Overstock.com: Low prices go lower if you work the deals
Sep 4, 2003 (Updated Oct 6, 2004)
|Ease of Ordering:
UPDATE ON OCTOBER 20, 2003
Since writing my first review, I have received several items from Overstock.com that are complete rip-offs. The first was a spaceheater that didn't work coming out of the box (details at http://www.epinions.com/content_115701223044). In the same order, I got a pair of ski pants that were supposed to be a women's size. They either must be men's or longs because they could fit someone a foot taller than me. In the same order I also got a videotape that does not work in either of my vcrs. I can only assume overstock is selling broken and mislabeled merchandise. I have to change my rating from four stars to one star.
Overstock.com is a liquidator site which means they sell a variety of merchandise and brands at low prices. It also means the amount of any particular item varies and some items sell out very fast.
The merchandise selection is really broad and includes apparel, home goods, furniture, outdoor items, electronics, videos, books, music and just about anything else you can think of. Within these categories, selection varies considerably. There is usually a good selection of movies, book and music. Apparel had a good selection occasionally. The toy selection is usually thin. You have to keep going back to see what there is. True bargain hunters will want to get the Overstock.com emails which update shoppers on new items the site has just received.
The only category on the site I don't really consider buying from is electronics. It seems most of the electronics the site offers are reconditioned products. I am not entirely sure what this means but I feel more comfortable buying something new so I can be sure the warranty is in effect. Also, the reconditioned products seem to be priced just below brand new products so you don't really save much buying reconditioned products. Perhaps if the discount was greater, I would consider the purchase.
THE WEB SITE AND EASE OF SHOPPING
Shopping is easy and intuitive. The site has a pretty good format that allows you to keep narrowing your search until you find what you are looking for. The pictures of items are clear and there are often multiple pictures of items so you can see the details of what you are purchasing. The item descriptions are helpful and provide good detail. There are consumer reviews of items, however they are usually complimentary and not very thorough so I don't place a lot of value on them.
The only hassle I have found on the site is that you can't back up easily. I was browsing children's books and was on page 22 of 40. After I selected a book to purchase, I could not go back to page 22 but had to start at page 1 again.
The prices on this site can be really good. I saw the Legally Blonde VHS tape for under $7 and some kids VHS tapes for under $2.
Book prices are discounted but be careful: a lot of the steep discounts are for hardcovers after the paperback has become available at an even lower price.
Electronics are discounted but many of the items with good prices are factory reconditioned and not brand new.
Overstock.com can have good deals on handbags and clothes. I bought a fashionable purse at Bluefly.com and subsequently saw it $4 cheaper at Overstock.com. Next time, I will try Overstock.com first, although it is not the first place I would consider for fashion.
STEALS AND DEALS
Overstock.com gives out a lot of coupons. If you sign up at the site, they will send you some discounts by email. The only downside is that Overstock.com sends out many emails to members. I get at least one a week.
To find additional coupon codes, go to any search engine and type in the name of the site plus the word "coupon." This will find many of the sites that provide coupon codes for overstock.com. Collect a bunch of coupon codes because not all of them will work.
Overstock.com offers a lot of shipping deals. Right now they are offering shipping for a flat $2.95 fee. Occasionally, they offer free shipping.
Overstock.com also participates with the Upromise.com web site. If you shop at Overstock.com through a Upromise.com link, Overstock.com will give you back a small percentage of your purchase price.
You can combine the Upromise rebate, coupon codes and low cost shipping deals to save quite a bit of money on this site.
I got an email acknowledging my order. The email indicated the items I ordered but did not provide a price. I like it better when the price is included in confirmation emails because I know that my credit card will get the correct charge. I also got an email that my items shipped, but again there was no total charge.
Ground shipping is a flat $2.95 charge, however this deal changes occasionally. Sometimes the site offers free shipping.
The length of time that it takes for you to receive your package partly depends on how long it takes for the items to leave the warehouse. I ordered my items on a Thursday and got notice on the following Saturday that my items had shipped.
The first box, with some of my items, arrived the following Tuesday (5 days after I placed my order). There was no explanation in the box of how to make a return. There was also no mention of my other items. The second box arrived two days later (7 days after placing my order).
Clothes were shipped in plastic bags inside a well-secured box. Videotapes were wrapped in crumpled white paper insided a well-secured box. I thought everything was well-cushioned and packed appropriately.
Overstock.com does not accept any returns for media including books, videos and DVDs. Other returns are at a customer's expense.
Based on the number of broken or mislabled pieces I have gotten through this site, I can't recommend it.
DO YOU LIKE TO SHOP ON THE INTERNET? HERE ARE SOME MORE REVIEWS OF WEB STORES:
Clothing and Accessories: Talbots; The Gap; CWD Kids; Hanna Andersson; J. Jill; Tote Le Monde ; Blu Pyxie ; Miniboden; One Hanes Place; Nordstrom; Gymboree; Simple Shoes; Sierra Blue.
Clothing and Home Goods: Lands End; Bluefly; Soft Surroundings; Garnet Hill; Sundance; L.L. Bean.
Home and Garden: Smith & Noble; Restoration Hardware; Gardeners Supply Company; Unicahome; Homeclick; FaucetDirect; Gardens Alive; West Elm; Crate & Barrel; MyKnobs.
Books and Magazines: Amazon.com; ValueMags; Magazine Values; Dover Publications.
Office Supplies, Furniture and Services: Staples; Officemax; Topdeq; Efax.
Electronics: HP Shopping; Buy.com.
Travel: Amtrak; Hotwire; Orbitz; Hotels.com.
Photo Developing: Shutterfly; Snapfish.
Baby Stuff: Babystyle; Babys Here Birth Announcements; Baby Universe.
Miscellaneous: 1-800 contacts; Movie Tickets.com; Drugstore.com.
Rebate Sites: Upromise; Ebates.
What product did you purchase or try to purchase? videos, books, space heater
Read all comments (12)