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Ok I am a strong supporter of Amazon, and had not found any real need to change my opinion, but I also had 135 I-points. Now you may or may not know but the value of these I-points is devaluing faster than the German Mark in the early 1930’s. The only logical thing I could think of was to cash them in as quickly as possible. Bol.com appeared to be the perfect candidate as I had a growing list of “ must read’s” from ciao opinions.
The website at www.bol.com takes you to their international portal and requires you to click on the UK button. This brings you to the home page and I was very impressed by the speed the site operated at. At first glance it is similar to Amazon with the exception of the colour. The ubiquitous editors choice, which means they have too many books on stock caught my eye, but one book on his list was also on mine. Bill Bryson’s “Down Under” which is now out in paperback, looked very attractive at £6.39. I decided to buy this along with another editor’s choice, Minette Walters “The Shape of Snakes”, at £4.
The cost of delivery is £2.95 per order. This makes the ordering of books cheaper than Amazon if you buy more than 3 at a time.
Having ordered the books, I expected delivery within the week, as with Amazon. I was pleasantly surprised to find them at my door within 48 hours. Excellent service. The delivery was correct and well packaged with no damage to the books whatsoever. All in all a pleasant experience and I decided to explore the website further.
The site is split into Books, Music, DVD/Video and Games/Software. It has an excellent search engine and if required it is possible to browse by subject. The subjects cover everything you could possibly imagine, and this adds to the general feeling of user friendliness that prevails throughout the site.
Having browsed the book section, I clicked on the Music button. Now here I must admit that I do not buy many Music CD`s. I was however impressed with the efficiency of this part of the site.
It allows you to browse by genre, or to look at the current top 20. (I looked but the names meant nothing to me…. No Beatles???) An interesting innovation is the “Wall of Sound” This allows you to hear portions of the tracks before buying. I tried one by someone called “Fatboy Slim” and it fired up the Windows Media Player and played 15 seconds of what sounded like a cat being castrated with no problem whatsoever.
A button marked “Music Finder” appealed to me as I was asked to supply:
•Genre? I put Rock •Decade? I put 60’s •Mood? I put Aggressive.
So what did I get?….. “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix. Now this I approve of, real music at last.
It is also possible to buy goods such as “T” Shirts, read interviews from the stars, and hear about the latest gig reviews. The cost of postage is £1.49 per order.
The DVD/Video section is as comprehensive as the Music section. They are offering selected DVD’s at £22 for 2, with the latest offerings at £19. Postage is only £1.95 per order. Once again it is possible to browse by genre and to view the top 10 DVD’s.
There are some interesting sections such as “DVD Guide”, which is an A-Z of DVD’s, “Credit Mystery”, which explains some of the mysteries of movie credits, and listings of soundtracks. All of this along with interviews and quizzes make this an attractive part of the site to visit.
Nintendo, Dreamcast, PC, Mac, Playstation or Gameboy. Bol appear to have the whole world of games software covered. The prices of the software vary enormously but the cost of postage is once again £ 1.95 per order.
The latest in games consoles are reviewed in depth and can be purchased here also.
Bol also have an affiliate programme which appeals to me as they are offering 7-10% on all sales and payment on a quarterly basis.
All in all Bol is an excellent website, and in future I will always compare prices here with Amazon before making a purchase. I suggest you do the same.
As a point of interest, my 135 I-Points gave me a voucher for £8 and the books (including postage) cost £13.34. This is where it turns interesting. I get 10 I-Points for spending £10 and as I am a new member, get a further 50 I-Points thrown in. This means that (assuming they arrive) I will still have 60 I-Points on my account.
Great op - I don't actually favour BOL, being an Amazon fan myself. But I didn't know they did t-shirts either, and the music finder button sounds like fun! Thanks, I think I may even give them another chance!
danradders 31.08.2001 14:44
Robin, this has been copied on the other site by 'irishsoul'. Im only telling you hear as you'll probably get an email from here saying u have a new comment-from me... u get my drift. I'll report to abuse on the other site. DAN
offy 17.08.2001 22:40
Excellent and funny opinion. I am still giggling at 'wot no Beatles?' and imagining the sound of a castrated cat.