ORCHARD PARK N.Y. (WIVB) – Many large retailers are expected to face a shortage of laptops and computer devices as more students learn remotely. Getting access to these crucial back-to-school supplies are not the only problems parents could face.
The owners at the Pre-Owned Pros Shop say they’re not only getting a lot of parents stopping in needing to buy laptops and other tech equipment, but they’re also getting a lot of parents who need help using that equipment.
“What they’ve been doing is asking for our support. What’s the best way to get this set up, whether they own their own devices, need them upgraded or repaired or whether we’re selling something,” said co-owner Jeff Siepierski. “How can this work at home, you know what can you help us do. So we’ve seen that especially in the last 4 weeks.”
With more students learning from home, sales manager Chris Krueger says parents are concerned they’ll have too many people using the same WIFI at once.
“The drain that running multiple laptops at a time can have on your home network and some slow downs,” Krueger said. “People having to do remote sessions all at the same time can definitely really effect your networks.”
The business recommends setting up network extenders, or setting up multiple routers on the same network.
“Having two teenage gamers in my house, you know my wife and I know first hand how difficult a network can be,” Siepierski said. “So somethings you can do is buy additional routers, separate networks so one child can be on one network or a user or worker at home you know mother or father working at home and kids on the other, that’s probably ideal. Making sure your router is newer or up to date.”
If parents need to buy new laptops or equipment, they could run into issues. Although Pre-owned Pros has items in stock, across the country retailers are facing shortages and delays. Siepierski says they’re not surprised by that.
“I think technology has always been important for casual users, now more casual users are becoming necessary users so in this business I think you’ll see that for the rest of this year,” he said.
Sarah Minkewicz is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.