Advantages Wide product selection, low prices, easy to use site
Disadvantages Poor customer service, Show all products link
WHAT THEY DOEbuyer is an online distributor of computer equipment and components. This becomes obvious as soon as you have loaded the home page, as you are greeted with images of some of the products they stock. Ebuyer have a US and a UK website. The UK office is in Sheffield.
WHY I CHOSE THEMI wanted to upgrade my computer so I needed faster parts for it, and I wanted them CHEAP(!) so that's where Ebuyer came in. I think I first found out about the site on a product comparison site like Kelkoo, when I was searching for computer bits through Google, but I also came across some reviews of Ebuyer on Ciao. Main reason for buying from them is that I've found that many of their prices are lower than their competitors.
THE SITEThe site layout is professional looking and I found it easy to navigate. I'm not too keen on the orange and grey colour scheme but I guess it doesn't really matter. Items are sorted into brands and categories. You can find items of a particular brand or in a category by hovering your mouse pointer over the buttons to bring down a drop-down menu. These drop-down menus don't seem to work in Opera but you can still access the menu items by clicking on the buttons, which take you to another page with links to the products/categories that would be found in the drop-down menus. Similarly, you can also access your account area and 'help' pages through similar buttons. I think the site has been designed very well, as they've thought about things like that. If someone had a browser that could not bring down the drop-down menus, then they would not be able to browse products by categories/brands if they could only find the categories via the drop-down boxes.
I've never had any problems with the site. Nor have I had any problems loading the pages. The site is generally quite quick to load but I am on an ADSL broadband connection, so don't know how quickly the pages would load on a 56K dialup connection. Slower, but probably not ridiculously slow, so long as you're not downloading files at the same time.You access your account by entering your username, email address and password. I thought that having to enter my email address as well as the usual username and password was unusual, but I guess it's for security. It's more typing than I'd like to do to sign into an account though.
The price they seem to emphasize is the size WITHOUT VAT. Many places do this and it's rather annoying. So keep your eyes peeled.SITE FEATURES
The Ebuyer site seems to filled with all sorts of features. You can find particular items by entering the 'QuickFind' code. This is like an item number. That's only if you've noted down the code and wish to go back to the item. Quite a good feature for those who have only just found the site and have not had time to register yet.Another nifty feature on the site is their 'Catalog' system. This is basically a 'wishlist'. You add items that you are interested in, or buy regularly, into your Catalog and then you can find the items more easily, as they show up inside your account with a 'buy' button for you add them to your shopping cart.
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