Buy.com set a land speed record for order fulfillment!
Written: Sep 19, 2003 (Updated Dec 4, 2004)
|Ease of Ordering:
Since I am not a technie - I really hadn't found a reason to visit Buy.com. Then, after purchasing a digital camera, I found myself to be in need of a memory card. I knew little about memory cards, so I tried a few electronics sites. I was impressed with the excellent selection of electronics on Buy.com. Plus, the site was well-organized and easy to use.
Buy.com carried mostly electronics: dvds, mp3s, cds, and any any other electronic acronym you can think of, plus a good selection of movies. The site also carries books but the selection wasn't terribly broad and the prices weren't terribly low.
Buy.com has one of the best web sites that I have used. The web site loads quickly. It is easy to maneuver around and easy to find what you are looking for - even if you don't know exactly what you are looking for. There are also customer reviews on the web site.
MY SHOPPING EXPERIENCE
I found out after purchasing my digital camera that I was going to have to get a memory card if I wanted to take more than that 12 pictures at a time. I tried a few sites but found that Buy.com had a good selection at good prices.
Choosing a memory card was easy, even for someone with a limited knowledge of electronics. I went to the digital camera accessories page. There you could input the make and model of your camera and the site gave you a selection of memory cards to choose from. The best part is that the prices were listed and the choices were sorted according to how much memory they had. This made it easy to narrow down the selection.
Even better, when I received my memory card - it said it was designed for Palm handhelds. I would have passed by the memory card in the store without realizing it could also be used in digital cameras. Buy.com made the selection process easier that it would have been in a store.
CHECK OUT EXPERIENCE
Checking out was the only downer of my whole experience at Buy.com. The first screen in the checkout process asked for my address AND credit card number. Usually, I like to make sure everything is correct in my order, including the merchandise, taxes and shipping charges, before entering my credit card. So, I didn't care for the order of events. AFTER entering my card, I got another screen that asked me to confirm my information. On that screen, I had to select a shipping method. I chose the free option - which would take 14-21 days. The next cheapest option was $10.95 for deliver in approximately three days. Since I was buying a memory card the size of a postage stamp, $10.95 seemed a little outrageous for the lowest cost shipping option. After the fact, it occurred to me that Buy.com takes all your information before presenting you with shipping charges because many people probably balk at having to pay high shipping costs or wait 3 weeks for their item. Maybe they figure that, if all the information is entered, perhaps customers won't pay too much attention to the final cost.
The next screen asked me to confirm my information again. There was an offer at the bottom that asked if I wanted a $10 gift card. When I clicked on the link, I was directed off Buy.com's site to a stupid promotion. When I returned to Buy.com, it was completely unclear whether my order was processed. First, I checked the shopping cart and it was empty. Then, I had to log in and check my order status which said my order was processing.
About an hour after I ordered, I got an email with my invoice that confirmed my order. That email said I would get another email when my order shipped. As it turns out, my item showed up the next morning - less than 24 hours after I placed the order. So, I didn't get the shipment email, but I did get my item.
My item arrived in a padded envelope which was perfectly appropriate for the item.
Shipping rates at Buy.com vary considerably with the item you are purchasing and the amount of time you want to wait until you receive it. On the cheap end, some shipments are free if you are willing to wait up to 3 weeks. Otherwise, shipping costs can get quite high. On the home screen, there is a link that will let you estimate shipping costs. When you click on that link, you are presented with multiple matrixes that explain shipping policies. Shipping costs can be high, so it makes sense to check this portion of the site out before you start.
I chose the free shipping for my item and it showed up in less than 24 hours. This is definitely a land speed record for all on line stores that I have dealt with. In fact, most on line stores don't even prepare items for shipping in less than 24 hours.
The packaging did not have a return label, although the padded envelope that my item arrived in could be reused to make a return. The only thing included in the packaging other than my item was a packing slip. The only reference to returns on the packing slip was a cryptic message, "[a]n [sic] RMA# is required for all returns." Super-sleuth that I am, I returned to Buy.com's home page for more information on the mysterious RMA#. Basically, the return process is complicated and varies depending on the item you purchased. Most items can be returned within 30 days, clearance items within 14 days. In order to make a return, you need to log on to the site and get an authorization number. I am not sure how well this process works since I did not have to make a return.
Overall, the purchasing and delivery at Buy.com were better than 5 stars. The checkout process was a little weird but it worked, so I can't complain too much. I would definitely recommend this site.
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; Ebags.
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; CB2.
Books and Magazines: Amazon.com; ValueMags; Magazine Values; Dover Publications.
Office Supplies, Furniture and Services: Staples; Officemax; Topdeq; Efax.
Electronics: HP Shopping.
Travel: Amtrak; Hotwire; Orbitz; Hotels.com.
Discount: Overstock.com; Target.
Photo Developing: Shutterfly; Snapfish.
Baby Stuff: Babystyle; Babys Here Birth Announcements; Baby Universe; SoZo; Baby Center; Baby Age.
Miscellaneous: 1-800 contacts; Movie Tickets.com; Drugstore.com.
Rebate Sites: Upromise; Ebates.
What product did you purchase or try to purchase? memory card