Back to School Tips from Dell

It’s that time of year again! Time to start thinking about empowering students with the tools they need to be successful this school year. As a former Sales Resolution Specialist, I’ve spoken to several customers whose Back to School experience could have benefited from a few strategic steps. Here are some tips:

Order Early!

Beat the rush and ensure your graduate gifts or Back to School supplies arrive in time. It’s no surprise that mobility is essential for many students. That’s who we designed the new Inspiron R line of notebooks for. Dell also has a number of other products that can fill your Back to School needs, wants and wishes. Also, be sure to check out the Dell University site for deals and contests.

Keep in mind that Dell offers both customized computer systems and pre-configured systems. If you want some specific upgrades and you’re considering a custom system, be sure to allow adequate build time 3-4 weeks during the back to school season (July/August). Please note that hold times for phone or chat sales may be longer than usual. This is Dell’s second busiest time of the year.

Want it Fast?

Order Fast Track packages that are already pre-configured to fit your needs or visit one of our third party retailers, such as Sam’s, Wal-Mart or Best Buy.

Trying to Keep it a Surprise?

Many of our customers like to surprise their students with a Dell system and matching accessories. Here are some tips on working with Dell to maintain the element of surprise and avoid spoiling surprises like graduate/college gifts.

  • Use your office/friend/neighbor’s address as your “Ship To” address.
  • Use your personal cell or office phone number and email instead of your home/personal contact information.
  • Request that your “Ship To” address not be added to any mailing lists.

Student Needs to Consider

  • Consider the increased opportunity for thefts, accidents and software disasters at school. Protect your investment by purchasing Accidental Damage coverage, LoJack Anti-theft Software, Solution Station Phone Support & computer locks.
  • Research dorm and school network requirements. Will your student need a router, printer, or network cables?
  • Is your student sharing a small dorm room with only one desk? Purchase a laptop cooling pad, so your student can work anywhere without fear of overheating. Purchase a headset to help your student maintain a level of privacy in their tiny dorm room.
  • Check course requirements. Will your student need specific versions of software (i.e. Microsoft Office)?
  • Check campus/facilities. Will your student travel long distances on foot and require a lighter system? Will your student have wireless networks available on campus and what wireless card will he/she need? This information can often be found on school web sites or in orientation guides.
  • Consider entertainment usage. Do your student’s favorite games, portable MP3 devices, or movies require specific software or hardware? (i.e. specific Video Card, DVD, Blu-ray, webcam, extra memory or storage space)
  • Purchase laptop accessories like protective sleeves, roomy, stylish & rugged backpacks, external data storage and headsets.
  • Make sure your student has a disaster recovery plan by purchasing external data storage drives, memory keys or a data backup system, such as Dell DataSafe Online.
  • Is it time to upgrade that phone or does your student need better Internet access than what their school has to offer? Dell offers a variety of mobile devices, broadband cards and accessories.

Making Sure We Get Your Order Right

Always request an e-mail copy of the final system quote prior to purchase to ensure the specs and prices are exactly as you understood them during the sales conversation. Because of the busy season, you may even want to request this during the initial sales contact to avoid callbacks. This will help identify necessary changes/corrections that you might wish to make prior to the order being placed. Sales promotions are subject to change and Dell cannot guarantee availability, so keep this in mind if you need more time to consider your purchase.

Be sure to check your Order Confirmation e-mail right away to ensure that all of the components you requested are included and accurate. Once you receive your product, be sure to examine it immediately and contact Dell within the 21 day return period if there are any concerns.

Have Questions?

Our Home and Home Office sales team is available by phone at 1-800-999-3355, Monday through Sunday, 8am – 9pm CST. Or you can chat with our sales team online 24/7. Be sure to also check out the “What Do I Buy?” section on the Dell Community site.

About the Author: Amy Bivin