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Where The Deals At?

» Articles, Features, Rant-ON | posted by Wai Yung (Wayne) Chim on 01/29/2006 [Discuss]


Where The Deals At? ——————————————-

By: Alpha

     Many fans ask me, ‘Where can I buy Anime with the cheapest price’? I say, ‘Online, of course.’ Now, most of us know that online stores are where the deals are at, but do we know which stores give the best service? Or the best out of the best deals? That is why I am here. Let me show you the light to save a few bucks while making your next purchases. First let me say that retail stores are sometimes cheap also, it really depends on the store itself. In New York City there is a store called J and R, when Christmas strikes, the discounts start rolling in. If I recall correctly, two years ago I bought the Saber Marionette J collections with a 25% discount off of the MSRP (Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price). It was considered pretty cheap to me back then, when I had a job and no girlfriend :P.

     If I asked anyone from a group of let us say about ten, ‘What is the number one place you think of online that you know you could probably find deals’? The first answer would be eBay. eBay, eBay, eBay. eBay is where most people buy things lately. I find it only sometimes a person could actually get a deal purchasing from eBay. Why would I say that? Well if the seller does not get you with the price of the product, he will probably get you with the shipping cost.  Let us say the DVD costs $19, but the shipping costs $5, that comes out to $24.  From what I know, the United States Postal Service charges approximately $3 and under for packages that are the weight of a DVD.  So the seller rips a few bucks from the shipping to earn a little more, although I guarantee that he got the product for way cheaper than $19 in the first place.  Some may argue that the extra few bucks went into buying the packaging stuff, oh please, how much can a bubble package cost?  From my knowledge it costs $5 to get like ten from Staples.  Anyways, you might also want to consider these examples before purchasing through an auction:

          1) Buying from an auction is not safe, if you run into a bad seller, that is, a seller who keeps your money and the product, then you are in a deep pile of poo poo. How do you tell a bad from a good seller?  Well of course check the feedbacks!  If the seller has been receiving a lot of positive feedbacks then of course he is a safe bet, but then there are also sellers with a lot of positive feedbacks but also have negative feedbacks, in that case, I check the date that the negative feedback was given and the severeness of the feedback, if the negative feedback was due to an irresponsible buyer’s revenge and if the feedback given was ages ago and the seller has since then receive positive feedbacks, then he is a safe bet.  eBay does insure products that are under $200 and requests a $25 processing fee. Now people, usually how much do Anime DVDs cost? $20? Now if you go and do file a fraud complaint… you will be actually paying $5 more, so what the hell? And also it is not 100% that they can get the item to you from the bad seller and you sure as hell would not expect any money back as it is stated that to file you need to pay $25.

          2) Bootlegs, I was fooled once. A seller put all the details down, and made it sound like he was selling the legit DVD, but when I received it; it came to me that it was a bootleg DVD copy. The description never mentioned anything about it being a bootleg, it stated, ‘New and never viewed.’ Who would have thought it might have been a bootleg that this person is trying to sell? When the words new and never viewed come across my mind, I have an image of the official DVD that is new, sealed and of course never viewed. So from my experience, I suggest you ask the seller, before bidding or buying! 

          3) Sellers with no feedback. Do not consider buying from zero feedback sellers, it is too much of a risk. I once paid $90 for a pair of Air Jordan XVI and never got anything. I filed a fraud report, and eBay tells me that I cannot get any money back or they cannot do anything, because the seller has zero feedback. Now is not that some shit? They let punks like these sell and when stuff happens they are not taking any responsibility for it. Where is the justice in this?

     Sigh… enough with eBay; I can use my time to do more productive things than argue about eBay’s stupid policies that do not make sense to a normal human being. So anyways, throughout the years, I have purchased from various online DVD stores, such as, DVD Planet, Digital Eyes, Best Prices and CD Japan. There are just way too many online DVD stores out there, so I apologize if I do not cover your favorite store.

