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It's not all about Amazon...

The buying habits of the everyday shopper have changed considerably. Retail outlets continue to diminish, as a solid proportion of us opt to do our shopping online. Gone are the days of heading to Woolworths or Jessops to pick up a bargain, or get the excellent customer service we rely on. Today, the likes of Amazon dominate our thoughts, whilst many retail stores have had to embrace the change in habits, and make a viable business online.

For many years, Amazon has been the preferred choice to buy gadgets online. However, it isn’t always the best place to purchase the latest technological advances, from cameras and game consoles, to iPods/MP3 players.



Before committing to buying online, make sure to check out the latest deals. Sure, Amazon is going to be on many people’s shopping list. They definitely do an excellent range of products, but it might not be the best deal around. The process can be time-consuming, but it will be better in the long run to save money if a more specialised website is offering the same product you are after that Amazon has. In that way, having knowledge of online shopping websites before you begin is advantageous. There’s eBay, the standard online shop from retail stores, Play.com, or specialist shops. For example, the choice of printer cartridges is better on Amazon, but prices are often far more expensive to a specialist shop like Printerbasics.com



When going to shop on Amazon, the important face-to-face transaction with shop assistants is lost. In the recession, the success of the online market has driven gadget-driven stores like Comet to the wall, whilst others such as HMV and Game have been in administration. It is fine to shop online, and again, Amazon can offer a better range, and handy information about the product, but not the technical information that might be required. Consumers after a new tablet or laptop should always try Currys/PC World. The sales assistants are there to do a job, will offer tremendous service to buyers, and nine times out of ten, you’ll walk out of the store with the latest model and a huge smile on your face for the faultless shopping experience. No matter what they try, Amazon can’t offer this.



The risk of shopping online is the quality of the product. Amazon does offer some quick delivery options and free shipping of products, but third-party websites won’t, and that could mean paying over the odds for the item the customer is after. The service is not always totally reliable, and the estimated dispatch date can be inaccurate. Be aware of high postage charges on Amazon. At the end of the day, they are a business just like anyone else who want your money and are keen to make a handy profit at the end of the year.



Amazon is a good starting point for many, but make sure to shop around to get the best buy and always be aware of the product you want before purchasing.

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