Buyer Beware: Why Knowledge and Price Checking is Important

At times we all need a new gadget, be it out of a want or a necessity and so you search online to find the gadget that suits you and then try to find the best deal, however online prices may not be the best deal after all. Also some people may not even do research and using the ‘if it costs more, it usually is better’ rule as a yard stick for their decision. Below are 2 screenshots from 2 different online shops in Brunei: QQeStore and Incomm.

Below: Incomm showing the HTC Desire going for B$663 while the Desire S goes for B$654 ($9 cheaper)

Below: QQeStore displays that the Xperia Neo is B$798 while the Arc is B$788 ($10 cheaper)

Due to the price difference, it could bring somebody to believe that the HTC Desire is better than the Desire S and the Neo is better than the Arc. In actual fact it is the other way around: the Desire S is a new generation after the Desire and while the Arc is a flagship phone thus is a higher premium phone. This is why knowledge is important, buyers should educate themselves with any device that they wish to get so they don’t run into any gotcha moments after buying it.

However, if you don’t have the time to check for all the details and reviews, doing an online price comparison with a store that keeps prices up to date (vs the typical Bruneian depreciation-does-not-exist price). Check the 4 local online stores: QQeStore, Shopping.com.bn, eMall and Incomm for price comparisons first then go on to check other online stores. One place I found recently for phones and tablets is SGBest.com. While I haven’t shopped with them, nor am I affiliated to them in any way, it seems like a good tool for price comparisons. The typical a-newer-and-better-device-has-a-higher-price mentality usually works in this case as shown in the screenshot below showing the phones used in the previous example, showing the Arc and Desire S being more expensive than the Neo and Desire respectively.

I hope this serves as a public service announcement or even just some link sharing of online stores for you to do your tech price comparisons for your future shopping endeavours. If you have any links to share, feel free to leave some in the comments, we will all thank you for helping us lighten our wallets and purses =)

P.S. there is always eBay Global (searches all eBay sites around the World, not just US) and DealExtreme (for lots of little gadgets and stuff – the closest thing to RadioShack I can get)

Brunei’s Online Shopping Experience – Part 1

I was really encouraged when I first heard of QQeStore several years back. They pioneered the field of online shopping on a local stage and they brought it with a nicely designed website too. Not sure how long after that a rival was born in Shopping.com.bn (I won’t and can’t link to them due to their ridiculous terms of use). I’ve been a customer of QQeStore for several purchases ranging from my old phone (Nokia 3110c) to a Sony Ericsson charger to a hard drive and I was please with the experience but I thought I was time to take a look at these 2 shopping stores and pit them head to head in different features and functionality and tell you which store you should shop at. I recently made purchases from both online stores and document my experiences with them in the following sections.

Covered in this art:

  • Design
  • Usability
  • Product Selection

 

Design

QQeStore
QQ: Design WIN

Shopping.com.bn
Shopping.com.bn: Design FAIL

Hands down QQeStore has a great eye pleasing design and is a joy to use: clean, simplistic and functional. Shopping.com.bn is using way too many different colours and

Round 1: QQeStore

 

Usability

QQeStore

Shopping.com.bn

QQ: Typical page Shopping.com.bn: Typical page

Typical page


QQ: item selection Shopping.com.bn: item selection

Item Selection


QQ: Item Page Shopping.com.bn:Item Page 1/2

 
Shopping.com.bn:Item Page 2/2

Item Page


QQ: Pagination WIN Shopping.com.bn: Pagination FAIL

Pagination


Browsing through the catalogue as you decide to window shop or what item to buy, both stores offer a similar experience but QQeStore stands out by having more product information: “Product Details” and “Specifications” while also offering a section on “Other Products In This Category”, a great way to discover other products that may better suite your needs. The product details is an ideal way to introduce unfamiliar customers with the product and is a great way to give an idea to the customers of what the product does, as to some specifications alone may be complete gibberish. Chalk another point for QQeStore with their “next” and “previous” pagination buttons as both offer small hard to click page numbers, these next and previous links help the process of jumping page to page.

Round 2: QQeStore

 

Product Selection

QQeStore

Shopping.com.bn

QQ: Product Selection

Shopping.com.bn: Product Selection

Both stores are very IT and home electronics related but they other things such as jewelry, wedding rings on Shopping.com.bn and some interesting toys and thinga-majigs on QQeStore

Round 3: Tie (No clear winner)

 

Part 1 Conclusion

After 3 round QQeStore has the upper hand with 2 wins over 0 for Shopping.com.bn. In the following parts, topics such as the shopping process, hidden charges, security and price will be covered so stay tuned