I'm a list guy. I have lists everywhere. I have stacks of them all telling me to do various things. Pay the bills, deal with the DMV, feed the neighbor's cat--stuff like that. These scraps of paper litter my house from end to end. A quick survey reveals that most of them seem to be grocery lists. I know for a fact the word "eggs" is scrawled on at least half a dozen pieces of paper, yet my refrigerator houses none of them. What's the problem? I always forget my shopping list.
The stock market may be showing signs of a rebound, but consumers still have a lock on their wallets at retail.
Shopping online for the right products at better prices can be quite overwhelming, but with some know-how, it's less intimidating and certainly worthwhile. These 12 tools will not only help you save cash, but they might also make you more confident about your purchases. I am.Cash-saving tools
Frucall: Frucall is a really great service. When you're at a brick-and-mortar store checking out a product, you can either call Frucall's free telephone line, text-message the company, or access its mobile site and compare the store's price with online pricing. When you input the name or bar code, it returns the pricing on the product from Amazon.com, Shopping.com, and other services. It's quick and easy. Plus, it's free, though standard text-messaging rates do apply. I really liked Frucall.
Google Product Search: Formerly known as Froogle, Google's Product Search is a relatively useful tool for finding cheaper prices on desired products. It will return a good portion of the online stores currently selling products that match up with your search terms. It also lists their seller ratings, based on customer reports. It's a nice tool, but it doesn't quite stand up to some of the more useful sites in this roundup. Consider Google Product Search a backup.… Read more
Other Music isn't the sort of place you'd go to pick up the new U2 record; its primary mission is to turn its customers onto, well, other music. Now, some of Other Music's titles are available as MP3 downloads.
The physical and download Other Music stores are an attempt to classify the unclassifiable; there's "In" (indie rock); "Out" (experimental, free jazz, noise, 20th century composers, and early electronic pioneers); "Electronica" (new electronic music including ambient, electro, and underground hip-hop); "Then" (influential artists from the '60s, '70s, and '80s); … Read more
Buying music or books online makes a lot of sense, but I'd draw the line at speakers.
Maybe there's no place close enough to go to for an in-store demo--a lot of shops closed their doors--precisely because too many people used their service to audition gear, and then bought online to get a lower price.
Nice, so now there are fewer places to hear speakers before you buy them. So even if you're reasonably happy with what you bought online you never had the luxury of comparing one speaker against another and picking the best of your choices. Good enough is good enough.
Over the past 30 years--16 as a high-end audio salesman and 14 as a paid audio reviewer--I've listened to thousands of speakers. My sales experience gave me a deep understanding of how all sorts of people, not just audiophiles, listen to and buy speakers.
Some buyers need to touch the speaker, get a sense of its build quality, and some buyers, even after reading a review, are surprised by the speaker's size or some other quality. It's one thing to read about a speaker or peruse its specifications, seeing and hearing it for yourself is so much better.
I draw upon those experiences when I review speakers, but I still can't predict how each reader will react to their sound. Everyone hears differently, and preferences are all over the place.
Some customers want lots of bass, some just want to play loud, or quietly, some care most abut stereo imaging. One guy plays dance music, another only opera. But most speaker shoppers can't articulate what they want from a speaker. That's the rub, and why reviews, even ones as well written as mine for CNET and magazines, may not be the best possible guide to the right speaker. … Read more
If you want to start buying groceries online, we have five sites for you to try out. Few of them are designed well and a couple require up to five days to actually get your groceries. When it comes to buying groceries online, the experience is far from perfect. But I think you might find value in some of these options.The wide world of groceries
Amazon's grocery store, while still in beta, is designed well. Finding groceries takes just a few seconds. Adding goods to your shopping cart mimics the familiar Amazon experience. And prices are usually better than at my local supermarket. That said, I did find some better deals at wholesale brick-and-mortar stores, like BJ's and Costco.
Delivery is a major concern for most online grocery shoppers. That's where Amazon really shines. Amazon offers its "Free Super Saver" shipping on most products. You'll get your delivery in five to seven days. You can also get bulk items like paper towels in three to five business days with free shipping. If you want your groceries sooner, you'll be forced to pay for it, but Amazon can accommodate just about any time frame you require.
The Amazon grocery shopping experience is convenient, simple, and affordable. I highly recommend it.
I was generally impressed with AulSuperStore's inventory of groceries. Almost anything you search for will be on the site. But beware that some products I came across were sold out--something I never saw on Amazon. Prices were competitive, but they didn't quite match Amazon's pricing.
Delivery is the biggest issue facing AulSuperStore. You can't expedite shipping. If you're in Upstate New York, New York City, or New Jersey, you'll get your groceries in one day. But if you're in California, don't expect them for at least four days. Such a rigid delivery system will probably turn some people off.
AulSuperStore, while competitive on prices, isn't competitive on anything else. I don't recommend it if you live outside of New York or New Jersey.… Read more
This was originally posted at ZDNet's Between the Lines.
eBay's first-quarter results were better than expected, and the company argued that it is operating with more discipline and smarter.
For the quarter ended March 31 (statement), the company reported net income of $357.1 million, or 28 cents a share, on revenue of $2.02 billion, down $171.6 million from a year ago due to poor performance in its marketplaces unit. On a non-GAAP basis, eBay reported first-quarter earnings of $499.9 million, or 39 cents a share.
Wall Street was expecting earnings of 33 cents a … Read more