Will Bueché

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GoHastings.com for used CDs?

Posted in Music by Will on Saturday, August 1st, 2009 ~ 5pm

Quick review of GoHastings.com as a source for used CDs:

As a source for used CDs, GoHastings.com may be worth consideration. Prices on used CDs at GoHastings are comparable to prices of used CDs at Half.com or Amazon’s resellers, which means you may even find some CDs for only two or three bucks (before shipping).

Unlike Half.com and Amazon’s resellers, where every item costs $3 to ship (i.e. one CD costs $3 to ship, two CDs cost $6 to ship, three CDs cost $9 to ship, etc), the shipping for CDs at GoHastings is “$2 per order-ticket plus $1 per CD” (i.e. 1 CD is $3 to ship, 2 CDs are $4 to ship, 3 CDs are $5 to ship, etc.) — so it makes sense to buy several used CDs from GoHastings at once to end up with savings of a dollar or two per item.

GoHastings evidently has retail stores in most states (with higher prices than online), so bear in mind that the presence of a physical store in your state means there will be tax added to your online purchase. This will reduce the savings but will likely not eliminate it if you are buying inexpensive used CDs.

A practical concern that would effect many online customers is problems with different browsers. Their website only partially works with Firefox 3.5. You can shop using Firefox 3.5, but you’ll be frustrated to discover that the “checkout” button doesn’t respond, and there is no workaround. Think you can just save your cart when using Firefox and then sign in again using Internet Explorer to pick up the cart where you left off? You can’t. You can indeed create an account and sign in again using Internet Explorer, but you’ll have to fill your cart up again.

Another problem is that while the site may tell you that a CD is out of stock, it won’t stop you from adding the unavailable item to your shopping cart. The reason for this is open to speculation. My guess is that this is so your order can be broken into different “tickets” (their term for different “orders”), and thus incur a higher shipping fee (remember the initial $2 fee per ticket, and $1 per CD) when the unavailable item becomes available again. Without that explanation, it seems nonsensical to allow unavailable items to be added to the cart.

Of related concern, you cannot modify your order online, you can only contact GoHastings by email or phone on weekdays to alert them to any changes — which may or may not be possible, depending on how promptly they check their email. Update: They seem to check their email about a day after sending your order.

I cannot tell from their website where they mail their CDs from. Their offices are in Texas however, so chances are their fulfillment center is in Texas as well. Progressives and liberals, and perhaps even some middle-of-the-road Democrats may not want to support a business based in Texas, so that factor should be weighed as well. I personally try to buy from California or New York whenever possible, but sometimes a deal is more of a priority than punishing a conservative state.

So all in all, I’d say that GoHastings may be a good source if you are:
buying multiple used CDs;
using Internet Explorer;and
are exceptionally careful to avoid any items marked as “out of stock”.

I’ve made one test order and I’ll see how it goes.

Why did I write this review? I have no idea.

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