Advantages Huge selection, good prices, fast and efficient, free deliver
Disadvantages Delivery not always free and can be expensive, Items not always cheapest
Started off as a small American company selling books, but now it's the world's biggest online mail order company. They've expanded from selling books, to music, videos and DVD's, to electronics, toys, to software and computer bits, as well as offering DVD rental services and much more. Needless to say, their selection of products is huge for each category!
The website looks very professional but it can be a bit 'busy' for some people who don't use the Internet much. Items are sorted into a range of categories, which can be accessed via the category titled tabs at the top. There's a lot of information and graphics on each page but the navigation links are easy to find. After you've created an account and logged in for the first time, they greet you with your first name and it'll remember you name the next time you visit. This is a nice touch as it makes the site feel more personal. Down the middle, they usually tell you about promotions or special deals. Further down, they give you recommendations based on your past purchases.
Their prices are very competitive but not always the cheapest. When searching for a particular item, I sometimes get more than one result for an item identical item but with varying prices. This is because of the Amazon Marketplace, which is the other side of Amazon, which allows individuals and companies to list items for sale on Amazon. This is good as you have more choice on the prices but Marketplace items do not qualify for free delivery and the delivery charge is often quite high (compared to free, it is anyway) and new items in the Marketplace usually end up more expensive than the ones directly from Amazon after postage is added. It's also not possible to use Amazon vouchers to purchase Marketplace items so I'm not always keen on Marketplace results being mixed with normal results. I would prefer to have a filter to omit Marketplace items in results. Marketplace transactions may be hit and miss since you could be buying from an individual so delivery time and packaging may not be as well done. However, Amazon have implemented a feedback system much like eBay's feedback system and Marketplace sellers are given ratings much like on eBay.
Navigating the site quite easy but some functions are a bit trickier to find because of how busy the pages are but they are laid out in appropriate sections so I do get there in the end or when I got used to the site. Their search facility works great and always brings up what I'm after (assuming they have it listed). There's a 'Quick Search' facility on every page allowing you to enter a search term and narrow down the search by selecting a category from a drop-down box. This is pretty much all I use to navigate the site when searching for items and it works great. You can also choose to browse the different categories by selecting a category from another drop-down box and clicking on the 'go' button right next to it.
Ordering is very easy just like any other website with a shopping cart facility.
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