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I was introduced to this site by a friend who merely laughed at me as I returned from Virgin one day, proudly clutching my "two cd's for £22". I thought I had a bargain until I was shown this website. I have vowed never to buy CD's from the high street again.
CD-wow is now regarded as one of the best on-line stores and a short look at their very nicely designed site shows why. From their customer service centre in Bucks, they run a business that provides CD's and DVD's at unbelievably low prices. Launched in February 2000, they offer CD albums for £8.99, slightly more for double CD packages but never exceeding £12.99. The DVD pricing is less uniformed than this. Most titles are between £6 and £30. The latter price being the charge for trilogies and entire SkyOne series'. They do not state how they are able to charge such ridiculously low prices, particularly as P+P is free, but the long list of endorsements from very reputable firms tells it's own story. They pride themselves on customer service and provide full contact details for this department in their Buckinghamshire offices.
The Website -----------
Cd-wow.co.uk is a very well designed site. When you initially download it, you are presented with the CD side of the site. Down the left hand side of the screen is their top 20. Every album, unless a double, is priced at £8.99 incl P+P. That is every current UK top 20 album. For 9 quid!!!! Down the right hand side of the screen are various options. You can view their top 75, view and pre-order up and coming releases, view new releases, browse their entire catalogue or bargain basement or go to the DVD section. The middle section of the screen contains album cover thumbnails of top titles and pre-release albums. In the middle of all this is a review of their album of the week. The DVD section is almost a carbon copy of this. It's a very simple format but very effective. There's also a section at the top of the screen that has FAQ's, company profile, terms and conditions etc. Any doubts or suspicions you may have about the low prices are very quickly laid to rest by the professional layout of the site.
The choice offered by this site on the CD section is very much limited to 80's, 90's and 00's rock and pop and very popular 60's and 70's music such as the Beatles. The chances of finding an obscure Folk or Country record are between minimal and zero. Similarly, there isn't a great amount of choice for modern dance music, the type of stuff that commands a large section of HMV or Virgin's floorspace! What they do offer is a wide selction of music that sells, or has sold, by the bucketload. This is offered at a price that puts the high street stores to shame. An example of this is the album "Load" by Metallica. I saw it in HMV recently for £15.99. It's £8.99 on this site. Admittedly you have to wait a few days for it to arrive but I'll happily do that for the sake of seven quid. By clicking on a title, a screen comes up that shows the track listing and the album cover. On the DVD side of things, you really need a multi-region DVD player to consider using this site. When you click on a title, the region it is intended for is fully marked and you can easily make the savings I mentioned above, providing you have the technology to play all regions of disc.
This is done using the shopping basket method. You basically browse the store and select the items you like. When you have finished, payment can be made using credit/debit cards or the Paybox method. Money is debited from you there and then. You are asked for your details and an e-mail is sent to you to confirm your order. You are given an order reference number which you can enter on the site to track your purchases' progress. They quote UK delivery times as between 5 and 7 days after placing the order. Mine have arrived after 4. You can opt for the site to remember your details so that subsequent usage of the site is considerably quicker. Believe me, you will use this site more than once.
Previous orders ---------------
I have now used this site three times to order CD's. I am yet to order DVD's as I am still baffled by the region system and only have a PS2 to play them on! Every time it has taken several seconds to find the CD I want and each time I have bought two or three other titles, normally ones I had no intention of buying. The beauty of paying 9 pounds is that you don't feel guilty about buying the odd cd. This in turn means that you feel less bad about buying a second one. After all a bargain is a bargain!! Each time the CD's have arrived in between 4 and 6 days. They are individually packed in white cardboard boxes that allow them to be posted through even the smallest of letter box. Should the CD case get damaged in transit then contact Customer services who will send a replacement. I have had no problems whatsoever with using the site and get a nice glowing feeling knowing that for every three CD's I buy from CD-wow, I can only buy two in the shops.
THERE IS NO CATCH!!! This is a very good website by a very good company who can help you to build a CD or DVD collection to be proud of and at far less cost than high street shops and their on-line ordering sections. If you want popular, well priced music that everyone has heard of then I can't recommend this site enough. If you want any other genre or less mainsteam stuff then it's off to Amazon!! Always worth a look at this site first though.
A good review though it doesn't pay to assume anything regarding CD prices. for example I purchased a Donna Summer album from Woolworths for £2.99 c/o Nar's review. Doubt if CD WOW would have bettered that, but they do represent an alternative to "Dirty Dog" and "Skanky Hoe"!
elkiedee 26.05.2005 03:53
I just bought a CD from them but was disappointed when I realised I could have paid £1 more for a better version with more tracks etc. Luci
silver_g18 09.02.2005 11:31
great review. always thought the cds came from japan?