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VANITY - Buying Electronics From Amazon A Good Deal or a Risk?
self | 01/06/08 | self

Posted on 01/06/2008 2:39:14 PM PST by Yaelle

I am buying a very expensive though small piece of electronics (a HD camcorder that can fit in a purse or pocket). It's got a great price on Amazon, better than anywhere else. I was thinking that because it's so small and I have little kids, I might need some kind of extended warranty, which I usually never get nor need.

Can I count on the manufacturer to provide good customer service for this product? Should I buy elsewhere in case something goes wrong or I get a lemon? Any suggestions from the techies?


TOPICS:
KEYWORDS: amazon; electronics; ripoff; warranty
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I'm not a techie but I know there are a lot of you out there. Do you take advantage of Amazon's great prices, and risk that the product will be OK and stay OK? Is that a risk that is too big to take with a small, expensive toy in the hands of a family?
1 posted on 01/06/2008 2:39:17 PM PST by Yaelle
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To: InterceptPoint

What do you think? You’ve helped me so much already; thanks.


2 posted on 01/06/2008 2:41:13 PM PST by Yaelle (If Fred loses it's our loss. Not his.)
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To: Yaelle

What are the terms of the warranty? And who carries the warranty?


3 posted on 01/06/2008 2:41:45 PM PST by i_dont_chat (Your choice if you take offense.)
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To: Yaelle

Amazon is OK. They sometimes act as an outlet for manufacturers and other retailers, and can offer quite nice discounts occasionally. I have never had any problem with anything I have bought through them.


4 posted on 01/06/2008 2:41:53 PM PST by P8riot (I carry a gun because I can't carry a cop.)
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To: Yaelle

Know who you are buying from, they all have ratings and pay by CC.


5 posted on 01/06/2008 2:42:20 PM PST by boomop1
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To: P8riot

Me either never a problem.


6 posted on 01/06/2008 2:42:57 PM PST by boomop1
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To: Yaelle

It’s obsolete already whatever it is. Buy books from Amazon, never obsolete.


7 posted on 01/06/2008 2:44:58 PM PST by RightWhale (Dean Koonz is good, but my favorite authors are Dun and Bradstreet)
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To: Yaelle

I buy electronics from Amazon all the time. As someone said, always use a credit card ... in all purchases, not just Amazon. If something goes wrong the card will return your money under many circumstances.


8 posted on 01/06/2008 2:45:24 PM PST by BunnySlippers (Buy a Mac ...)
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To: boomop1

How do I know from whom it ultimately comes? Scanning the details now, I still don’t see a “source.”


9 posted on 01/06/2008 2:45:33 PM PST by Yaelle (If Fred loses it's our loss. Not his.)
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To: Yaelle

The key with amazon is checking who you are buying through. They serve as a conduit for other retailers and individual sellers.


10 posted on 01/06/2008 2:46:09 PM PST by mnehring
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To: RightWhale
Buy books from Amazon, never obsolete.

Why? What are we supposed to do with a book?

;-)

11 posted on 01/06/2008 2:46:32 PM PST by lowbridge
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To: Yaelle

I usually prefer to buy through Amazon. Never had any problems.


12 posted on 01/06/2008 2:46:37 PM PST by poindexter
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To: i_dont_chat

It SEEMS to say it is not from a 3rd party. Trying to find any warranty info.


13 posted on 01/06/2008 2:47:09 PM PST by Yaelle (If Fred loses it's our loss. Not his.)
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To: Yaelle

I don’t know about that purchase in particular. Probably you should look at it and see what kind of warranty you get. But I’ve bought a lot of books and DVDs from Amazon as well as such things as a Japanese pole pruning saw and a hydraulic log splitter, and they’ve always been very good about things.

They replaced some books that vanished in the mail, no charge or argument about it. And they allow you to return books any time if there’s a problem.

I got the log splitter from them because it was about half the price offered anywhere else. So, my general experience with them has been excellent.


14 posted on 01/06/2008 2:47:28 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Yaelle
I have bought several electronics items through Amazon in the last month, including a couple where there was some problem with getting the right thing. In each case, the problem was resolved quickly and properly. So far as I can tell, Amazon deals with a variety of resellers, and does a good job of keeping them in line and responsible.

