Popped my cherry....

Well I did it, finally.

I just made my first internet purchase, of anything. Cecil will be glad to know that I just ordered the entire Straight Dope library, as well as a DVD. I ordered from Amazon, sorry Cece I’d have used the store on this site, but with the Illinois tax it would have cost to much more to make it worth the loyalty.

So I’m asking what everyones opinion on internet shopping is. I have been online for a long time, and it wasn’t a matter of naivite’ that slowed me down. For some reason i’ve always just liked shopping of the rack or shelf. Immediate gratification I guess. Catalogs, and online stuff never appealed to me. But, I got a bug up my ass and did it.

How has Amazon treated everyone? Any complaints? Has anyone ever had any security problems? I had a small amount of concern about that stuff, and Amazons no risk policy made it worth a shot. I’m not a very cautious person, so its not the excuse for waiting so long. Any security problems at all with online issues? They talk about the risks alot, and anytime I run java I get big ole warning, but I can’t say i’ve ever heard of anyone getting screwed. Even newscasts that warn of online dangers never have people who’ve been robbed. The worst I’ve heard first hand is people getting online and altering websites, mostly little jokes, and things about girlfriends, or linking to porn.

So whats the consensus? How many people are avid online shoppers?

I’ve gotten very good results w/amazon on things like long out of print books.
I’d love to rat through the boxes in used bookstores, but don’t have that much time anymore.

Biggest problem with Amazon is that it’s addictive. Go in and browse a bit and, next thing you know it’s a fifty dollar tab. (And yeah, that’s about what it cost for the Cecil Canon when I bought it.) Stay out of the video and music departments unless you are planning to get a second job. :slight_smile:

I haven’t had any serious problem with them. They mixed up my shipping label with someone else’s one time but I emailed them and the right stuff showed up the next day with a free mailer to return the wrong shipment. And two, count 'em two apologies.

Bear in mind the XMas is coming and it will be a circus. The stuf I ordered last year took a couple of days longer than usual and a friend of mine had a shipment that took over a week. Order early.

I also buy stuff like hot sauces and exotic spices on line (ain’t no such thing here in Darkest Noo England). Never had a problem with that.

It’s like anything else. Buy from a reputable company and watch your orders and charges. (Amazon will email you when you put in an order and again when it ships… if it doesn’t show up you can track it easily.)

Lex Non Favet Delicatorum Votis

Oh, the stories of being linked to porn sites are often the results of password fishing. The November 8 Time Magazine mentions the story of a Santa Barbara lady who received mail from an official-looking AOL address offering a month’s free service if she would log on–reply w/her username and password.
Her first clue that this might have been a mistake was the angry notes she started getting from strangers demanding that she stop sending them porn.
Some porn operator had been looking for an AOL account to bounce his spam mailings out of. Once he grabbed her password it was easy for him to pass out anything he wanted.
Just remember that there is never any reason to give your password to anyone.

Well, I only order from sites with secure servers (well, they say they have secure servers, I wasn’t there when they installed them) and have never had any problems. My feeling is, if you’ve been buying something in a department store, do you really think your credit card number is not in a computer network anyway? How is a store clerk typing in the number different from you typing in the number?

I’m a bit prejudiced because the only time I’ve ever experienced someone getting and using my number was when I was on vacation in Chicago. A month later the charges appeared. (man, they must have been disappointed with my $500 limit card - they only put $80.00 worth of dirty phone calls on there, presumably to see if I’d notice them!) Since I’d spent money here, there and everywhere I couldn’t tell which particular place might have been the culprit.

Now, I’m not saying that people shouldn’t be looking out for credit card fraud. But I suspect the only way to avoid it completely is to never use a credit card.

Ive had really great success with Amazon. A couple of times I have requested the overnight service and voila it has been delivered the next day. Their billings have always shown up on my next visa bill as well.

I buy most all of my music and video stuff online. Most of my DVD purchases are done through either www.reel.com (great prices there, I have 4 things pre-ordered) or www.dvdexpress.com . I also do online DVD rentals through www.netflix.com . I’ve always been treated well by all of them, never had a problem.

“Argue with what I said, not what you think or hope I said.” - Me

I ordered some books recently from Barnes & Noble. I must say I’m not impressed with their service.

My order was placed on 9/15 and was for six books; I asked them to send them as one shipment. They e-mailed back and said I could expect them in about a week. To date I have received only 4 of them, one at a time, of course. And they send me an e-mail about once a week saying they expect to ship the last two on, and this isn’t a typo, 9/20/99. WTF?

At least they haven’t charged me yet for the undelivered ones.

Dopeler effect:
The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.


We are, each of us angels with only one wing;
and we can only fly by
embracing one another

I’ve bought CDs from numerous sites, but now I surf for CDNow coupons (easily attainable) and purchase there. Also got some stuff from {url]buy.com and a few one-off purchases from other sites.

Yer pal,

I already have a book, so I don’t need another one.

I’ve never used Amazon, but I biught my entire home computer system (PC, monitor, printer, scanner) piecemeal over the internet. I have also used EBay and Onsale.com. I have yet to have a poor e-shopping experience.

We have one credit card that we keep for online purchases and to bill our AOL service to. Rarely, usually at the beginning of the school year, my husband will use it to purchase school supplies that he will later be reimbursed for by the school where he teaches. The is the card with our lowest limit, $5,000. It rarely has more than a hundred or so dollars on it, and usually it’s just the AOL bill.

Two weeks ago we got the bill and it was maxed out at $5,000! Most of it was in purchases from Amazon.com. It also reflected an attempt at an additional $1500 in purchases at Amazon.com, which had been credited back. When we spoke to the people at Amazon.com they told us that they had begun to suspect something and had not allowed those latter purchases to go through.

