Buy Online?

I received some good feedback on my article "Buy Local". It was pleasing to know people actual read my stuff. Although you know I write this because I need to write it, not because I need people to read it, if that makes sense?

So I had another brilliant experience buying online that I wanted to share. I've bought a few things from Streetwise in the past. They keep the fabulous Rain Design M-Stand for example. And lots of Mac goodies, cables and the likes. A few Facebook friends suggested other places that were slightly cheaper, but I keep going back to Streetwise. In short they deliver.

Just the other day I got an automated email from the author of some software I use informing me of an upgrade. As this particular program is a DVD that you have to boot, they offered a replacement DVD for $24 as a minor upgrade. Call your retailer. Well bugger if I can remember where I bought this one in the first place. But Streetwise was listed as a reseller so I tried their web site. No upgrade, just full product. Bugger it, I'll email them.

A few short hours later (on the weekend) I get a reply pointing me to a free download of the upgraded product. No money, nothing in it for them, just here you go. So I thanked them in a reply. They just cemented my repeat business.

So that's the sort of online reseller you need to find. Ones that care. Ones that offer customer service even though they hide behind a web site. And there are plenty of them.

We bought our last camera from Digital Camera Warehouse and they were great. I love the Apple online store. And Dell has it all down pat. There's Amazon or Fishpond, heck even Dymocks online is good, although I won't go back to the Hobart store ever again. But that's another story.

And I'd have to be desperate to pay $99 for cable from Harvey Norman when I can have it delivered to my door for $49. My USB hub, cables, memory sticks and just about everything else came from a mix of good locals (like NybbleIT) and online.

There are of course plenty of bad online experiences. E-Bay is so variable. Find a good seller with a good deal and you're in clover. But there are bad ones and the recourse to E-Bay isn't as good as you think. My wonderful wife, Queen E-Bay, has been caught a few times and she's an expert, I'm an E-Bay novice.

There's Grays Online. The Aussie E-Bay for tech stuff. Again, hot and cold. I know a self confessed Grays addict. He has suits, wine and more than one Dell PC, all discount, all as advertised courtesy of Grays.

So in this age of social media, you need to get savvy before you spend. Research, recommendation and above all common sense. Excuse me, I have to order my socks online, the local shop is out of them!