          1) DVD Planet - Well what can I say? This is my favorite out of the three U.S. online DVD stores. The packaging is a nice and safe card board box, the prices of the DVDs are dirt cheap, the shipping fee is not a killer, and the average shipping time is three days. One day to process your order and two days to arrive at your door. I have had times where I receive my order in two days! Now that is what I call customer satisfaction. DVD Planet’s prices are usually $3 - $5 cheaper than the MSRP or more if you are purchasing a box set or something. Definitely recommended 5/5 stars.

          2) Digital Eyes - I tried Digital Eyes when Fourfour44 and ChamberX both recommended them to me. They also had the attractive free shipping deal going on for purchases over $40 or so I believe. So yeah, I went cheap and bought a few DVDs and tried out the free shipping. I expected a four days delivery, but surprisingly it took eight or so days. Hey that is what you get for being cheap. The packaging is crappy, I got just a card board paper package with some garbage stuffing to make it super hard heh, well they consider it soft, but really I think it does not protect the DVDs much. Not only that though, my order came in separate packages. It just so happens that when I placed my order for GTO volume something, it just ran out of stock, so damn I had to wait a week later. I give Digital Eyes 3/5 stars.

          3) Best Prices - Best Prices had the best prices until DVD Planet came into my life. It has been too long since I made a purchase from them, so here I will give a brief idea of how Best Prices is. The price was only two dollars off of the MSRP, the shipping was $3.50 which was quite expensive at that time and the package was better Digital Eyes. Do not get me wrong, I mean the package itself, meaning it was not just a card board paper package with some garbage stuffing; it was just a card board paper package with the air bubbles protection. Apparently, this kind of packaging does not work, because when I received my order, one of the DVD’s case was cracked and completely messed up the whole case. Why? Well, because this was a 2 DVD case and the second DVD holder cracked so it does not hold the CD placement thing in place. Kind of complicated when it is explained, much simpler if I could show you. I also give Best Prices a 3/5 stars.

          4) CD Japan - This is the place to go if you want legit Region 2 DVDs. Not only does CD Japan sell Anime DVDs, they basically sell anything that is Japanese entertainment related, such as, music CDs, movie DVDs and etc. Since CD Japan is a company that is in Japan it takes more time for shipping than if it was in U.S., and of course, the shipping price will also increase. I mainly use the EMS shipping option, that is the fastest shipping option and most secure too. Their packaging is very neat. It comes in a card board box; your order is wrapped with a green piece of paper and then wrapped with those air bubble thingies. They also include a little catalog about the upcoming products; this magazine is brought to you by Pioneer and to me is quite informative. Anyways, I say CD Japan receives a 5/5 stars. 

     So all in all, if you prefer to purchase from eBay, keep what I have said above in mind.  If you do, I guaranteed you that you will never be a victim of a fraud.  As for the online stores, I am sure you will be happy with DVD Planet as that is the store that I recommend most.  If you want more options to consider before purchasing check out DVD Price Search.  They search for you all the online stores that has your desired DVD listed and gives the price and customer ratings of that store.  They are very helpful so try it, it is not like you got anything to lose except a little bit of time.  You may also consider stores directly from the Anime distribution company, such as, Rightstuf, who always have coupons for fans to save a bundle on.  But the difference between Rightstuf and other Anime companies is that they sell other companies’ products.  


Main Idea of this Rant?! - Just giving fellow fans some insights about shopping for Anime online. 


Closing Statement(s) - Shop smart!  The holiday season is coming up in a month or so, get the right Anime gifts without spending your whole life’s savings!  You will be glad you did.  Also, if you are the type that do not trust shopping online, I would ask, “Why?  It is like you are living in a cave if you are not shopping online in this day in age.”  Really, when you can get such good deals, any smart shopper will jump on the bandwagon at once.  Well if you are not convinced, then keep overpaying for your Anime, while others save online!  

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