Wanting a big-ticket, major-brand item usually meant either you hoped the local store had it in stock, you took a major (one-day) road trip to Las Cruces or El Paso, or you ordered it through the catalogs & hoped for the Postal Service to do their thing. Thus, I grew up accepting a slightly less-distinguished brand name to support hometown merchants. More often than not, these merchants knew to do right by you, lest you take your business to the catalog outlet or drive to the big city. And you noticed local merchants would keep their business in town as much as possible.
I've shamelessly plugged stores who have done right by me. I've also shunted friends to alternatives when the stores haven't done right by them. When I've recommended another store it's come with a certain degree of loss to my reputation, because I like to think I know the best place to purchase stuff.
Fortunately for me, and a few of my friends, when the local "mom & pop" decides to not do right we have the internet to back us up. If you're willing to do a little bit of research or play around on a few web sites you can sometimes find what is the best deal...and go back to the recalcitrant "mom & pop" with some ammunition, to say, "I can get this for this much at such-and-such a place, so you better do right by me, damn it."
First of all...there's nothing like eBay. Talk about a place where capitalism is at its best...& its worst. You can find deals there...and you can get screwed there. But you also can find out what comparable items have been sold for in the past, as well as find out how reputable the seller is. If their rating numbers are low, tread carefully. If there's a reserve, odds are good you aren't going to get a good deal. I have several staple items on search, so I receive an e-mail almost daily of stuff for which I show an interest.
Amazon.com has a great search engine, where you can find electronics, books, music, computers, videos, & so on. They were pretty much the first one with "intelligent search" algorithms, which would recommend "stuff" to you based on your interests. A kinder, gentler form of "suggestive selling."