I have been buying stuff online for over 11 years. I started back in the big Dot com rise of the mid 90's. Some of the first things I bought were computer parts from Egghead.com. I later bought shaving cream, Mach 3 razors and toothpaste from More.com. More.com was an interesting site. They sold drug store items for less than I could buy them at the Drug store.....and had free shipping. After about a month they started offering "same price for life" on certain items. I would buy Mach 3 razors for $1 and that price was good "forever". The same razors cost more than $6 at WalMart (WalMart is no longer Wal-Mart). Well that site went bust within a month or two.
The point of all of that is I have been buying online for a long time. When I was in college the UPS and Airborne Express guys knew my schedule and would leave stuff at my door or would wait till I was home to deliver. I never had a slip stating they missed me. I know what sites to go to for the best deals and where to get online coupons from. Lately there has been a convergence of sorts. Amazon.com has gone from mostly books to mostly everything. I have ordered from Amazon 75% of the time over the last two years. They have free shipping on many items and have low prices...lower than WalMart even. How? I'm not sure.
That being said one still has to be careful buying on Amazon. Many times the exact same item can be sold by Amazon and one of the Amazon partners. Kelli and I wanted a new piece of furniture to hold our components for the home theatre system. Previously we had a nice metal and glass rack. This looked fine next to our huge projection TV. Now with our slim flat panel....it looks chunky. I found a nice entertainment table at WalMart.com (this item isn't sold in the store). The price is $147 including tax (item is here ). WalMart.com has a VERY nice option where shipping to the store is free! True not the same as free shipping home...but it's very reasonable. I was okay with that....and ordered. I then went to Amazon "just to look". I found the SAME (click here ) $149 with free shipping to the house! I looked more and found the same item again on Amazon for $180 + $50 shipping (click here ). I am sure many simply find the first item they see on Amazon and buy it not knowing that they could save money buy searching around a little more. True I am spending $2 more at Amazon vs Walmart, but I am getting it shipped to the door step vs having to drive and lug it to the car myself. I am taking a risk if the item arrives damaged...but we will see.
I am stuck on one thing with Amazon.com. The have a Amazon Prime Membership where you can get free 2 day shipping on anything you order and $3.99 next day shipping...no limit. The membership cost $79 a year. Can't justify it.