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  •   www.worth it, Now in Stereo

    July 23, 1999

    Once just a place to buy books, looks less like Barnes & Noble and more like Target these days, thanks to expansions like its new toy and consumer electronics stores. The latter, where I spent more time, shows many of the same strengths and weaknesses as the rest of Amazon.

    The best ingredient here is the product reviews, both by Amazon's own staff-which sometimes require reading between the lines to discern what's wrong-and by its customers, who are much less reluctant to critique things. (Within a few days, the Diamond Rio MP3 player already had 46 customer reviews, many excoriating the device for storing too little music and not working with Macs.)

    Unfortunately, Amazon's pricing is all over the map, with some items priced well above competing stores while other items sell for $20 less than I could find anywhere else.

    Rob Pegoraro

    © Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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