Sunday, May 04, 2003

A couple of online computer parts store reviews - I don't recall how I stumbled across this site, perhaps Computer Shopper magazine, but since then I've been nothing but happy with them. They have great prices and service. One of the great features is the ability for users to write reviews for the products. An item that has a great price may be a lemon or it might be a fantastic deal. The reviews can help you determine. They are written by every day people, not professional review writers so you're going to get the real deal on products, not marketing fluf.

They sell retail and OEM products. Those not familiar with OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts, these are the parts that places like Dell, Gateway, and the local computer store buy to build systems. This means they often don't have manuals, extra cables and software. You can save 10-15% or more going with OEM parts. For example, the Matrox G550 video card sells retail for about $120. NewEgg sells an OEM version for $95. If you know what you are looking for and do a little research ahead of time (to make sure you don't skimp yourself of something you need), OEM parts are great. One last note of warning. Some OEM parts are "tuned" down, to encourage people to buy the retail versions. ATI is the one company that pops to mind that is guilty of this.

Shipping has also been exceptional. NewEgg uses FedEx as their primary shipper. The shipping rates are always low and in some cases FREE. The parts are shipped from California. Living in Nashville Tennessee I get my parts in 2-3 days.

I have not had to return anything to NewEgg so I cannot speak for their return policy, but my experience with them thus far has been a 5 out of 5. - I found this website looking for PC cases. Not being a person to go nuts with customizing my computer with lights and windows, I thought the site was a bit overkill. And in some respects it is. However they have some redeeming features.

The first thing I noticed is how affordable their parts were. I could buy a computer case for $20 at NewEgg, but it would be junk. I purchased a case for a guy at work from Xoxide and I was pleasantly surprised. It has a window already put into the side of the case. It's not top quality but it's well done. The case by itself is very nice as well. It has places for four 80mm cooling fans, 2 in the front and 2 in the back. Xoxide only charged $8 to ship four fans for the case. That's a good deal for the insurance that extra cooling and airflow in your computer provides. Put together the case was solid and very quiet considering the number of fans (4 case fans, 1 power supply fan, 1 CPU fan and one video card fan), 7 in all.

Xoxide definitely caters to the case mod'er. It's easy to "rice out" your computer at this site. They have pretty much any part you could want or need to do so, even individual LEDs!

They haven't been all peaches and cream though. The case box was shipped in another larger box with haphazard shipping. It was almost like they had to scrounge around for packing material, including empty boxes for other things (I got excited that they shipped some goodies for free). The box the computer case was in had a great deal of water damage. The case itself was fine and showed no evidence of water ever touching the case itself, but that makes me question the location of their warehouse, if there is one.

Xoxide uses Yahoo Stores for its shopping cart back-end. Yahoo Stores works fine, no problem there, but it gives you an idea of the side of Xoxide. Makes me wonder if they are storing things in mom and dads garage.

Inventory control seems to be a bit of a problem for them too. They have a number of products that are out of stock or over stocked and on sale. Inventory control is always difficult but I worry that it could be the downfall for this company. They have the right idea, just not the right business processes. At least that's how I'm seeing it.

I've been waiting for almost 2 months for a particular computer case to be available from them. I still want it, but I may have to get white instead of
black. That's a minor problem, but still disappointing.

Again I cannot speak for returns, but I would rank Xoxide at 3 out of 5.

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