Good for: home entertainment, cameras, personal computing
Pros: has the retail system, reliable, wide choice, compiles different sellers
Cons: it’s a marketplace – not all sellers are necessarily reliable.
One of online retail’s biggest players, Amazon does a lot of consumer electronics. Always somewhere to check if you’re making a big purchase.
Follow on after the jump…
Good for: cheap second hand tech, obscure components, anything you want
Pros: great bargins if you get a good dealer
Cons: second-hand gadgets? Harder to make sure they’re safe as well as functioning.
The eBay experience is perhaps slightly better suited to clothes than consumer electronics, but with so much stuff and some great prices, it’s worth a browse and perhaps a buy if you’re feeling adventurous.
Good for: memory cards, printer cartridges, photo paper, recordable CDs/DVDs
Pros: cheap and reliable
Cons: limited selection
Offering a supply of storage and printing goods, it does what it says on the tin – well.
Good for: Cheap Laptops, Hard Drives, LCD Monitors, LCD TVs
Pros: great record on Google reviews (4.4/5), good prices and offers.
Cons: spam, apparently and a few hitches with customer service http://alex.tsd.net.au/cpill/2005/09/19/the-horrable-tale-my-friend-had-with-ebuyer/
One of the UK’s biggest computer retailers, reselling branded products from elsewhere at good prices.
Good for: laptops, netbooks, printers, projectors, phones
Pros: good prices, often some of the cheapest going and good customer feedback
Cons: some people have complained about the customer service helpline.
A great shop, with very competitive prices and good reviews on google shopping and bizrate.
Good for: beautiful, weird, one-off pieces of geek chic
Pros: nobody else will have that circuit board pin badge
Cons: as with any marketplace you can’t be exactly sure what you’re getting; based in America, so greater shipping costs to UK
An online marketplace for handmade craft-work, this has a strong geek-chic seam, with everything from knitted iPhone covers to scrabble cufflinks, frameable robot sculpture. We like it a lot.
Good for: wifi-detecting t-shirts, water-bomb kits
Pros: UK-based, good selection
Cons: poor showing on the ‘for her’ section
This does stock the wifi-detecting t-shirt. Part of me is like: how fun is that? Part of me is like: cheesh. Perfect solution – get your boyf/brother/gullible friend/current squeeze to put it on and accompany you to places where you want to check the wifi signal.
One complaint – the ‘For Her’ section includes humane spider catchers and giant hooded towels called ‘slankets’ – if your friend/partner gives you either of these things, end the relationship quickly. Not Very Inspired. The rest of the site is better though.
8. Buy Cool Gadgets
Good for: Margaret Thatcher nutcrackers, umbrellas that twinkle
Pros: these are weird, and kinda funny
Cons: yes, you could call these gimmicks
Perfect for those weird things you get your brother for his birthday. A place for the quirky buy, rather than where you’d look for a laptop.. must say that the twinkling umbrella is now on my birthday wish-list.
9. Think Geek
Good for: t-shirts with geek slogans, doormats with IP addresses
Pros: good selection, genuinely quite amusing products
Cons: based in America – increased shipping
Funny and sometimes quite cute as well, this has geek chic down. T-shirts for when you want to look like an unhappy nerd, office stationery to make everybody lol and some really cool things like cassette bags.
10. Genie Gadgets
Good for: flying alarm clocks, remote-controlled vibrators, grow your own bonsai sets
Pros: this sells remote-controlled vibrators
Cons: this sells remote-controlled vibrators
Doing naughty as well as wacky, this UK site caters to that area of gadgets that fill the grey area between funny and annoying.