Online Shopping Guide

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OK, as usual, the sources of information for shopping have shifted some. Here’s the 2Q 2004 guide to getting the best values on the web.
h4. For Electronics and Computer Gear
This is the easiest category to shop for. There are so many different sources of information. Here’s the path I use:
# Get a great review. First you need to find reviews to figure out what the best is. These vary, but I usually do a google search for the product name. The highly ranked sites are usually review sites particularly for computer equipment. Top sites I use regularly include “Tom’s Hardware”:http://tomshardware.com for computer gear and “Photo.net”:http://photo.net for photography.
# “Pricegrabber.com’:http://pricegrabber.com. Particularly for computer and electronic goods, they are good about this. There are some goods that aren’t stocked, so beware. Also, I never buy anything from a vendor with less than 4 1/2 stars and I read all the recent reviews as well.
# “Newegg.com”:http://newegg.com, “Googlegear”:http://googlegear.com and “AccuPC”:http://accupc.com. If I can’t find it on Pricegrabber, I check out these online merchants as they’ve been reliable in the past for me and they usually have good prices.
h4. For Music and DVDs
This is more complicated mainly because Pricegrabber doesn’t monitor that many merchants.
# Pricegrabber. If they have it. This is a good place to check. Gives Amazon’s price usually.
# Half.com. If the rating is more than 1,000, this is usually a real retailer so is fairly safe. I use half.com and get like new only.
# “BN.com”:http://bn.com. Barnes & Noble is my last check. They sometimes are better than Amazon and Half.com.

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