I usually prefer newegg.com, if Newegg has what I want, as Newegg prices tend to be better, and their computer related selection, my area of interest, wider. But I don't hesitate to go with Amazon if their price is better or they have what I want and Newegg doesn't.

I recommend Amazon.

No one can guarantee that the product will be OK initially; they usually are, but occassionally something fails and then you are depending on buying from a responsible reseller who is willing and able to resolve any up front problems quickly and fairly.

And no one can guarantee that a product will stay OK, nor does whom you buy it from have much to do with the chances that it will stay ok.

15 posted on 01/06/2008 2:48:32 PM PST by ThePythonicCow (The Greens and Reds steal in fear of freedom and capitalism; Fear arising from a lack of Faith.)
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To: Yaelle

I have spent tens of thousands of dollars on all manner of things at Amazon over the years, and I have never had any problem with anything. I also willingly pay for Amazon Prime shipping each year ($80 for unlimited 2-day shipping; $5 per item for unlimited next day) because the service is just plain wonderful.

In addition to that, if I ever had to return something (for any reason) back it went with no hassle to me (you can even have UPS come and pick it up for a small charge.)


16 posted on 01/06/2008 2:50:13 PM PST by ECM (Government is a make-work program for lawyers.)
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To: ThePythonicCow

Thank you so much, and thanks to all the others who’ve helped.

I can’t find any warranty info but I assume the product comes with at least some basic thing from Sony (the manufacturer). If I had purchased from a brick-and-mortar I’d probably be tempted to buy an extended.


17 posted on 01/06/2008 2:52:38 PM PST by Yaelle (If Fred loses it's our loss. Not his.)
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To: Yaelle

I cannot think of any overwhelming reasons to not buy from Amazon. The prices can be good, shipping is up to you, and they are pretty good with returns of defective products.

About the only thought I have is the lack of a local retail outlet that you could return (convenience and speed).

As far as manufacturer taking care of you - it depends on the manufacturer, but you should generally receive the same treatment regardless of where you buy it (other than “gray market goods - a whole different story).

Some credit card issuers have automatic warranty extensions built in (been so long since I even had a credit card, I don’t remember which ones).

And as far as extended warranties - they are generally a waste of money, particularly in your case - as they normally don’t cover abuse (children tearing it up). Some can be a bit forgiving, but most will deny the claim if it was dropped, had parts twisted off, etc... IN fact, any signs of abuse can often result in canceled warranty...


18 posted on 01/06/2008 2:52:49 PM PST by TheBattman (LORD God, please help us to elect a Godly and patriotic man for President in 08, Amen.)
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To: Cicero

That is amazing about the log splitter!


19 posted on 01/06/2008 2:53:36 PM PST by Yaelle (If Fred loses it's our loss. Not his.)
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To: Yaelle

You might also look at NewEgg.com


20 posted on 01/06/2008 2:53:40 PM PST by TheBattman (LORD God, please help us to elect a Godly and patriotic man for President in 08, Amen.)
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To: Yaelle; Cagey

I can tell you who NOT to buy them from.


21 posted on 01/06/2008 2:54:17 PM PST by ShadowDancer ("To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.")
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To: Yaelle

Never had a problem with ‘em and am currently enjoying my new Kindle.


22 posted on 01/06/2008 2:54:20 PM PST by TomServo
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To: ECM

We have Amazon Prime too. It ends up being worth it. Being a little ADD, buying books usually costs me less than the library (don’t ask - Bookman from Seinfeld is still trying to find me).

Thanks.


23 posted on 01/06/2008 2:54:56 PM PST by Yaelle (If Fred loses it's our loss. Not his.)
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To: Yaelle

Figure that Amazon has that electronics vendor outsourced rather than in-house, as Amazon directly deals with books, CD’s, and DVD’s. I used Amazon almost exclusively for Christmas gifts recently, which included several “outsourced” vendor products within their domain. I have been nothing but very pleased with Amazon’s follow up on these outsourced vendors, they even sent a follow up email survey asking how those transactions went. Amazon has a great business model and growing reputation for solid quality customer service. You will not be disappointed.


