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Frugal Friday Week 34

Wow, months since my last Frugal Friday. I’ll try to change that.

Today, I’d like to share an online store I’ve used a few times.

Meritline sells a mix of electronic accessories at some crazy low prices. I’d seen my daughter filming videos of herself on a hand held camera. I saw a stand on an email they sent, a little stand just right to hold the camera up on a bendy tripod to be able to angle it right. It was perfect, but. My daughter reprimanded me, you know, I should have given it to her wrapped at the upcoming holiday. Funny, since it only cost a $1 and shipping was free, the thought didn’t cross my mind.

I recently picked up some hard drives and of course they don’t come with cables. Meritline had SATA cable for $1.50 each, again with no shipping. They are all over the web as low as $2, but add $3 shipping and there’s $5 when you just need one cable. Their email specials are addictive, I admit. I saw an ethernet tester (to make sure you wired the outlets right) for $5.95. I happened to have that on my honey-do list so I grabbed this tester and it did the job. Home Depot had a similar item for $24.95. I bought an extra one for a coworker who have helped me on a work project. A happy geek indeed.

There are two kinds of complaints on their site. People who think you should be able to get items shipped free from Hong Kong but still get them quickly. Uh, I don’t mind waiting the two weeks to save 80% on some purchases, or buy a backup cable or charger. And people who buy the wrong item and then are upset it doesn’t work in their computer. Can’t please everyone.

Hey FTC people – I did not receive any compensation for this post. I like this company and would like to save my readers from wasting money on those stupidly expensive HDMI cables that sell for five times what they should.

  • MoneyCone May 28, 2010, 7:50 am

    Hey I shop at Meritline too! Their shipping is a little slow (they ship from China), but can’t beat their prices! Plus they have promotions going on all the time. Shipping is always free. After discovering Meritline don’t know when was the last time I walked into RadioShack for a cable!

  • Dave May 28, 2010, 8:18 am

    Thanks for the tip. I checked cashbacktool.com and if you click through Bing you can get 2-6% cash back from Meritline.com. That makes a good deal even better!

  • JOE May 28, 2010, 9:24 am

    We live in a world of instant gratification, I suppose. Their site states the shipping is “2-3 weeks” and I got the cables I ordered in exactly two weeks. At a brick and mortar store, I’ve seen these for $9.95 plus the time and gas to go. It’s interesting to find such a clear example where you get such a reward, in percentage term, for your patience. When you bring the big TV home and realize you are missing the HDMI cable, the quest is – Do you pay $40 at Staples or do you wait the two weeks but pay less than $10? Of course you can use RCA jacks for those two weeks.

  • JOE May 28, 2010, 9:25 am

    Didn’t know about the Bing rebate, excellent!

  • Miranda May 28, 2010, 10:34 am

    Great find! I use Monoprice or Newegg a lot (there’s no way I’m spending what a retail store asks for the HDMI cable), but I’ll have to add Meritline to the list.

  • JOE May 28, 2010, 10:41 am

    Hadn’t heard of Monoprice, will take a look. I linked both for readers who want to visit either one.

  • Chris@FeFi May 28, 2010, 12:41 pm

    Hey Joe, I’ve been a fan of Meritline for some time too. Got my hands on a hard drive enclosure, cables for a cell phone, ect., all for cheap. I’ll just echo what’s already been said — it’s outrageous what retailers charge for that stuff.


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