This article is from the Macintosh for sale FAQ, by Elliotte Rusty Harold firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
I include Value Added Resellers (VAR's for short) only for the
sake of completeness. These dealers custom configure Macintoshes
for specific purposes and sell them at a premium price. Generally
they are uninterested in single CPU, retail sales. Very few will
even attempt to match rock bottom prices. However they are about
the only part of the dealer channel that provides significant
after-sale support to their customers.