The CNET Lounge forum

General discussion

What's the most important factor when it comes to choosing e-commerce sites?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / April 17, 2012 2:26 AM PDT

To give you some perspective of this poll read this blog:
Can't someone please fix online shipping, already?

Aside from trustworthiness, prices, and customer service, what's the most important factor when it comes to choosing e-commerce sites?

-- Shipping and handling cost (Please explain.)
-- Options as to shipping carrier (Why?)
-- Delivery time (What's your expectation?)
-- Return policy (What's your expectation?)
-- Other (What is it?)

Post a reply
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: What's the most important factor when it comes to choosing e-commerce sites?
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: What's the most important factor when it comes to choosing e-commerce sites?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Shipping cost are known!

Delivery times are the worst bugabear to me.. I KNOW when I order something on line what the shipping costs are & I can make decisions as to whether I am willing to pay them or not !... Often you cannot be sure how long it will take before it is delivered. The worst habit some sites have is to take your order for something tat appears to be available AND only after taking your order ( and sometimes cash) do they tell you it is "on order". The worst offenders are also difficult to get a refund from !

Collapse -
Shipping and Handling Costs.

This can be a read deal breaker for me. I had one recently that wanted about $30 for this. I gravitated away from that site quickly. I like the free and low cost option to be there. I usually buy things on line since it can be difficult to get some things from local stores. Also some of the prices are significantly lower than the brick and mortar stores. In my Firefox browser, I have a bookmark folder marked "To Buy" where I can accumulate all of the sites that have products that I want to buy, and then I can get to the site quickly and make the purchase. Things that aren't really urgent can be in there for quite a while, but readily available when I decide to make the purchase. I think that Amazon is one of my favorite sites since they seem to have a good pricing policy. I'm sure that is why they are so popular with millions of customers.

Collapse -
Amazon sucks
by nmgene / April 17, 2012 3:57 AM PDT

I bought 2 remote start systems, they didnt say anywhere that I would need additional modules at $60 a piece. The seller claimed it was amazons fault and amazon denied me a return of the items. I bought the extra modules elsewhere. I wont ever do business with amazon again. Sportsmans Guide. There products are great, there customer service is great and there shipping even though it is through UPS is more then reasonable. They dont stick it to you for shipping like others do. The more a company ships with UPS the cheaper the rate, you can get up to 40% off there standard rates. Some just take the savings and pocket it as shear profit.

Collapse -
Tracking Infol...

One of the things that really gets me upset is when the vendor doesn't advise you of the shipping status. Some of them don't even acknowledge your order... that's unforgiveable, and guarantees I won't buy from them again.

One of the BEST online companies I've bought from is Egghead. Often, shipping is free, they advise status every step of the way, and provide good shipping status and tracking info.

Collapse -
Many considerations

Many intermediate steps reside between the online seller and the actual product arrives at your door. What I figure to be one of the better sites, Amazon is at the mercy of the parts picker and the actual shipping person. This assumes that the elecronic connection between my chosen items and the correct order goes to the distributor or manufacturer are good, then it's the hands on the product that creates the wrong parts to be shipped or the wrong label on a different box.

Collapse -
choosing ecommerce sites and Ecrater are my favorites. I go to the same sellers on those sites
over and over, and am always amazed at their shipping speed. Packaging, not so much,
but very fast shipping.

Amazon Prime works most of the time. 2 to 4 days, is what it should advertise.
When I need an item fast, it usually comes in 4 days with Prime. But free shipping
with prime is a good deal.

Ebay sellers have burned me so many times. Bad packaging and damaged items. They
may start out new, but Bad packaging has soured me to ebay. 6 top sellers in a row?!!
All just threw my orders into a box and out the door. No packaging to protect them.
Static charged peanuts with electronics, and other frustrating acts of shipping terrorism.

Collapse -
by Thoyboy / April 17, 2012 8:21 PM PDT

I think the state of the packaging is VERY important!. On a number of occasions I have received goods damaged in transit. I usually never deal with these sites again, unless I have had previous deiveries arrive in good condition. After all somtimes things do get damaged by delivery firms. Just before Xmas I orderd a dinner set from House of Fraser. seven of the 8 dinner plates were smashed, as were several other items. The packaging was very poor with a single sheet of bubble wrap at the bottom and nothing between plates. The intended recipient didnt get their intended present and I had to buy an alternative. They later purchased the dinner set from the pottery , from whom it arrived well packed. So H of F go on my list of people NOT to buy on line from again.HofF were very parsimonious in their offer of compensation, although they did refund the cost of the purchase.

Collapse -
Shipping options....

Try living in Hawai'i (or Alaska). You read "FREE SHIPPING" (ONLY to the lower 48 states)!! Sellers seem set on shipping UPS or FEDEX and not USPS. Shipping a small package can cost upward of $53.00 via UPS, where if they would ship via USPS flat rate box, it could be as low as 10-14 bucks. I just recently ordered a lot of repair parts for my truck on eBay. Had to ship to my nieces home so she could forward them on via USPS. All the parts had "FREE SHIPPING" but again, not to foreign countries like Hawai'i or Alaska! The kick was, when the parts got shipped, almost everyone of them went via the US mail!! I spend a lot of time to find the few companies that will ship to me. I even over look the slow shipping that I come across occasionally or going Parcel Post (on some heavy items) which can take 6-8 weeks via slow boat. But at least I had the choice!

Collapse -
Love & Hate

I love Amazon's :
customer reviews.
Free shipping (I hate shipping costs because it's not an Amazon item)
Return policy
Ease of ordering
Feels more secure as it's an established, known company.

I hate:
Wondering if the company is legit.
Not knowing shipping costs until adding to cart
No tracking # provided
No way to contact if problems.
Excess packing material (peanuts).
Find out item's back ordered after checking out.
No estimate of delivery date.

Collapse -
Delivery time, every time!

Personally, I don't think anyone can beat Amazon (I'm a Prime member) for their shipping prices, or the overall delivery time. However, I buy a lot of computer parts, and for that sub-genre of electronics, I think the BEST place to purchase is Newegg. They have fairly inexpensive shipping and, depending on your location, their delivery times are unreal. I absolutely REFUSE to purchase from a site that either doesn't have a fast, low-cost shipping option, or charges an arm, both legs and an ear for overnight or 2 day shipping.

Collapse -
Shipping and handling cost

I do most of my buying at Amazon for the free shipping at the $25 level. I do, however, accumulate flash memory cards and such add-ons when buying $22.99 items! S'okay, tho..... My other favorite is The shipping cost of $2.95 is immensely reasonable.

Collapse -
Sheer convenience!

I don't always have the time to go shopping and many times when I do have the time, the stores are closed.
I am a Amazon Prime member for a reason. I purchase alot of items from Amazon. Just being able to shop online and do my comparisons from the comfort of my laptop, is just great.
So Convenience is my prime mover!

Collapse -
May be this should be their in the list

"Payment mode" is gaining importance for eCommerce sites these days.
Customers these days are much concerned about security issues with credit/debit card payments, to avoid which they opt paying "Cash on delivery" .

What do you guys think.........?

Popular Forums
Computer Help 49,613 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,349 discussions
Laptops 19,436 discussions
Security 30,426 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 20,308 discussions
Windows 10 360 discussions
Phones 15,802 discussions
Windows 7 7,351 discussions
Networking & Wireless 14,641 discussions

CNET Holiday Gift Guide

Looking for great gifts under $100?

Trendy tech gifts don't require a hefty price tag. Choose from these CNET-recommended useful and high-quality gadgets.