's shipping policies, and verify that you are buying directly from the store and not through a third party.
Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLuGHiTz Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the DDR community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bar Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and judging engineering notebooks at competitions. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors.
Avram's been in love with PCs since he played original Castle Wolfenstein on an Apple II+. Before joining Tom's Hardware, for 10 years, he served as Online Editorial Director for sister sites Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag, where he programmed the CMS and many of the benchmarks. When he's not editing, writing or stumbling around trade show halls, you'll find him building Arduino robots with his son and watching every single superhero show on the CW.