Here is a copy of an e-mail I sent to a couple of ham radio friends concerning buying a car mobile ham radio rig:
Thank you, Jxxn, for telling me of your choice for dual band car radio, the Kenwood TM D700A. Your recommendation sent me on a rather long quest. I decided to wait as I heard that Kenwood was coming out with a newer version of your radio, which is now the Kenwood D710A. This new rig is EXPENSIVE but, as I get older, I figure that I have only one shot more at pampering myself. The HRO sales person told me that the model radio you have is being discounted. I asked him how long he expected Kenwood would support a rig that was being discontinued. He thought about two years. Here is how I decided to buy the radio, if you are interested read the rest of this story. My price comparison for this purchase is the local Ham Radio Outlet store in Anaheim, California.
HRO list cost and the published base cost was $599.95.
The HRO sales person would knock off $10; I was not impressed with his sacrifice. My new cost would be $589.95 if I walked in and bought at that store. If you add tax ($45.72) the total cost would be $635.67. OUCH!!!!!
I went on the Internet and found a vendor called Gigparts.com (http://www.gigaparts.com). I found they offered a 10% discount if the order was placed by 10/5/07, no shipping and NO TAX. But you need to use Pay Pal or Goggle. I did not know about either so I decided to try out Goggle.
Here is the cost:
$539.96 complete, total cost. I was not charged for shipping because I chose the no cost shipping option (3 to 7 days). I was not charged tax. I paid by Visa, which gives me some leverage over the vendor in case there is a dispute. I think my Visa card also offers extended warrantee coverage, not sure.
Before choosing Gigparts.com I did an Internet search and used the words “Gigparts.com reputation” and saw that they seem to have a good record, so I placed the order.
Now, if my calculation is correct, I saved $95.71 by using the Internet and shopping around and not going with the local HRO walk in store. The accessories for the radio were pretty close to what HRO is charging so I might go to that local store for less expensive accessory items.
When looking at the new discounted cost of the TM D700, now selling for $469.95 plus $36.42 tax would bring the cost up to $506.37. I am paying only $33.59 more for the D710A a much newer radio with more features, more power, than the D700A, and this is after the D700 was discounted as it will be flushed out of Kenwood product line. Not a bad deal.
Here is the tracking information from UPS: I placed the order with Gigparts September 29, Saturday, in the morning. I got a shipping notification by e-mail Monday, October 1. That did qualify as the next business day. That notification said the item should be received at my house by October 5th. The item was billed October 1. On the same day, October 1st, it was sent out. Now a lot of vendors take three days to get product out the door. It appears that Gigparts did their part extremely fast. The item showed as coming from Huntsville, Alabama to Vernon California. The UPS web site and the package tracking web site indicates that the item should arrive no later than 5 PM Friday. By the end of Saturday it has still not arrived. Well actually that is not true. It arrived in Vernon close to noon on Friday and sat in their facility until just before midnight! UPS states that to receive a delivery on a Saturday, one must pay more. Too bad that if they fail to deliver on the promised day, a Friday, they should activate a driver to make the delivery on a Saturday. But I guess that would be putting the customer’s needs first. Funny how corporate promises, public relations, and advertisements come to nothing when dealing with a company that cannot deliver successfully on their hype. I think I will give Gigaparts a call and ask that they consider another delivery company.
I have a friend who works for FedEx. He is a sales man who tries to get large businesses to sign up with FedEx as their shipping company. I hear his exploits of going to the shipping depots and working along side the warehouse people to get his shipments out on time for special events. His exploits contrast in my mind like white to black and my UPS experience. This is not to say that FedEx is any better than UPS as their are a lot of complaints on the Internet about both companies. I just wish that all shippers try a bit harder at getting it right.
A real interesting web site search is to look for “United Package Smashers”.