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Editorial: Buying CD's online, is it worth it?
By Rock n World Managing Editor, Keavin Wiggins
 

You may have heard horror Stories from people concerning buying CD's online. That might bring to mind the questions:

Is it safe?
Is it affordable?
Is it worth it?
Are there any hidden cost?

The purpose of this editorial is to answer those questions. I  first found myself having to turn to an online CD store a year ago after a mail order CD outlet ripped me off, and my local CD retailers could not special order the import disc, I was searching for. So I did a little investigation, I first asked friends if they had experience purchasing CD's online, luckily a few had. Then I did a search for online CD stores. It took a while because the search engine returned a million results. I finally found one. I did a search on the web site for the Disc I was searching for, and found a listing. I did notice that unlike other CD's on the artist page this one did not have the in-stock message next to the title. So I found an email link and sent the cd store a message, asking if the CD was in stock and if not how long it would take to get it. The next day I got a response, and was told that they could get the CD within 4 to 6 weeks. I didn't want to wait that long, so I searched some more, came across 3 CD store web pages, that had the disc listed but not in stock. Then I refined my search using the word import as well as "purchase", "The artist name", and "CD title". I did find a small online store that had the CD in stock, so I filled out the order form, and notices at the bottom of the page that the shipping and handling was $30.00 on top of the $35.00 for the import CD. I finally said forget it and gave up. 

A week later I was on a fan page, and noticed a banner ad for a large online CD Store. I went to their page, and found the CD in stock, and checked the shipping terms, it was $4.00 for U.S. Priority mail, and the CD was only $25.00. So I ordered it, and three days later I was enjoying it in my CD player. 

Since then I have tried a few online CD Stores, I find they have a wider selection than local retail stores, their prices are lower, and most of them are honest about their terms, such as shipping, the amount of  time it will take to receive your order. Some even have real audio samples of the CD's so the songs can be sampled before forking over you hard earned dollars for a CD with one good song on it. Additionally I have ordered from some smaller sites as well, and have been equally satisfied, But I learned to ask any questions I might have before placing the order  such as:

  • Is the item in stock?
  • How much is shipping?
  • How long will it take to get my order?
  • Is there a handling or processing charge?
  • Is the store located in my state? If so how much is the local rate for sales tax.
  • What are their return, and cancellation policies?
  • Do they offer a guarantee?
Most online stores will be honest, and helpful, because they know if they make you happy with the first order you will be back for more. 

Until next time, keep rock'n and happy shopping.

Keavin

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