Sunday, March 31, 2013

Website Review: DeepDiscount.com


NOTE: Sadly, the site has changed.  The last time I looked at this site, it was charging for shipping on every order.  And their prices weren't as good as they used to be.

What follows is a review I wrote in 2007.  It was true for the site then, and I hope it will be true for the site again in the future.

I'm not quite sure how I first stumbled onto Deep Discount DVD, but I quickly fell in love. While I visited the sister site, Deep Discount CD, I never bought anything from them. Back in the spring, both of those sites vanished to become Deep Discount. They've expanded their inventory, but it's still the same great site I've been using to support my media addictions for years.

Deep Discount is attempting to become a media go to site to rival Amazon. With the rename, redesign, and relaunch, they expanded their inventory to include books and video games. And they continue to stock movies in all formats (DVD, both HD-DVD and Blu Ray, and UMD for PSP), movie memorabilia like movie posters, and CD's. They also carry cell phones, something I didn't realize. Since I don't have one, I have no idea how their prices are in this area.

Prices

The prices are one thing that keeps me coming back. While they don't advertise just how much they discount their items, every item I have looked at is discounted. I have gotten so I just look at Amazon and Deep Discount when I am looking to buy something on-line. Their price is usually within a dollar of Amazon's - sometimes higher, sometimes lower. Pre-order items or just released top sellers are discounted more then average, but every time has some kind of discount.

I am absolutely in love with their new books section. I don't know if it's temporary because of the new launch, but their prices are usually better then Amazon in this category right now. New hardcovers are about a dollar cheaper, and all their paperbacks are discounted about 10%, something Amazon hasn't done in years.

The site offers a low price guarantee. They promise the lowest total price on each item in stock when you include shipping. I have sometimes found others to be lower, but very rarely when shipping is involved. Even so, I have never tried to take advantage of their guarantee.

Search and Selection

With the redesign, they seem to have improved their site search feature as well. There old one used to drive me crazy, but now it's great. When you enter something in the search box, they give you the top listings for the item. Unlike their old search, you can be fairly general with your search terms and still find what you want. The most popular items appear first, and all the categories are mixed in together. On one side, they have options to narrow your search by category, which does help. Or you can start by selecting the category you want from a drop down box when you enter your search terms. Obviously, you'll have to do some looking if you are looking for an unpopular or obscure item. But if it is in stock, you'll be able to find it.

Which brings me to another point. Unlike many websites, this one only offers new items for sale. And they don't waste time with out of print items. If the item hasn't been announced for release yet or has gone out of print, you won't be able to find it in their database. This can be confusing at times. However, every time I have searched for something I know is available, I have found it. It's only the stuff I wasn't sure about that I haven't been able to find.

Shipping

And now we come to the true beauty of the site, their shipping policy. Standard shipping is always free to all 50 US states and territories. It doesn't matter how much or how little you order. This is how they sometimes get away with items being slightly more for their low price guarantee. But I love being able to order one or two items, not worry about the cost, and get it for free.

In stock items usually ship within two business days. From there, they take a week to get from their warehouse in Chicago to me in Southern California. They ship USPS Standard Delivery, which offers no tracking number. Their website claims usual delivery is 5 to 10 business days with a very rare 15 business day delivery time. I have never had to wait longer then the 10 business days to get my order.

Pro-orders are timed to arrive at or after the release date. I have only tried a few pre-orders, but they have arrived anywhere from a day early to a few days after release date. This is the site that accidentally shipped copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows two weeks before the release date. And no, I wasn't one of those lucky ones who got it early.

If you are impatient, they do offer other shipping options. For a flat rate of $5.95, in stock items will be shipped to arrive in 2-5 business days. For $9.95, you can chose second day air. All back orders and pre-orders are still shipped standard delivery. I have never used either shipping option, so I can't comment on service or delivery.

Customer Service

Fortunately, I can't comment on their customer service for problems. I have received every item I ordered in a timely manner. I haven't gotten anything damaged or defective, so I've never felt the need to return anything or call their 800 number. Considering I've been a customer for years, I consider that good service.

One Gripe

The site never seems to remember who I am. I have visited the site on several computers, and I always have to log in. The longest I think it has remembered me is a week. They used to have a "Remember me" box, but that is gone now, so maybe it is a feature instead of a bug.

Conclusion

The move to Deep Discount has done nothing but make a great web site even better. I have recommended the site to family and friends and plan to be a loyal customer for many years to come.

No comments:

Post a Comment