How We Select a Seller/Vendor
Because I share my opinions about a seller/vendor being "preferred" or not, I want to explain the criteria used to arrive at that conclusion. Keep in mind that this information is entirely my opinion and I share it just so you understand my perspective.
When I consider buying a product I want to be able to fully understand what the product does and how to use/configure it.
The way I see it there are two primary methods of getting this information; directly from the vendor/seller, or from other users of the product (a.k.a., User Forums). The table below shows the resources that I think should be available for supporting a product and an indication of whether I think it's provided by the method.
Now I'm going to make a series of statements about these methods that reflect my opinion. If your preferred style is different from mine then you are entirely welcome to choose the method that works best for you.
Documentation and/or videos produced by the designer/manufacturer of a product are more reliable as a primary source of information.
Documentation and/or videos produced by users of a product are the opinion of the producer and should only be used as a secondary source of information.
A statement of what a product is designed to do is more reliable than the opinions of people who may or may not have actually used the product.
In this section I'm talking about how you interact with a seller after you've bought their product. It may be that it doesn't work, it doesn't work as expected, or maybe you just have a question about how to use it. I've seen two methods of receiving post purchase support; the ability to log an incident/ticket, and the use of a "Contact Us" function to send a message.
I've had good and bad experience with both methods, but I much prefer the ability to create an incident/ticket and, in most cases, be able to see the status of my inquiry.
The Bottom Line
If I call a vendor/seller "preferred" on this site then you can assume that they have met my expectations as a provide of the information described above. When I decide whether to do business with a seller I rely on opinions of other people. When I decide to do repeat business with a seller I rely on my experience with them.
There are cases where only one vendor sells a product, in that case I may do business with them but unless they earn a "preferred" rating I will not identify them as such.