24 posted on 01/06/2008 2:55:24 PM PST by Mr_Moonlight
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To: Yaelle

I usually do a search for the item and you can find good deals listed at various sites.


25 posted on 01/06/2008 2:55:42 PM PST by boomop1
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To: Yaelle
First things first... Amazon often acts as a broker for other companies. So you need to find out who the actual seller is, and if they're an authorized dealer. If they're not, what you'll get is a "gray market" device, which means that the manufacturer will probably NOT give you a warranty. In addition to that, if the price is really low, you'll want to make sure that the package has all the parts in it. Some unscrupulous dealers will remove things like a case, battery, power supply, etc, and charge you extra for these "accessories."

Finally, you will want to know who you will be dealing with if there are any problems in the order and shipment: Amazon, or some third party.

Mark

26 posted on 01/06/2008 2:56:48 PM PST by MarkL
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To: Yaelle
I've been a customer of Amazon.com for years. I've purchased everything; books, CDs, DVDs, software, cameras, kitchen appliances, etc.

Any order of $25 or more is shipped free in 2 days. There are no taxes, and their prices are competitive.

The one problem I had was easily remedied. They sent me a new one and I sent the defective one back.

On another occasion, I bought an old history book from a third-party retailer. The condition of the book was not as advertised.

So, as long as you're buying direct from Amazon.com, you should be OK.

27 posted on 01/06/2008 3:00:17 PM PST by HoosierHawk
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To: TheBattman

Thanks for saying that about extended warranties. I’ve felt they were ripoffs for years myself.

I have an old Canon Powershot, about 4 years old, and it went kablooey on me in the middle of a sporting event trip to Hawaii last year. The kindly Hawaiian photo shop owner told me that the specific product has been flagged for free repairs for that specific problem, and to send it in to Canon when I got home.

My own camera shop here on the mainland denied it. They would fix it for $$ too beaucoup, so I was going to dump the camera. I called Canon though to be sure, and the Hawaiian guy was right - they had me send it in for FREE, their packaging, they repaired it for free, and the dam* thing is still kicking today! (Free plug for Canon)


28 posted on 01/06/2008 3:00:55 PM PST by Yaelle (If Fred loses it's our loss. Not his.)
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To: TomServo

You got the Kindle! “Twalk!” Can you read older books or classics on it as well as newer, best-seller types???


29 posted on 01/06/2008 3:02:01 PM PST by Yaelle (If Fred loses it's our loss. Not his.)
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To: Yaelle
While I've only purchased CD's and books from Amazon and never had any problems, I would imagine that your purchase of new electronic equipment would carry the same manufacturer's warrantee as if you bought it from a Wal-Mart or Best Buys. Just like the former, Amazon is a still a retailer even if it isn’t a “brick and mortar” store. One of the reasons that some non-brick and mortar stores can sell at cheaper prices is because they have less overhead.

When you purchase a new electronic item in its original packaging, there should be a warrantee card, registration form and information from the manufacturer about the warrantee included in the packaging. If you buy a defective product that doesn’t work or is damaged when you purchase it, the retailer will usually allow a refund or exchange.

But if after your initial purchase you have a warrantee problem, it’s not the retailer that will stand behind the warrantee; it’s the manufacturer who honors the warrantee.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=468516
30 posted on 01/06/2008 3:03:35 PM PST by Caramelgal (Rely on the spirit and meaning of the teachings, not on the words or superficial interpretations)
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To: Yaelle

Check your credit card benefits. My Visa offers to extend the manufacturer’s warrantee for a term equal to what the original warrantee was. I got a computer replaced well past the manufacturer’s warrantee expiration.


31 posted on 01/06/2008 3:05:05 PM PST by Vermonter
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To: ShadowDancer

32 posted on 01/06/2008 3:06:42 PM PST by Cagey
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To: Cagey
Now I feel better.
33 posted on 01/06/2008 3:07:15 PM PST by ShadowDancer ("To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.")
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To: MarkL
So you need to find out who the actual seller is, and if they're an authorized dealer. If they're not, what you'll get is a "gray market" device, which means that the manufacturer will probably NOT give you a warranty. In addition to that, if the price is really low, you'll want to make sure that the package has all the parts in it.

