Thursday, March 31, 2011

Blu Ray Media Stores: Review

Blu Ray blank media guide : Best Blu Ray media stores
Best Blu Ray Media Online Stores Part 6: Review often shows up in shopping engines as a good place to find well priced, difficult to find items, yet appears, at first site to have a ridiculously small inventory. When we dug a little deeper we actually found out that there is a larger mother lode of Blu Ray media to be found in a secret stash, some of it with excellent prices...

Site and usability
Blu Ray media can be found on the site under Optical Media -> Blu Ray Media, but for some reason the category so identified does not display more than a very small number of choices. To get to the "real" inventory of Blu Ray media, one has to go to Computers -> Supplies & Media -> Media & Cleaning Cartridges -> Optical CD/DVD/Magneto Media, then refine results using the keyword "Blu Ray."  Site speed is dismal, with 7.0 seconds per page average to display a right-clicked SKU, although, probably due to caching, a regular left-click will display the same page in 3.5 seconds. Of our wish list of 13 types of sorting and binning, provides a lowly 4: you do not have a Blu Ray category, cannot select speed, type, single/ dual layer, printability,  or quantity, cannot sort by best rating or most reviews, and need to calculate price per disk yourself. On the other hand, you can select the manufacturer, sort by best selling price, or manufacturer, and view user ratings on the listing pages.

Inventory and price shows off a total inventory of 117 Blue Ray media, and stocks a solid 31% of our 89 Blu Ray test media. - ranking 4th of all stores surveyed, after MediaMegaMall, Amazon and RunTechMedia. prices are on average 25.4% higher than the best price across our surveyed stores, fourth highest after Provantage, SuperMediaStore, and B&H.  Interestingly, has the best price for 5 SKUs, for media stocked by more than one store, rating 4th after MediaMegaMall, NewEgg and Amazon - much better under this criterion that when looking at the average overprice. This tells us that has a fairly wide range of prices, with some excellent prices and some very bad ones...Some of the best prices are met when is the actual distributor as opposed to marketplace merchants. stocks 3 of the 6 media we selected for best Blu Ray archival grade media, for a low overprice of 12% over best price across the category.

User reviews gives its users the ability to write user reviews, which are common in some parts of the site. In the Blu Ray media area, however, user reviews are practically nonexistent, totaling 17 across all Blu SKUs.

Customer Service
Like Amazon, has a very significant marketplace component, with various merchants selling directly to consumers in the space - it probably pays a heavy price for it in its CS ratings. It gathers more than 4,000 reviews on ResellerRatings with a lowly 81% rating. It gathers an astounding 255,000 reviews on Google Shopping with a slightly higher 86% rating, and receives a low 81% predictive CS rating.

Table: Blu Ray media review (see legend below)

Conclusion is a general purpose shopping site with a large marketplace component, with poor site speed and sorting, an uncomfortable browsing experience, average inventory, some of the best and worst prices at the same time, and mediocre customer service. While it should not be relied on as the primary shopping site for Blu Ray media, with some excellent prices it is probably a site to check out when looking for good pricing opportunities, as long as service (such as delivery time) is not a critical part of the purchase.

Next we review MediaMegaMall for blank Blu Ray media... So come back soon!

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Table Legend:
Total inventory: total number of Blu ray media SKUs on the site
Inventory %: percentage of list of 89 Blu Ray media that can be found at the store
Inventory % for selected archival media: % of SKUs that we selected in our Blu Ray Media review for archival grade
Site sorting: how many types of sorts and bins are possible on the site (out of the 13 we listed in our wish list)
Average query speed: the average speed to display a right-clicked SKU  - measures browsing speed
Average overprice: How much % over best price, for all media present in more than one store

Average overprice for selected archival media: specifically how much % over best price for the media we selected for archival grade
# lowest priced SKUs: how many SKUs in the store equal best price (if more than one store carries them)
# user reviews: how many user reviews we found on the site for Blu Ray media
Predictive CS rating: our worst case analysis of the likely Customer Support rating for this store
, explained

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