I have first hand experience with Abe's of Maine. i tried to purchase a Sony 50W800B display from them and i used my credit card via PayPal just to be sure I was covered in the event of a scam. Sure enough within a few days i got the call. The rep first asked if i was going to be wall mounting, and was most certainly going to start the premium mount upsell. But i said i was just going to use the stand and to my surprise he didn't push any further on hardware extras. but then started the shipping nonsense. Their fake "free shipping" is probably the biggest part of the trick, as it is completely uninsured and, as he told me, packages change hands through multiple freight shippers before it reaches you, which of course means the real possibility of damage. so for my protection he highly recommended using FedEx or UPS. the standard rate for this service is an extra $199 but he was prepared to make me the generous offer of something like $110 instead. when i said i wasn't interested, we then went back & forth on a sort of haggling exchange, wherein he asked me the price I saw on Amazon and finally offered me gift certificates to "local businesses & restaurants" to justify the extra he wanted me to agree to (wha??). Anyway, it became clear i wasn't going to get away with a price that was significantly less than Amazon (maybe like $30 less or something). To end the exchange i told him i simply don't want to pay anything more than the still pending PayPal charge, so he agreed to cancel the order. I must say he was very polite through the whole thing (as was I) and not at all pushy either. The pending order was off my PayPal account within a day or two. So no big deal really, it was worth a try just to see what it was all about.
So i guess if you're really dead set on saving a few bucks it might be way to go, but there is one other thing to consider: the fine print in their Terms, especially the shipping and warranty. It wasn't really clear to me how the merch is warranted. I'm almost positive these guys (and the rest of their ilk online) are not authorized retailers for many manufacturers so i don't know what happens in the event of a defective item. No returns are allowed on almost anything from what I can tell. And then there is this bit of oddness on their website:
"TV/Big Screen/Rear Projection/Monitor/Large Appliances and Fitness Policies
For Televisions Large Appliances and Fitness equipment our standard shipping is curbside. We do have White Glove delivery available for an additional fee. It includes delivery into your home, inspection and plugging into an electrical outlet. It does not include assembly or any type of installation. White Glove delivery allows you to inspect your equipment for any damages and defects before accepting delivery.
Televisions, Large appliance and Fitness equipment purchases are special orders and cannot be canceled prior to the shipment of the order. Customers cannot cancel an order that is en route. TV/Big Screen/Rear Projection/Monitors and Large Appliance orders come with full Manufacturer's Warranties. Most include in-home service.
TV/Big Screen/Rear Projection/Monitors and Large Appliances are not returnable to Abe's of Maine. If initially defective they must be serviced by an Authorized Service Technician. Abe's of Maine can help you locate your nearest Authorized Service Technician.
Upon delivery, it is the consumer's sole responsibility to inspect the TV/Big Screen/Rear Projection/ Monitor/Large Appliances to insure that it is not physically damaged.
We make every effort to pack your items securely and use reputable shipping companies. It is rare that damages occur.
DO NOT SIGN the delivery manifest until you have inspected the TV/Big Screen/Rear Projection/Monitor/Appliance. Once the consignee signs for the item, you are signing acceptance of the product physically as is and CANNOT refute the charges for a physically damaged unit from that point forward. If the merchandise is damaged, please make a notation on the delivery manifest, and have the delivery person sign as a witness to the damage. Please note all original packaging must be kept in order to file a claim.
If you are refusing the delivery of an undamaged TV or appliance, you are responsible for the shipping, handling, and insurance charges for the delivery BOTH WAYS. Shipping charges are $200 each way. Please note that a refund will be issued for the cost of the product only. You will not be reimbursed for the shipping, handling, and insurance charges.
If your television or appliance does arrive damaged please contact our customer service department immediately at 800-992-2237 ext. 2 so that we can arrange for a replacement to be shipped out. Please note that all televisions with 6 or less dead pixels is industry standard for all manufacturer's. There will be no refunds or exchanges for television with 6 or less dead pixels. If a TV or an appliance is shipped to a freight forwarder and signed by the freight forwarder as received with no claims, Abe's of Maine is not responsible for the TV at that point. All claims must be filed with your freight forwarder.
Due to the value and delicate nature of the product you ordered a separate insurance fee may apply. You will be contacted after checkout and notified of the amount."
So is all this uncertainty worth saving literally a couple bucks? Not to me.
Last edited by bzellmer; 07-29-2014 at 12:18 PM.