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31 Reviews by Carla

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B&H Photo Video

B&H Photo Video

12/30/16

In real life among other things I'm a commercial photographer and B&H has been a primary source for photo gear for many years.

Their web site allows easy searching and apparently un-edited customer reviews. Very helpful.

What really sets them apart is when you call in to the store. Their salespeople are very helpful - and they route you to a salesperson with actual product knowledge, not just the order taker of the day.

If you are in the market for photo gear of any kind - I heartily recommend B&H.

Adorama

Adorama

2/24/19

I'm surprised at the number of negative reviews of Adorama -

I admit our 'first stop' for photo goods that we can't get locally is B&H but Adorama is our #2 supplier and we've done a fair amount of purchasing from them over the years.

We also accidentally found them on eBay and have done very well purchasing used or trade-in merchandise using a 'Best Offer'. We operate a commercial video studio and sort of 'bottom feed' on bargain equipment pretty regularly. We recently purchased used studio lighting (Colortran) and a used video switcher (Tricaster) from Adorama and it was smooth as silk.

All of our dealings with Adorama have been very pleasant - and we've never had to return anything so have no experience with that aspect of the business. But what experience we have had ordering photo goods from them has been accurate, fast shipping, well packaged and fully satisfactory..

As I said, I'm surprised at the number of poor reviews - although many of those reviews are from one-time reviewers and maybe are a bit biased. Human nature I guess.

Zappos

Zappos

12/30/16

I confess I don't shop at Zappos.com as much as I used to, but I still scan their selection regularly. Having a brick and mortar DSW close by takes care of a lot of my shoe cravings.

When I order I get quick delivery and good service - and between Zappos and DSW I can find most anything I crave at a reasonable price.

Zappo's used to have a store in Las Vegas that we visited when in town - apparently the 'returns' went there and it was like Shoe Nirvana but last time we visited it was gone. Oh well, time marches on.

DSW

DSW

12/30/16

I confess, I'm a shoe queen - and I love to shop at DSW.
First, there's a brick and mortar store near me so I can shop in the real world.
Second, not everything shows up in the store, and the online experience is very satisfying. I can filter by size and heel height and get right to what I'm looking for.
Ordering online is quick and easy and their rewards program offers free next-day shipping if you spend enough $$$ (which I do, to the detriment of my credit card's health)
And returns are a breeze - I can return web-order shoes to the store near me with no hassle - and they credit back to the credit card, none of that 'in-store credit' BS.
I am doing this DSW review because I strayed and bought shoes online at shoespie.com and was disappointed to say the least. DSW does it right and they are #1 in my book!

Rocket Lawyer

Rocket Lawyer

12/30/16

We have used rocketlawyer for a couple of business related forms and have been well satisfied. Not for complex legal matters but their simple bill of sale, deeds, non-compete, etc. are affordable and work well for us.

Zenni Optical

Zenni Optical

12/30/16

I don't really need glasses yet, just for reading - and the 'dollar store' variety work fine but don't last very long -

So I heard about Zenni and gave them a try. Since I didn't have an optometrist's prescription I had to figure out what I wanted on my own - and the first pair worked out extremely well and lasted a long time before the hinges gave out.

Subsequently, using the information I had gleaned from the firt order I was easily able to get exactly what I wanted in frame style and optical power - and now I have a 'wardrobe' of stylish reading glasses for all occasions.

Ordering is easy, delivery fairly quick and overall quality and service are good.

Most recently I experimented with ordering a pair of bifocals for sewing - with my regular 'reading' power for the 'distance' part and additional 1.5 magnification for the 'close' part. Worked like a charm and I'm delighted with their service and the prices are excellent! Recommended!

eSnipe

eSnipe

3/19/18

I've used eSnipe for about 10+ years to bid on stuff I'd like but didn't want to fuss and fume at the last moment placing a bid.

So far out of maybe 40 or 50 uses it's been great - once in a while it doesn't place my bid but I've had that problem directly with eBay too - the web works in mysterious ways.

It's tempting to just go to the bay and bid my maximum price but I've had much better luck sniping in at the last few seconds. The cost of the snipe (1% for a winning bid) is very reasonable for the service and convenience.

Service
Value
Quality
HomeDepot

HomeDepot

12/30/16

We are blessed with a real 'mom and pop' lumber yard in our town, but sometimes they can't compete with the stock available at a nearby 'big box' like Home Depot. When we need a home improvement item our first try is the 'mom and pop' and if that doesn't work out then it's off to HomeDepot.com

You can search their web site for whatever you are looking for and then see which of the area stores has it in stock. - reserve or buy it online and then pick it up - easy peasy!

You can also have stuff home-delivered, sometimes free, sometimes not - depends. Or you can always have it shipped to a nearby store and pick it up there.

If you shop at a store in person their sales staff ia generally quite knowledgeable. Many of the 'specialty trades' salespeople are retired contractors or other workers who really know their stuff. Almost as good as at our 'mom and pop' first choice store.

