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Where to buy?

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Where to buy? [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2008, 06:21
I started planning my things to b-school, and I’d like to get your help with where to buy things: books, electronics, bikes, car, furniture, air-tickets, etc, etc, etc.

I know the classic amazon, pricegrabber, pricescan, and some others, what about if we do a compilation of e-shops, and perhaps shops for some cities, especially to help our international fellows? :wink:
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Re: Where to buy? [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2008, 06:34
http://www.nextag.com - Compiles a listing of the best prices across various websites, especially electronics.

http://www.cnet.com - Tells you whether the electronics you're looking at is crap or not.

http://www.kayak.com - Same thing, for flights.

Kwam, let me know if you'd like help buying a car. I'm a bit of a car nut, and I make a hobby out of test-driving and talking shop with various dealers. From my experience, the best deals can be had when dealing with specific dealerships in person - STAY AWAY from Carmax, etc. When you get into town, I'd be happy to take you (or anyone else) around to different dealers.
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Re: Where to buy? [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2008, 07:17
This depends greatly on how much money you have to spend. Ikea is good for decent, inexpensive furniture. Their couches suck though.
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Re: Where to buy? [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2008, 07:31
for books, I've used http://www.addall.com - it is a comparison site for book prices and it will show you the list of stores with the lowest prices. Plenty of times, I also use half.com
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Re: Where to buy? [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2008, 09:16
bherronp wrote:
Ikea is good for decent, inexpensive furniture. Their couches suck though.


That is true on SO MANY levels. So VERY many levels. Great furniture for grad students/apartments, but not convinced I would want to put it in a house I bought =)
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Re: Where to buy? [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2008, 11:54
For books you might want to evaluate whether it's actually worthwhile to buy books online. What I found as a biz undergrad student is that because of the weight of textbooks it was barely cheaper (if at all) than bookstore prices once you included shipping.
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Re: Where to buy? [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2008, 17:11
Ikea is bordering on disposable furniture. Its decent looking (if you like simple modern), cheap, and will last a few years. A better bet is find an unfinished furniture store (there has to be some near chicago), you can pick pieces, if you want they will finish it for you for pretty cheap or you can paint it or leave it plain...some comes prefinished. Its all simple but it will be solid wood, hold up way better and will be more substantial. I think if you are going to be moving abroad or even far away in the US you may be better buying furniture from a 2nd year...unless your wife wont do that. We are bringing a lot of ours with us since we spent a ton on a bunch of Ethan Allen which is great stuff but big bucks.

Flights Jet Blue and Southwest I have found to be the best rates in and out of Chicago to most locations. But all the other sites will find you decent airfares. Chicago is a big hub city so it seems flights are pretty reasonable everywhere and you can get nonstop to a lot of places.

Cars depends really what you want. Car dealers negotiate a lot, if you want a basic cheap city car your best bet is something like a toyota or honda. Carmax is good if you want to sell your car after a few years and are in a rush and havent found someone too buy it. You are better off taking your time car shopping or else you will probably get screwed. Cars in the US are much cheaper in the US than Europe although finding diesels is hard, we are idiots and believe Hybrids are the way to save gas.
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Re: Where to buy? [#permalink] New post 09 Apr 2008, 06:41
I dont have any personal experience with luxury motors but have heard great things about them. http://www.luxurymotors.com
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Re: Where to buy? [#permalink] New post 09 Apr 2008, 07:53
Try amazon. They usually have books at a great price, and any bundle of books worth over $25 will get you free shipping.
skaballet wrote:
What I found as a biz undergrad student is that because of the weight of textbooks it was barely cheaper (if at all) than bookstore prices once you included shipping.
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Re: Where to buy? [#permalink] New post 09 Apr 2008, 09:26
ncprasad wrote:
Try amazon. They usually have books at a great price, and any bundle of books worth over $25 will get you free shipping.
skaballet wrote:
What I found as a biz undergrad student is that because of the weight of textbooks it was barely cheaper (if at all) than bookstore prices once you included shipping.