Glad I read yours before plunking down my pennies.

Tell me, how do you find out who the real supplier is? Scanning again the product description to find out. I have found one mistake so far: it claims this product was first available in October 2001. Which it was not. I'd better be sure the main parts are all included. I'd hate for the savings to be because they left out something essential. But did you see how many happy electronics purchasers are on this thread? I was very close to just buying, but I don't need the hassles of a grey market purchase.

I still can't find any hint of the supplier. It does not appear that anything essential is missing from the package, though.

34 posted on 01/06/2008 3:09:33 PM PST by Yaelle (If Fred loses it's our loss. Not his.)
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To: Yaelle

Right now I’m only reading the books I’ve purchased from Amazon - in their format. But it can read .txt, .doc and .prc formats, too. You’ll have to search in Kindle books for the books you’re interested in.

Folks are bitchin’ about the DRM aspects of it, but I’m just enjoying the dickens out of this little wonder. Worth every penny, IMO.


35 posted on 01/06/2008 3:10:31 PM PST by TomServo
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To: Caramelgal
When you purchase a new electronic item in its original packaging, there should be a warrantee card, registration form and information from the manufacturer about the warrantee included in the packaging.

This is what I was assuming, but MarkL seems to think that might not be. The manufacturer is Sony.

36 posted on 01/06/2008 3:11:14 PM PST by Yaelle (If Fred loses it's our loss. Not his.)
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To: Yaelle
I use Amazon all the time wihout problem.

Just bought an HD-DVD Player.

37 posted on 01/06/2008 3:11:46 PM PST by TexasCajun
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To: TomServo

I think I drooled when I watched their demo. I’d love that little thing.

(Were all your books recent? I still want to know if you can read old stuff on there too.)


38 posted on 01/06/2008 3:12:52 PM PST by Yaelle (If Fred loses it's our loss. Not his.)
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To: Yaelle

Here are some classics you can download

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_kinc/105-1891668-1454844?url=node%3D154606011&field-keywords=classics


39 posted on 01/06/2008 3:18:50 PM PST by TomServo
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To: Yaelle

We buy from Amazon all the time... everything from books to electronic gadgets. Only had a problem once ... a product with a manufacturing defect. This wasn’t Amazon’s fault, and they were great about minimizing the inconvenience of the return and insuring that we were credited promptly.

IIRC they gave us a coupon for five bucks off our next purchase because of the trouble.


40 posted on 01/06/2008 3:34:24 PM PST by freespirited (Still a proud member of the Stupid Party. It beats the Evil Party any day of the week.)
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To: Yaelle

How about a link, or the actual model number in question?


41 posted on 01/06/2008 3:55:50 PM PST by JoJo Gunn (Help control the Leftist population. Have them spayed or neutered. )
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To: JoJo Gunn
OK, here is the link. Sony HDR-CX7
42 posted on 01/06/2008 4:23:05 PM PST by Yaelle (If Fred loses it's our loss. Not his.)
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To: Yaelle
Price: $811.93 & eligible for free shipping with Amazon Prime
You Save: $138.06 (15%)
Availability: In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com

This means that the item is at an Amazon Fulfillment Center (probably in KY) and will be shipped from Amazon, not a 3rd party. It also means that there are no charges for second day delivery if you do/had signed up for Amazon's "all you can eat" Prime shipping rate ($79 annually for everything you buy that qualifies for Prime).

I buy 95% of my electronics and many other items from Amazon. I recently purchased my entire home theater system from Amazon. That included LCD TV, A/V receiver, DVD, Tivo HD, furniture cabinet for components, cables, power conditioner, etc. I researched on Amazon, CNET, and forums (avsforum.com). I installed and integrated all the components myself. My savings vs buying from Circuit City or Best Buy, and using either of their install services, was close to $3000.

Amazon also offers a 30 day money back return policy on items they ship directly.

Should you buy from Amazon? Absolutely. I have not shopped the price of your item, but you can try B&H Photo (reputable) and JR (jr.com) if you want to be certain.