W.W. Grainger

W.W. Grainger

3/18/18

I've been a Grainger customer for 40+ years - either as part of my employment working for someone else or in my own business.

They used to be 'wholesale only' and restricted their clientele to businesses - but the recession apparently opened their stores to most anyone with a pulse. It's a good thing.

I can call their toll-free number and usually it automatically connects me to the nearest branch store. Their phone sales people are very good and their database (either accessed online or by their rep) is first rate. I can find out what's in stock locally for will-call pick up if I need it urgently or their shipping is very fast if I'm not desperate.

Their prices are a bit on the higher side but they usually have what I need in stock - and I'm always in a rush when I call Grainger so 'in stock' beats 'lowest price'.

Service
Value
Shipping
Returns
Quality
HandcuffWarehouse

HandcuffWarehouse

12/30/16

There are fetish store 'handcuffs' made of used tin cans that either break immediately or leave you 'stuck' in an embarrassing spot and then there are 'handcuffs'.

This site deals in the real thing - quality brands of professional restraints that can add a bit of 'spice' to life without needing a hacksaw in the bedroom (unless that's your 'thing').
Handcuff Warehouse: Discreet, professional, affordable and first quality. Recommended!

Solestruck

Solestruck

12/30/16

A couple of years ago I went Gaga over the 'heelless' shoe style and found solestruck carried the Jeffry Campbell line.

I hate to admit it now (styles change) but I bought three or four pair of them and got great service from this store. It has been a while but I still occasionally take a look at what they offer but recent styles haven't budged my shoe-meter to the point of buying - but time will tell!

And I just clicked on their site and it says 'Sold Out" - so maybe they're sold out or maybe they've gone bye-bye forever. Life is that way sometimes :(

Powell's

Powell's

12/30/16

We live close enough to Portland that visiting the store is easy enough, but online make it even better.

When i read a book review I have to make the decision: Buy it Now or wait for it to show up in our Public Library's catalog.

I'm rather an eclectic reader and stuff that appeals to me often doesn't show up at the library, so ordering from Powells is a good option. Sometimes I have to have a NEW BOOK RIGHT NOW and other times it isn't so urgent.

Powells carries a ton of new books but they really shine with their used book inventory. If I can wait for a title to get recycled by someone and go to the used category there is a lot of $$$ to be saved - so I'll wait for most items I buy.

This is a great store - visit it if you are in Portland or savor it from a distance via the website. No disappointments!

Digi-Key Corp

Digi-Key Corp

3/19/18

I hate to admit it but I've been ordering electronic parts for almost 60 years - starting with ordering from the encyclopedic 'Allied Radio' catalog in the 1950's. I was heartbroken when they were bought out by the Rat Shack (Radio Shack)

So then I found DigiKey - an online store with incredible inventory and excellent service. Our company develops and manufactures short runs (prototype quantities) of custom electronic devices for our clients - making 100 of something is rare for us, usually it's 10 or 25 pieces.- and Digikey seems happy enough with our small orders.

No minimum order (although the postage or UPS is sometimes more than the parts we order) and their website ha an excellent search facility and selection matrix for parts that makes finding and ordering easy. You also get real-time information on pricing and stock status for the parts you order. They even let you assign your own part numbers to the parts that you order and then they arrive with our part numbers on the labels. Pretty cool!

Their prices are quantity based and in hundreds or thousands of pieces it looks like you get the same deal as the big boys -

In dozens (maybe hundreds, I've lost count) of orders we've placed with Digikey only once or twice have they shipped the wrong part - and a phone call or email gets it sorted out very quickly.

Tip for consumers: Definitely worth a try for electronic components!

Service
Value
Shipping
Returns
Quality
McMaster-Carr

McMaster-Carr

3/19/18

McMaster-Carr is a great source for most anything a machinist or mechanic needs in the way of small parts, hardware and shop supplies. Their prices aren't the greatest but the selection and depth of stock is amazing.

For prototyping you need only a few parts and McMaster has all sorts of the most ordinary to the most arcane -

Need left-hand threaded rod? Check! 8-32 Wing nuts? Check! 1" stainless steel round bar stock? #8 x 0.750" aluminum spacers? Check!

And the search feature on their website is amazing! Just start to type what you want and it anticipates and displays similar items. Two clicks and you're at the page with the part descriptions, pictures and pricing. Another click and the part is in your shopping cart.

They ship very quickly and the freight charge isn't outrageous.I think they still offer a flat-rate $9 but I could be confusing them with someone else.

Service
Value
Shipping
Quality
Del City

Del City

3/19/18

We don't use a lot of low-voltage automotive wiring products but we found DelCity when looking for 16- and 18gauge insulated wire for a project.

They have an extensive assortment in all standard gauges used for automotive repair and offer as short as 100'foot spools in most sizes - shorter lengths in larger wire too.

