Thursday, January 8, 2009

Some points to remember when shopping at Amazon is a great site (See my review). I buy things on Amazon all the time, as they tend to have great prices and great customer service. It also helps that I have Amazon Prime, so I get my orders within two days.

That being said, I want to point out a few things to remember when shopping on Amazon:
  1. The list price doesn't necessarily mean anything. It is often inflated. For instance, check out this role of tape with a list price of $508.14, down to $12.88...
    When you're buying something, you should know the regular price yourself, and don't rely on their list price for that.

  2. Their prices are usually, but not always, the best. If you want things simple, and want to shop only at one place, use Amazon. Overall, you'll be spending less than at any one other place. But, if you want to be sure always to get the cheapest price, then look at prices on other sites, as Amazon is not always the cheapest. Also, other sites sometimes have sales, which might, and I stress might, be cheaper than Amazon.

  3. Amazon's prices often change. If you are not rushing to buy an item, and you heard that it sells for less than Amazon's current price, add it to your Wishlist and Check back a few days later to see the price. The flip-side of this is that the price might go up in the meantime...

  4. Amazon has third-parties selling through their site. Therefore, note the following:

    • When Amazon has the item in stock, and they are the cheapest, you will usually be automatically getting the item direct from Amazon. It will say "Ships from and sold by". However, if Amazon does not have the item in stock, or in the rare case that Amazon is not the cheapest, then the item will by default, be sold by a different seller. This is when you have to be careful as sometimes these stores sell things for quite a bit more than regular, sometimes even triple the price! For instance, the Canon SD850, which is listed for $649.99, while the price should be around $200.
      Another thing to look out for is, if Amazon has the item, but it isn't available for shipping today, then once again, by default, you might not be buying it from Amazon, unless you click 'more buying options'.
      Bottom line, always check who is selling the item and for how much.

    • When purchasing from a third-party, you won't have the same customer service as when you buy direct from Amazon, like free return shipping.

    • If you live in a place where Amazon charges tax, like NY, you might benefit from buying from a third-party seller, as you might not have to pay tax.

    • Aside from third-party stores, Amazon also allows regular people to sell on Amazon, like Ebay. When you click the 'used and new' link, it will show you all the people selling the item. It may come out much cheaper, but make sure to check out the merchant's ratings.

    • One last thing about third-party sales, is that you will not get free shipping, even if you have Amazon Prime.
Related article: Amazon Review


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