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Egghead.com   (3-1/2 of 4)
One of the smartest moves Egghead.com made was to merge with the electronics auction house Onsale.com back in 1999. Egghead had retail stores still open and was also competing against Onsale's incredible ability to move merchandise through it's auction services. The only problem for Onsale was, when the liquidation sources dried up, so did the revenues from the auctions. The current Egghead site is a great combination of regular computer products, clearance items and auctions. When you conduct a search on Egghead, the results are grouped into those three different categories for convenient viewing.

A feature that gets overlooked on many ecommerce sites is the ability to use boolean operators on your searches to help filter out items you don't want to see. Egghead has offered this for years now. It makes the difference of seeing all IBM products, or only ones with "desktop" associated with them. Try writing it like this: "IBM desktops" –notebooks. And Egghead has always done a nice job of sorting the results and making it easy to get to the item you're interested in. The site has many great features. Unfortunately, sometimes takes a while to give you your results back, either by browsing or searching.

Once unique in the online auction world, they were one of the first to offer a feature that allows you to monitor your auctions, and automatically adjust your bid price to a specific limit. This is a common feature now, but back in 1998 (when it was Onsale.com) it was a real time-saver.

And why 3-1/2 stars instead of four? The site could load a little faster, even though they've made a good effort at reducing the amount of graphics that have to load, too. It would be great to see just a text version of the site, for pure speed. Most surfers/buyers know what they want, and getting there fast is sometimes difficult when pages take longer than 20 seconds to load. Blame it on 15-second commercials and shorter attention spans, but we cyber-shoppers are an impatient bunch.

Try it on our Channel Engine above and do a search for your favorite item right now.

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