We spoke with the security people at AOL, who are “one hundred per cent sure” that their security is such that it couldn’t possibly be that anyone there got hold of our credit card number. Go figure.

I have a platinum card with a $50,000 limit, and you can be quite sure that I will NEVER use that card for an online purchase. I think we’re going to take a card we rarely use and have the limit on it reduced to $500 or so, and keep that strictly for AOL billing and online shopping.


I probably order $50-$100 worth of stuff from Amazon every month or two. I actually prefer it to going to a real bookstore. When I’m in a bookstore, I’m constantly picking up $25 hardcovers and thinking “Oh, it looks good, but is it really? Am I going to spend $25 and read two chapters and decide it’s crap?”

With Amazon.com, I have at least one published review of any book I’m looking at, and usually 3 or 4 reviews. Plus I have the comments of umpteen other people who have read the book. I have very good luck picking out books based on all this information. Not to mention that Amazon sometimes has the first chapter or two on line and I can sit down and read it and see if it hooks me.

I’ve never had a problem with security. As far as shipping goes, part of the reason I buy from Amazon so much is that it’s FAST. Virtually every time I’ve ordered from them (except in the Christmas season) my order gets upgraded free from standard shipping to USPS Priority, and it’s in my mailbox 2 days after it’s shipped. I have an order that was sent today - it’ll be at my house Saturday.

I’ve ordered several times from Amazon but I can’t say their service is perfect. Being a company as large as they are, a lot of mistakes can slip throught the cracks and you have to watch your own order to make sure it’s being handled right. I will give Amazon full credit that they have always corrected any mistakes I have notified them of.

If you order books (or anything) from them check your order. Make sure they put down the right prices and added it up to the right total. Check to make sure they have your requested shipping right. Watch for the dates they say it will take to fill your order (although there’s nothing you can do about delays in that area). Make sure if they split your order for their shipping purposes they don’t charge you for two seperate shippings. Keep a copy of all email correspondence with them.

You’re right about Amazon, it is addictive. Have never had a problem with them either. But I did have the same problem with Barnes & Noble. I ordered two books from them back in early July and it was the middle of August before they showed up. If they had been rare books, I would have understood. But they were books that had just come out sometime last year and were still in print. I’ve also ordered CD’s from CDNow and Columbia House and have had no problems.

It does help that when you’re going to be ordering stuff on the Internet, that you use a credit card with a low limit (the one I use has only a $300 limit), that way if somebody does get a hold of your info and charges things to your card, they can’t spend very much before the limit runs out.

Melin, BTW, did you get that charge straightened out with the credit card company? My parents got one of their cards stolen and the company tried to sue them to make them pay the charges (thieves charged 2500 dollars on the card before my parents realized it was missing and reported it stolen). It took almost three years of haggling, but they finally got the charges waived.

“Most people would succeed in small things, if they were not troubled with
great ambitions.”

  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

I’ve had nothing but positive experience with Amazon, but you’re right about it being addictive, especially the feature that helpfully tells you about OTHER books you may like. Gee, thanks! Toss another dozen or so books into my cart :wink: My all-time most excellent online shopping experience was when I purchased my digital camera from outpost.com. It was about $100 less then the ones in stores (even though it was a newer model), since it came from out of state there was no sales tax, shipping was only $6 and it was on my doorstep the next day, and this was like the week before Christmas! I had figured there’s be a delay until after the holidays! I don’t buy many electronics or housewares but I’ll always look there first when I do need some in the future.

I buy from Amazon, Buy.com, eToys.com, and a whole lot from Ebay.–I made the mistake of buying from CDNow, and they charged me with some ridiculous $75 fee on my Visa…saying I opted for some “Vision and Hotel Savings package” ??? They finally reversed the charges, but after repeated emails to their site and no response/apology/ANYTHING, I gave up. I suppose they are OK if you can get a CD with no problems, but god forbid you need some feedback or service from them. It’s just one person’s experience, FWIW.

I belong to lots of book clubs, CD clubs, and video clubs. Instead of conducting my business via snail mail, and wasting stamps, I do everything through their web sites. It is faster and easier. I haven’t had many problems, and when I did, they were fixed quickly and I always got an apology. I just ordered from Amazon for the first time the day before yesterday. Today I got an e-mail saying my order has already been sent out. I ordered the boxed set of the Griffin and Sabine Trilogy, and I saved a ton of money, even after figuring in shipping charges.

“Love given when it is inconvenient is the greatest love of all. Kindnesses that are shared at a high cost to oneself are the most dear.”

Don’t know who said it, but I like it.

I’ll join the Greek chorus (“me too! me too!”) and say I love Amazon and have had no problems w/ them. And yeah, talk about badly addictive!

Not to blow any trade secrets or anything, but some libraries allow staff to purchase books at the discounted rate through work. (In some places, this has been determined to be illegal; a “perk” that would undoubtedly erode the financial structure of the nation if continued.) Though individuals pay tax, of course…

ANYWAY, my current library doesn’t, and this is pure torture. Try living around wonderful book reviews and not lust. Anyhoo, since I’ve discovered Amazon, it’s just about as cheap and really quite efficient. I’ve had no problems w/ either delivery time or billing.

And as a side observation, from one who is a shameless book “pusher” from way back, Amazon also does a decent job of providing reader reaction to books. (Ignore their staff reviewers, esp. Harriet Klausner.) It’s enlightening how often the “masses” (i.e. passionate readers who are willing to put their bucks down) have zeroed in on books where even excellent professional reviewers have blown it.

{sadistic chuckle}
“Popped your cherry”, huh? Just had to try it and discover a new appetite. Well, you’ll pay. You’ll pay.