Also a ton of crimp connectors, insulated tubing, circuit breakers and switches useful for automotive and marine applications.

Fast and Free shipping with $100 order - and that's a great deal because a lot of wire is pretty heavy and freight cost is a killer. Pricing is better than I've found most anywhere - I don'tknow how they manage to supply LV wire so inexpensively but I'm not going to upset the apple cart and ask!

NoNonsense

NoNonsense

12/30/16

I'm almost always in legwear of some sort - usually tights but real nylons for special occasions and leggings for when it's cold - and No Nonsense is a great site for my needs.

Their selection of colored tights is quite good - of course there are never enough colors to satisfy my palette but they come close! And the QUALITY! First class! And very durable - it's hard to wear out a pair of their tights - they definitely know what they're doing!

I also understand that most of their merchandise is made in the good ole US of A - and I believe in supporting American business.

Get on their mailing list for special deals - often highly discounted regular merchandise that makes 'sale watching' very worthwhile.

Ohio Travel Bag

Ohio Travel Bag

2/24/19

If you do leather work - belts, hats, purses, wallets - anything leather - you should know about Ohio Travel Bag.

The online catalog is a bit funky and hard to navigate, the 'search' function isn't the greatest but their depth of stock on things like buckles, rings, posts, decorative bits and such is amazing.

It looks like anyone with a computer can sign up for a 'wholesale' account that saves you a little - the prices aren't amazingly low and you can shop around and do better but this site has everything in one place. Not worth the hassle of shopping around in my opinion.

Take a look, see what I mean.

Prusa3D

Prusa3D

3/19/18

After getting great reviews last year we ordered a Prusa 3D MK3 printer in kit form.

It was supposed to take 6 weeks to get here but arrived in 3 - and was well constructed and the assembly instructions were easy to follow.

It took a while to get good prints from it - but now we can reliably send a sliced file to the printer, walk away and come back in a couple of hours to a completed printed object.

Very cool. We get regular email updates from Josef Prusa about the new developments and have been very happy with the printer.

Tip for consumers: If you're looking for a 3D printer definitely check out the Prusa devices.

FRESH Music

FRESH Music

2/24/19

We operate a video production studio and occasionally use music for client projects.

You always have a choice - custom produced music specific to your project ($$$$) or 'library music' that you pay the composer/producer for shared use.

Unless you're Coca-Cola or Honda- sized you are better off with the library music and Fresh Music is a pretty good source. (Sound-Ideas is another) They have a library of about a hundred CDs, each with a particular musical theme or genre. The cuts come in full length and usually 30 and 60 second versions to cut your commercial spots to.

A license to use any of the multiple cuts on one of the CDs in perpetuity is about $90 and once you have bought something from them they offer specials via email a couple of times a year that drops that price drastically - so pay attention to the sales and build your music library on the cheap.

You can review and audition all the music (and they also have some sound effects) for free and then pay for it before you use it. Easy peasy.

Kind of a specialized vendor but that's the nature of our business so I'm reviewing them.

Elcortezhotelcasino

Elcortezhotelcasino

2/24/19

We get to Las Vegas 3 or 4 times a year. When we first started going we shopped around for a comfortable and cheap place to stay. We originally settled on the Sahara (on the strip) but when it went bank-o and got bought up and renovated into a chi-chi boutique (meaning $$$$) it moved out of our orbit and a new 'home base' was needed.

We'd visited most of the other hotels in Vegas and honestly, at first the El Cortez wasn't high on the list. It was sort of a budget desperation move to stay there once - and it turned out to be a lovely experience.

We don't like the glitz and glamour (or the $$$ pricing) of the biggies and the El Cortez is an older place but fairly well maintained and the staff is exceptionally friendly as they separate you from your money at the gaming tables.

Its in the older section of town (Downtowm, not on the 'Strip') and a block away from the Fremont Street Experience. It may be one of the last original hotel / casino operations in Vegas and nostalgia is a fun thing for us.

Easy to get to from the airport (take the city bus, not a limo or taxi) very affordable, clean enough and like all casinos, once you're there and signed up for their affinity card you get great deals on rooms and such in your email inbox.

We do one 'junking' junket a year and rent a car to visit the thrift shops and the El Cortez has plenty of parking on site. Also cool if one of you is a smoker, there are 'pavilion' rooms over one parking structure (it's not as bad as it sounds) that have an outside access to the rooms so you don't have to schlep completely outside the building to satisfy your habit. If you opt for one of these pavilion rooms, ask to be placed on the side away from the "Giant Flame Spewing Praying Mantis"

Supposedly the slots are among the loosest in town but I don't play slots, I prefer the social interaction of the craps table as I watch my money dwindle.

Give it a try - you may like it as much as we do.The price is right!

Carla Has Earned 48 Votes

Carla F.'s review of Buy-Backdrop earned 7 Very Helpful votes
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