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Fed up of scouring around the January sales for your electrical bargains? Tired of looking for so called bargains in electrical stores? I don't know about you guys but I always am too late and don't really find the "Manger's Specials" to be that special, by the time I get there all that is left are out of date, destroyed and overpriced products. This year I found myself searching the January sales for a washing machine.....the absolute cheapest possible to go into a house I have just let out to a new tenant. I spent two days undecided and baffled at which to get and wandering from shop to shop trying to find that illusive absolute bargain.....all I could find was a full priced Servis machine at £179.00 plus delivery.....you may think "what a cheapskate" but to me at the moment every penny counts....I decided to leave it and hunt around online. Well I had success by finding a lower spin service model at £149.00 on the Comet website and was about to place my order when I spotted "AUCTION" tab on their website and started to investigate further. WHAT A GREAT SITE.
I surfed around finding top brand named machines, some were returns, some with minor damage, a few with a minor part missing. There were end of line items, display items and many boxed with no damage at all. All goods are new and carry a full 12 months manufacturer's gaurantee.
GETTING GOING All items start at £1.00 and are on for seven days. You have to register your name, address,credit or debit card details before you can start bidding. There is also a listing for "EXTRA" auctions, you click on the tab and then enter your postcode and automatically local listings are added to the national auction list on your search.You then need to click on the "sort options" tab and select "Ending soon". The items are then listed in ending time. Every night all of that days listings end at 9pm but if there is a bid in the last 10 minutes the auction on that item is extended by another 10 minutes....10 minutes is added on each time a fresh bid is placed.....thus Comet maximise the high bid on each item. There are delivery charges at two rates.....unfortunately these are obligatory and goods have to be delivered to the billing address on your credit/debit card by comets own delivery service. YOU CANNOT COLLECT YOUR GOODS. The charges are:£7.05 for small items and £23.70 for larger items (washing machines etc). For comparison, In their high street shop they charged me £15.00 for delivery of my fridge freezer last year. Well I bet you are all bored of reading how the auction site works....but you won't be so bored when you get bidding! I am an avid Ebayer...A seller not a buyer, my purchases have never been successful and I have hardly ever been happy with my purchases, but I found the comet site to be quite the opposte..... I surfed for several days on this site and found prices to be quite high at the finish of each nights auction and by the time carriage was added there was virtually no saving....but this was still January sale time....some idiots were bidding up close to the full shop price.....Then I found it....a cheap washing machine starting at £1, auction ending midweek (not too many last minute bidders online) and to help even more there were many machines all ending at the same time. It was a Servis, list price in their shop of £179.00 with a dent on the left and right sides....no bids yey. I had noticed that if you bid early....and bit a fair price calculating total cost with delivery you stand a chance of winning. I thought that a saving of £50 would be fair and expected to pay around £129.00 including delivery, so I left a bid of £106.00 early on the first evening of the bidding. Nearly a week had gone by and my initial bid of £1.00 had been pushed up slowly over that week to £76.00 going up in £5.00 incraments.....at 11 minutes to the end another bid came in pushing me up to £86.00....and there it stayed. I won the auction. I waited in anticipation over the next few days getting notification via email and then a phone call to arrange delivery. Sunday morning was the delivery, and they arrive at around 11.30am. I unpacked the washing machine and could not see any signs of a dent in either side. There was some water in the machine and there were signs that the box had been opened....but the water was completly clean and I believe that as this was a returned item due to such minor dents and had been tested by comet on return before they can sell it. Total cost was £109.70 with delivery, store price £179.00 + £15.00 delivery, so I have saved £84.30....Not bad. AND THERE'S MORE..... I was so impressed with my saving that I thought it might be time to replace our ageing electric cooker and treat my partner to a dishwasher.....so I started surfing....and found another auction ending mid-week with plenty of other ovens and dishwashers all ending at the same time. I found a BOSCH SGS43A12 FULLSIZE DISHWASHER (unboxed) store price £329.00 A grade cleaning performance, A grade energy efficiency and B grade drying....fairly good all found. Also a HOTPOINT EW81 POLAR 60CM ELECTRIC COOKER (unboxed. Used and returned) store price £585.00 double oven fan assisted with ceramic hob and halogen zone. The dishwasher was listed as having a dent in the front and the cooker has a scratch on the side and top. I decided to place some early bids.....if I win fine if I don't I would have another go at something downmarket...proline, servis or similar. I noticed that top branded and more sought after appliances had been selling for around 3/4 of the full price...not much of a saving....but prices were dropping since the end of the sales. I placed a bid of £151.00 on the Bosch dishwasher and £251.00 on the cooker, not expecting to win either...I had first bid of £1.00 on bothitems. I didn't even bother to check progress expecting to be outbid within a couple of days as I havn't really got a spare £400.00 or so! I checked the auction at 2 minutes to 9 on the last evening and to my astonishment was still winning! I didn't get outbid and won the dishwasher for £111.00 and for the cooker I paid the max bid of £251.00. Comet very kindly combined delivery cost as both items were in the same auction. I havn't recieved the goods yet and I will keep you posted on their codition when they arrive this Friday. A1 Auction site, thankyou Comet.
03/02/2003 Both dishwsher & cooker turned up. THE COOKER I unpacked the cooker and viewed the alleged scratches. I could not see the one on the side as listed in the auction....the one on the top was about 3mm long and not on the ceramic hob as I had expected but on the surrounding trim....I wiped it with a damp cloth and it dissapeared, it was just dirt!
THE DISHWASHER The listing said the only damage was denting to the front. The dent is about 1 inch long and barely noticeable...more of a black boot mark that will polish out. It is not in an accesible place to carry out an invisible repair but it is really very minor. DISGUST. The right hand side is completely caved in and was not even mentioned in the listing. As I had only paid £111.00 for it instead of £329.00, I decided to attemp a repair on this huge dent. One thump backwards on the top it slid off backwards with ease, two torx screws and the dented side panel lifted off. I laid the panel on the flat carpeted floor and placed a flat piece of wood over the dent and put a little weight on it....with a noise like Rolf Harris playing his wobble board the dent popped out and is totally invisible. Easilly reasembled and near perfect. Thankyou again COMET
Great op but on investigating I see that Comet do place a reserve price on all items and some of these are high. Also they discriminate against those on low incomes who need the bargains most by not accepting Solo or Electron cards, thats very unfair. Even so, if I get my £499 cooker for the £151 bid I'll be pleased and very greatful to you!
NIGSY 25.05.2003 02:22
Sounds like a great place for a bargain.
RussellC 14.03.2003 18:13
I was going to get a PC from here, but I see now they only deliver to the billing address. This is bad, as I am a student and live away from home!!