Try using more than one of these to narrow in on the best
price for a product. If you don't need to buy new, check eBay to find prices on used
products and browse trader forums at sites such as TechIMO.com and AnandTech. If you do
want to buy an item from an individual in a forum, see if
they're rated at Heatware.com.
to read customer reviews of stores before you buy. Even if
you've bought from a merchant before, check ResellerRatings
periodically since a retailer's quality may improve or
worsen over time. Our six-month ratings feature is a
six-month moving average and is a good indicator of a
retailer's most recent performance.
Pay attention to the individual ratings for a company
regarding pricing, shipping, technical support, and
return/replacement. If one of those areas is important to
you, don't order from a company with a low rating in an
important area. For example, one retailer has an 8.25
six-month overall rating on ResellerRatings, but a 3.53
return or replacement rating, so it seems that customers
aren't too pleased with doing returns with that retailer.
Order out of state to avoid sales tax on expensive items
or close to home for quick standard shipping. PriceGrabber has a
"bottom line price" feature that uses your ZIP code to help
identify which merchants will charge you sales tax and what
the estimated shipping charges will be.
Check coupon sites such as Spoofee.com and Kovalchikfarms.com
for coupon codes and rebates. Also check deals forums such
as AnandTech's hot
deals and ResellerRatings' deals
forum. Don't always assume that a "deal" at one of those
sites is the best price. Take everything into account (sale
price, rebate amount and hassle, shipping cost, tax) when
deciding what and where to buy.
Send in your rebates and include the necessary
paperwork. Don't fall into the trap of buying something
because it has a rebate and then never sending in the form.
If a problem arises, first try to contact the retailer
to attempt to resolve it (more than once if need be) before
taking any other steps. Don't assume that it's out to get
you. Even good retailers have bad days.
If you've tried several times to contact the merchant
and it hasn't shipped your product, or if it shipped you the
wrong product or a broken product, call your credit card
company and dispute the charge. Always pay with a credit
card to ensure this protection.
Post your positive or negative feedback on
ResellerRatings. Many retailers monitor the site and will
contact you to resolve complaints, plus you'll be helping
Originally aired December 5,
2002 Modified December 10, 2002