Do you buy online? Nearly $30-billion was spent in online purchases this past holiday season.
I did my share and bought Mac goodies online with Apple, Amazon, and MacSales. It was easy. It just wasn’t as much fun as using my Mac.
Between mid-November 2007 and the week before Christmas, I made over half a dozen online orders for Mac items, hardware, software, and other goodies. Some orders were for personal use, some for gifts. Ordering was easy. Getting was problematic.
My Apple Store orders went without a hitch and arrived within a day of expected delivery. I ordered a number of times through the Mac360 Store, which is really Amazon. We get a few cents on each dollar order, so helping out our own cause seemed like a good thing.
Amazon ships products from everywhere because the products often come from everywhere. For example, one order contained six products which were shipped from four locations. All but one of them arrived within a day of the expected delivery date.
An iPod order went south. I tracked the order from Amazon and, much to my surprise, found that it was delivered to someone in Florida. It was a gift so I had to cancel that order and grab what I could from the local Apple Store.
Two of my eight holiday orders had screwed up deliveries. The worst situation was my gift to myself, a NewerTech miniStack external Firewire/USB hard drive which I ordered from MacSales.
I’ve ordered from MacSales (also known as OtherWorldComputing) a number of times in the past. Prices are competitive, they’re Mac centric, and service is very good. What’s not to like?
I found and ordered the miniStack with a 500 gigabyte SATA drive, selected Standard Shipping (typically 7 days, they said), since I wasn’t in a hurry, and placed the order. That was December 12. On December 14th, MacSales informed me that the miniStack had been shipped.
A few days later I checked online for delivery status and obtained a tracking number. Remarkably, the US Postal Service had received the miniStack on the 17th, a full five days after I ordered it, and three days after MacSales said it had shipped. OK, don’t grumble, Ron. What’s a few extra days? It’s the holidays. Chill.
Over a week later I checked online for delivery status and found that the miniStack had made it to California on December 26th. Well, surely it’ll make here in a day or two. That was wishful thinking. The miniStack arrived yesterday, January 9th.
In the meantime I had grumbled to the support staff at MacSales. They’re quick and attentive but pointed out that if I had wanted my miniStack sooner, I should not have chosen Parcel Post Delivery (which uses a slow boat to China). Incorrectomundo, El MacSales. Your delivery option said nothing about “Parcel Post.” It said “Standard Delivery… in about 7 days.” It didn’t say anything about 27 days. Or was that a typo?
If Parcel Post had been an option I would have chosen another delivery method, Priority Mail, UPS or FedEx, starting at only $4.00 more. Lesson learned. Buyer beware. In the future I’ll check to see what they mean by Standard Delivery.
My grumbling to MacSales paid off. The options today do not say anything about Standard Shipping, but list USPS and Parcel Post as the low cost option. Interestingly, it costs $22.66 to ship the 500 gigabyte miniStack but only $17.71 to ship the 80 gigabyte miniStack. That extra 420 gigs must be heavier and cost nearly $5.00 more to ship.
Without question I will order from Apple, Amazon (the Mac360 Store), and MacSales in the future.
Do you have a similar or worse experience when buying Mac products online? Share your story and talk back to Mac360 readers in the Comments section below.