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I have been a customer with Amazon for quite some time now; as they sell a wide range of products at affordable prices and they are often cheaper than other retail outlets so they are usually my first choice when I am looking for something.
The interface looks a little cluttered as there are a few suggested items that Amazon might think you are interested in or there are items that are currently on offer to tempt you into buying. From the homepage you can use the search toolbar to find what you are looking for, or if you are not sure what you want and you just fancy browsing the site you can shop by category. There are hotlinks to the different sections, Amazon sells a wide range of products from beauty products, toys, clothing, computer and office equipment, home ware, electronics, books, music and DVDís. They sell almost everything with a vast choice and varying prices.
You can create an account with Amazon and this is free to do, the usual personal details are required and then they are stored on the system so when you log to order items it makes it a breeze as once you have added the item to your basket the checkout process is relatively fast as all your billing details are already filled in so you can just confirm that the billing address is correct taking just a couple of clicks and you have ordered your item.
Other advantages of having an account with them is that you can track your orders, view older orders and create a wish list, so if you see items that you might like to buy at a later point you can add them to your wish list to remind you of the products that you like. This can be edited and you can remove items and arrange them in priority of which you would like more. You can create multiple wish lists for other members of the family if you want to keep things separated. I find this a handy feature as I spend quite a bit of time browsing Amazon and I usually spot products that I like but I donít want to buy everything all in one go, and with the vast array of products I may find it hard to track down the particular product that I had seen previously. I also find that Amazonís prices fluctuate quite drastically and frequently, so if I add the items I am interested in to my wish list I can see if the prices have dropped and then I can grab them at a much lower price, I have had a few bargains from doing this.
~Finding what you are looking for~
Once you are logged in not only can you search for the items your after, access your wish list and track
existing orders that you have placed, but Amazon will also provide you with products that they suggest you may be interested in from the items you have looked at before and from products you have in your wish list, I always find it interesting to see what they think I would like, I canít say that I have bought many if any of the things that have been suggested but it is still clever marketing. You can also view the deals of the week, each week they have large discounts of certain products and these are changed each week so donít take too long in deciding if you want a product that is in this section as you may find that it has sold out rather quickly or they have changed the deals.
You can shop by department but be warned they carry a large amount of stock and there are literally thousands of items in the different sections, however worry not as these can be filtered to make it a little less daunting, you can either choose a particular brand or a price bracket in which you are willing to spend to narrow down your options, and if you are looking for items for children you can select age brackets to make it even easier to find something suitable. This still throws up lots of choices but you can refine the choices even further by selecting types of products that you may be interested in for example you may want outdoor toys that are suitable for a 3 year old and you may only wish to spend £50, you can filter your options and it will make it a lot easier to browse through the products.
Once you have found what you are looking for you can add it to your basket and continue shopping when you have finishing browsing you can then view your basket and the sub total and from here you can take things out or save them for later. This is another handy feature, especially if I have found quite a few things that I want and I get a bit carried away it means I can save some of the items which then get stored in the basket so you can see them next time you are shopping.
You can also find second hand goods, which can be bought at a fraction of the price, so if you are not fussy then you can save yourself even more money and this in turn helps recycle goods and saves on resources.
Another advantage of shopping with Amazon is that you can use gift certificates to pay for your goods, which can be very handy especially if you have earned them through money making websites, as this is quite rewarding.
You can also give these as gifts, which is quite a quick and easy way to give someone a present without any hassle as the gift certificate can be emailed directly to them, or you can have it sent by post, or you can have one personalised and printed so you can give it to the recipient yourself. I have never used this as I prefer to choose my gifts, but it is still a good option for when you are out of ideas and time.
One gripe I have with Amazon is that a lot of the products have quite poor product descriptions, this is something that could be vastly improved as I want to know what I am getting for my money and the image doesnít tell me everything. I find myself having to look on another website to find the product specifications and at times I have just gone ahead and order and when I have received my goods they are not exactly what I expected.
Another slight problem is I have spent a fortune with Amazon and I have bought products that I probably wouldnít have if I didnít shop here.
I have always found Amazon prices hard to beat, and I generally find what I am looking for at a much lower price and often most items are delivered free of charge. This is great as it saves me a lot of money on things that I buy on a regular basis. The choice is fantastic as there are so many different products to choose from all in one place, so this makes it easy for me to find different toys and games for my son and computer equipment amongst many other items that I wouldnít be able to find in my home town.
Prices are forever fluctuating and as I am aware of this I add items to my wish list and then when they drop in price I quickly buy them, as no sooner have they dropped they will be back at full price. Not only do their prices seem to constantly fluctuate, they also have a lot of products reduced and good deals running all the time to entice you in parting with your cash, this can be a bit of a disadvantage too as if like me you will end up buying far more than you need.
~Ordering and delivery~
The ordering process is so quick and simple it is scary, as within one minute I have purchased my goods and I have received a confirmation email of my order. With it being so easy you can really get carried away without realising it.
As soon as the items are ready to be shipped Amazon then send another email to notify me that my goods are being dispatched, this is handy as I know when to roughly expect them. I also get a receipt with my order and total for reference if I should need to return an item.
As I order quite a fair bit this does tend to fill up my email however I filter the emails into a separate folder so I have all my receipts
Pictures of Amazon.co.uk
in a safe place should I need them.
Delivery is always quick and most products I have ordered have been with me within a week of ordering and most of the time they are delivered with a couple of days, so I never have long to wait for my goods. Even when the product states that the delivery can be 1 -2 months, I have never had to wait this long.
All products come boxed and smaller items come in an envelope shaped box, so all of my goods have been in good conditioned and they have arrived safely. My only problem is that the amount of boxes I receive is a bit ridiculous and I canít understand why they donít group my orders to save on packaging, even though I have this on my account that I would prefer them boxed together they generally come separate. This being said though Amazon state that about 90% of the packaging is recyclable so at least it doesnít impose upon the environment too much
Most products can be bought directly from Amazon if this is the case then delivery is free of charge no matter how small your order is. There are multiple buying options on some items which can be seen on the right hand side column, so it is always worth looking to see if Amazon is selling the same product to cut out the postage charges.
If you are buying from an independent marketplace seller then the postage charges vary so this is always something to take into consideration.
I have mainly ordered directly from Amazon as I find they stock most of the items that I have bought, I have however ordered several items from marketplace sellers during the Christmas period and although this bumped up the cost I did find some rare and unusual gifts and the delivery was just as reliable.
Accepted methods of payment include; Credit Cards such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express, Debit Cards such as Maestro Solo and Visa,and of course you can use Amazonís very own gift certificates as well.
If you no longer have use for all the masses of items you have accumulated you can sell them on Amazon. However I cannot really comment on this service as I have never listed anything with them as I am generally too busy buying new things from the site to bother selling anything.
I always find the items I order are always in pristine condition, only on a couple of occasions have I found the item to be a bit dusty looking but never anything major to complain about. This is another reason why I like to order a lot of goods from them, as if I am looking to buy a gift it comes perfectly boxed and in perfect condition, as opposed to something you would buy in a shop which has been opened and Ďtestedí and played about with making the product look used. I prefer my goods to look new as I am buying them new so this is a great plus point for me.
All in all I am one satisfied customer and I have had many bargains from Amazon, I have never needed to return anything, and I have never needed to make use of their customer services as I have never had any problems.
Amazon is always my first choice for most of my shopping needs as they sell everything and more.