Advantages A lot cheaper than on the highstreet
Disadvantages Poor web design
On the pure strength of other reviews and an intense desire to spend vast quantities of cash I visited Dabs.com. I was searching for a particular product, a Microsoft optical mouse thanks to a particularly bad mouse which seemed to be possessed by a kangaroo (i.e. it jumped across the screen).To a novice Internet user this site is particularly overwhelming, I do a lot of work involving the Internet and even I found this web page hard to navigate at first. On the main page there are a myriad of buttons and links to different parts of the site including a rather poor search facility. Lets say that you try to find a product by yourself, ignoring the "search" facility, all that's needed is some lateral thinking.
Some lateral thinking later........You press the "products" button at the top of the screen. Where next? "List by type" or List by Manufacture" Lets say we are after a standard cheap CD-RW drive below £100, we click the list by type button and the select "CD: CD-Recorders/Writers/CD-RW" from the rather exhaustive list. Next we have to choose a manufacturer but seeing as we don't care we select "Display ALL Manufacturers"
The availability of an item is shown by an exact amount, the immediate stock (ie that is on the premises ready to ship) is displayed in red, stock which is available in a few days - to a few weeks is displayed in blue and this is updated every hour. To find out information about the product you click on the blue "i" icon, to buy, obviously the "buy" icon.Before you can order from dabs you have to register and for me they had a student option which was very useful. It allows me to place my parents address as the main address and then specify further addresses according to where I live at university. Registration was fairly straightforward but they do say you must state your details exactly as they appear on your credit/debit card bill. The site is very secure with two separate passwords - one to login and a PIN to change your personal details such as delivery address.
Dabs is one of several internet companies that have exclusive sections for various companies - Microsoft, Compaq, Epson, AMD, Intel and Sony to name but a few. These contain products manufactured only by the one company and show up four offers that I think are their best sellers. From this section navigation becomes a lot easier with a very logical menu on the right hand side.Last time I used it I wanted a Microsoft optical mouse. I looked in the Microsoft section and low and behold staring right back at me was an advert for the exact product I wanted. I clicked the "more info" button and was presented with a pop-up window showcasing the product along with extra information which I think was lifted from a standard press release.
Before deciding to buy from this site I did a lot of research looking at about 10 different companies such as Scan, Jungle and Simply computers, this one seemed the cheapest and had some good reviews. You've got to make sure that you take into account all the hidden charges. Scan listed the more expensive version of the mouse at £26 which is very good but after a £10 delivery charge and VAT, this increases to £43.So I chose Dabs which sold it for £30 (incl. £2 handling for goods under £40) Once I had ordered the product which, incidentally was listed as out of immediate stock, I got a confirmation email straight away. Less than 48 hours after placing the order, I received it at 11am via parcel force in perfect condition.
They have the facility to track your orders so you can see the status of them but unfortunately when I tried this a few times I discovered that the web site seem quite temperamental and was down for most of the day before my order arrived. Apparently this is quite a common occurrence but as it didn't effect my order I wasn't too botheredI would definitely use this company again but for more expensive (£100+) orders I might use Scan since they offer very good value products, it's just a shame about that £10 courier charge.
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