43 posted on 01/06/2008 4:50:54 PM PST by NewLand (Always remember September 11, 2001)
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To: Yaelle

I can highly recommend Amazon. I buy almost everything on-line from them basically because of their no questions asked return policy, their great tracking system, great delivery, prices that are very competitive, no sales tax and they sell just about everything. I started out buying books, which I still do, but moved on to electronics, cameras, batteries, lenses, memory chips, you name it and I’ve bought it from them.

Give them a try. Your really can’t go wrong with Amazon.


44 posted on 01/06/2008 7:26:59 PM PST by InterceptPoint
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To: NewLand
From the price I see, $811.93, and assuming it's for a new unit, Amazon's lower than anywhere else I've looked. (Someone mentioned newegg, which is a very good outfit, but they don't list the HDR-CX7. I was going to mention checking out Crutchfield, which is very highly rated, but they want a kilobuck).
45 posted on 01/06/2008 7:43:27 PM PST by JoJo Gunn (Help control the Leftist population. Have them spayed or neutered. )
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To: NewLand

Thanks! Going to get it now. I really appreciate your advice, as well as that of the other experienced Amazonians (LOL) on this thread. Yeah, I have Prime too - love it.


46 posted on 01/06/2008 7:58:21 PM PST by Yaelle (If Fred loses it's our loss. Not his.)
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To: Yaelle
I still can't find any hint of the supplier.

Well, if you take a look at the availability, it should tell you. For instance, if you go to the Amazon web page and do a search for hasselblad h3d, you'll see the availability near the top that it's sold by, and ships from Adorama, and it could be yours for just $34,000 dollars. No, that's NOT a typo. You pay a lot for a 39 megapixel camera, especially one by Hasselblad. Oh, and I believe that's for JUST THE BODY: No lens. Figure on adding several thousand dollars for a lens.

On the other hand, if you search for a Nikon D300, you'll see that according to the availability, it ships from and is sold by Amazon. Oh, and the fact that Amazon offers a factory mail in rebate means that they are an authorized Nikon dealer, and Nikon will honor the factory warranty.

You might also check with the manufacturer to see if Amazon is an authorized dealer. BTW, if you're looking for video, two reputable mail order dealers are B&H and Adorama. If nothing else, they can give you prices to compare.

From many posts here, Amazon seems to be highly regarded and reputable. While I've never bought any electronics from them, I do know that in the 2 times that I bought DVDs that came in defective (out of countless CDs and DVDs that I've bought from them), Amazon didn't hesitate in giving me postage paid mailing labels to ship them back, and Amazon cross-shipped replacements.

Mark

47 posted on 01/06/2008 8:06:07 PM PST by MarkL
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To: Yaelle
OK, here is the link. Sony HDR-CX7

From the Amazon web site:

Availability: In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

So Amazon is the dealer.

If you go to their web site, and click on "Online Dealers," you'll see that Amazon IS an authorized dealer.

For what it's worth, B&H has it for 849.95, Amazon had it for 811.93, and Adorama has it, but I'll be darned if I can find a price on it!

Given what people have been saying about Amazon, I'd certainly go with it from them, especially since I do happen to have their "Prime Shipping."

Mark

48 posted on 01/06/2008 8:20:08 PM PST by MarkL
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To: MarkL

Would that I were in the market for a Hasselblad; times would be good indeed. :)

In post 43 the person checked out my item and said it’s at Amazon’s Fulfillment Center. I just bought it and will get it Weds. It seems like it’s worth the risk with all these Freepers pretty happy with their purchases. Plus I can then order the telephoto from somewhere else (Amazon doesn’t sell it) and have it be “almost free.”

And of course now I need some kind of editing software - I read that Pinnacle Studio will work for AVCHD.


49 posted on 01/06/2008 8:26:27 PM PST by Yaelle (If Fred loses it's our loss. Not his.)
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To: MarkL

Did it. I have their Prime too. Excited that it will be here Weds. I have to learn how to use it by next weekend.


50 posted on 01/06/2008 8:29:24 PM PST by Yaelle (If Fred loses it's our loss. Not his.)
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