I didn't use amazon (it wasn't the "big guy" back then) but I had all kinds of VERSION issues with my books when I bought online in undergrad. The savings were significant, even with shipping (usually 1/2 bookstore price). Frequently i even seemed to get the "error" version.
Added in edit:By "Error version" I mean there were ALL kinds of typos. Particularly in the problem sets on math/physics classes. Other times the problems were just different. Either way my book would have the same ISBN & version as the books bought at the store, but different contents. Spooky stuff.

What I would suggest - is to buy the softcover version from anyone you might know in India. People in my classes would buy books for ridiculously cheap when they were in india over the vacations. I am talking 10% of the US cost.

Last edited by westsider on 09 Apr 2008, 12:16, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Where to buy? [#permalink] New post 09 Apr 2008, 11:38
Funny, you guys all have very expensive taste. Ikea to me is *expensive* furniture. I can't believe they charge over $100-200 for a dining table! I guess I'm used to all the Chinese furniture stores where you get stuff for cheap. I actually "treated" myself and bought some ikea couches and tables a year ago. They're like luxury items in my house... I love Ikea stuff. :) I refuse to pay over $500 for any furniture, as it's a total ripoff.

IF you're buying a new car, I'm a die hard Edmunds.com person. Just ask for quotes through their website to the local dealerships and you'll get some very good quotes without all the hassle of haggling (unless you like that). Then you can haggle if you really want to at another dealership, knowing a good price you got from online. I'd love to shop cars with you (I love test driving cars), but you're too far away.

I got my Audi for invoice pretty much just using the online quotes, and couldn't get it any cheaper elsewhere by haggling or even knowing someone who works at a dealership.

BTW, Audi and Volkswagen will have their BluTec diesels (super clean and follows emissions laws in all 50 states) out this coming model year, so come August/September you can buy a diesel car here in the US. I just might buy a new Audi myself. :P

Amazon, ebay, craigslist, pricegrabber, are all great.
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Re: Where to buy? [#permalink] New post 09 Apr 2008, 14:15
Last year someone posted up http://www.studentuniverse.com for flights. It is a pain to register (you need your I20 and a letter from the school or such) but can save a lot on flying out to school from international cities.
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Re: Where to buy? [#permalink] New post 09 Apr 2008, 16:15
craigslist for the USA.

For other countries... UK try Loot
In Japan.,. Metropolis and Tokyo Notice Board
In Singapore .. singaporeexpats
in Hong Kong .. Geoexpat
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Re: Where to buy? [#permalink] New post 09 Apr 2008, 17:02
dosa_don wrote:
I dont have any personal experience with luxury motors but have heard great things about them. http://www.luxurymotors.com


:shock:

These guys started up in the town I grew up in, during the time I was in high school. They grew from a small dealership run out of an old motel, and into what it is today. While on paper it seems like a great success, I cannot stress enough to stay away from this dealer.

My own personal experiences aside, do a quick Google search! There are some terrible stories out there.
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Re: Where to buy? [#permalink] New post 09 Apr 2008, 17:13
I would be really careful with Craig'sList. There are some good deals to be had (found my current apt on it). However, it is EXTREMELY time consuming as there are a TON of scams on CL. If you have the time to vet out all the crazy psycho's there are some good deals to be had, but it just takes a lot of time......
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Re: Where to buy? [#permalink] New post 12 Apr 2008, 09:04
skaballet wrote:
I would be really careful with Craig'sList. There are some good deals to be had (found my current apt on it). However, it is EXTREMELY time consuming as there are a TON of scams on CL. If you have the time to vet out all the crazy psycho's there are some good deals to be had, but it just takes a lot of time......


just remove anything that involves a wire transfer and you've got 80% of the scams taken care of.
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Re: Where to buy? [#permalink] New post 12 Apr 2008, 09:06
On an aside, I've been giving some serious thought to picking up a 2 or 3 bedroom near campus, furnishing it and renting it out to incoming students, particularly married internationals coming to chicago for the first time.
Re: Where to buy?   [#permalink] 12 Apr 2008, 09:06
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