I'm curious if you guys use amazon.com as much as you should. And if you don't, I'm going to try to convince you of its brilliance.
I'm not sure I really realized the beauty of it until Christmas 2008 when I was shopping for an iPod for Jonathan. He wanted one that could hold a lot of music - and those things get expensive as you add more GBs!
When shopping around, I realized that amazon had the desired iPod for much less than anyone else was selling it. But I think up until that point, I thought amazon was one of those things like eBay, where you could potentially get a knock-off of the product, and that's why it's so cheap. I talked to some technology analysts at work, though, and they explained how amazon is 100% legit - it offers lower prices because it takes a lower margin than, say, Apple.
And from that day forward, I pretty much check amazon before I buy anything. And we've signed up for the brilliant "Amazon Prime," where you pay like $80/year and get free 2nd day shipping on qualifying orders. And it applies to both Jonathan & my account - so it's $80 very well spent, in our opinion.
Some sort of non-traditional things I've bought on amazon for much less than their list price anywhere else: Dolce & Gabbana perfume, a purse (The Sak brand), a Cuisinart food processor, non-disposable diapers, a pashmina scarf, slippers, a magazine subscription, an iPod, an iPhone case, Wii games, re-usable grocery bags, and a Furminator cat brush.
And the books. They are glorious & abundant & cheap! I often choose to buy books that are lightly used (environmental reasons & general cost-saving strategies); and can I just say, if you're willing to do that, you'll often pay $.01 for a book on amazon (plus usually $3.99 shipping) - $4 for a book is awesome! Even if you want a brand new book, prices are astronomically lower than what you'll find in bookstores or other online retailers.
So do it! Before you make your next purchase, just try amazon, see if it's cheaper. Because my guess is that it will be - and you'll be so happy you decided to check!
(And no - I've not made a career change to online marketing for amazon - I just seriously think it's an awesome website & hope that others realize how cool it is.) Happy weekend!