Well the Christmas season is upon us yet again. Wow! It seems like yesterday that we were taking the tree down from last year. Anyway, that means it is time to start shopping around for those gifts that make your loved ones smile brightly.

Surprisingly, computers have become a very popular gift for the holidays. At one time, it was quite cost inhibitive (unless you owned a money tree!), but now the costs have come down into the gift giving price range.

Now we can shop for computers in two ways: in store or online.
Here are the pros/cons of both:

Pros - in store shopping

By going into the store, you can get your hands on the merchandise and test it out for yourself. You can also get help from a fully trained advisor who is trained in the particulars of the section they are working in.

You may even find a closeout sale and get a really smashing deal on that computer you are looking for. Sometimes, there are in-store specials that may include printers, software or other goodies designed to entice you into spending your money in their store.

Cons - in store shopping

If you don't like being pressured while you shop, going into the store may not be the brightest idea. Sales assistants can be quite forceful at times, can't they? Hanging around bothering you and trying to get their bit of commission.

Then there are the crowds, nobody likes struggling through hundreds of people to get their shopping done. The Christmas season brings out the best in some folks, but it also brings out the worst in others. It's the latter that makes it a bit of a chore to tolerate.

Pros - Online shopping

Alright, now we get to the good stuff. You can look at whatever you want to look at without the sales personnel hanging over your shoulder. Compare different models of computers side by side and read reviews written by users that already have one. What better way to know if a product is good than to hear from someone who owns one?

Some online retailers run Internet only specials that you can only get online. This rivals the in store sales and really makes the shopping experience a pleasant one.

There aren't any crowds to deal with and, here's a really great benefit, you may be able to reserve that hot new item before it arrives in stores. You can get a jump on the rest of the shopping world!

The best thing about shopping online? You can do it in the comfort of your own home.

Cons - online shopping

What are the bad points about online shopping? Well, there's the fear of identity theft and security, but now a day's all the accredited shopping sites have secure transaction pages.

You may not be able to find the item you want online, so the store is necessary.

As you can see there are many positives and negatives for shopping in store and online, but the deciding factor definitely comes down to personal preference.