Retail vs. OEM

Difference Between Retail and OEM OEM is the abbreviated form for the original equipment manufacturer and is heard…

Difference Between Retail and OEM

OEM is the abbreviated form for the original equipment manufacturer and is heard most often in computer components and software. When searching for a certain part for your computer and you are in the market, you often find by chance a few products labeled as OEM in the display of the retailer. These are very similar to retail versions of the same product. Yet there are differences on which we discuss in this article to clarify the characteristics of OEM and retail.

You must have known the OEM version of a product is priced much less than the retail part of the computer although it is manufactured by the same company. For those who are tight on the budget, it is a good way to save on money. Yet there are some compromises with the OEM you may have to make. The differences begin with the packaging itself and you will notice that it does not come packaged in an attractive box and there may not be instructions or manual and not even a warrantee. Yet for those who buy such parts regularly hardly bother about a manual or packaging and they are happy with the money that they save. Often there is a huge difference in the price. Especially in case of CPUs, you can expect to get about 25% difference if you go with OEM CPUs.

You will note that compared long-term guarantees you will get just a 15-day warranty on the OEM product, and even protect you from buying a dead on arrival. However, there is no much of a difference in the performance and characteristics of OEM and retail products and there is no need to worry on that matter. Coming from the same manufacturer, you can count on the quality of the product and in general, both OEM & retailing products provide the same quality in performance.


Basically, it is a matter of the preferences of the buyer. There are some who want to long term guarantee while others may care less about a guarantee. If you are fine with a short or no warranty period, instruction manual and good packaging then you may go for OEM products as there is not much difference in quality between OEM and retail.


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