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December 14th, 2006

The Companies I Love

It’s easy to talk about companies and brand names we hate (and it’s fun too, dammit!) But what about the companies that do things right? It’s time for a little bit of a recap Ping, as I stroll down the memory lane called Consumer Goodness.

Without further ado, companies I love:

  • Lands’ End: A given, since they got their own Ping. Service has always been impeccable and courteous, pricing is fair, and quality is very good.
  • L.L. Bean: Haven’t bought as much from them as LE, but everything I’ve gotten has been great and was shipped quickly.
  • method and vroom: Favorite cleaning products, period. Everything works well (except for the dish cubes), smells great, and is eco-friendly.
  • Amazon.com: For all the complaining I’ve seen about Amazon, I’ve had no problems with them, ever. Timely shipping, unbeatable selection, and fair prices.
  • CB2: Crate and Barrel’s hipster doofus cousin, CB2’s stuff is oh-so-slightly too cool for me, honestly, but the majority of their goods are well-priced and make great holiday gifts (hint, hint.)
  • The Container Store: I worked here in college so I’m biased. You can find stuff cheaper elsewhere, but again, selection is fantastic and the customer service is best in the industry. Plus, they sell teddy bear shakers.

Those are my top picks. Got any faves that go above and beyond the call of duty?

Posted in Consumer Commentary

Merle December 14, 2006, 12:53 pm

I completely agree about Amazon. I bought a DVD set from them, didn’t watch it for a long time, and noticed the fifth disc was just plain missing — six months after my purchase. One email message, and they sent out a replacement for no charge.

The only thing I might be able to complain about is if you mix electronics and books in one order, the super saver shipping sometimes takes weeks. But that is balanced out by otherwise speedy shipping. When I ordered my Mac Mini with the “slow” shipping late on Friday, it arrived early Monday morning, weeks before I expected it.

Land’s End: I’m not quite as keen on them as I was. A few years back, they shifted suppliers or something, so the replacement towels I ordered don’t quite match colorwise. That said, I still order from them…

Steve A December 14, 2006, 4:29 pm

As I recall, Land’s End was bought by Sears, which in turn was bought by K-Mart. Either way, they lost a great deal of respect in the industry from what I hear.

Ciao,

Greg December 14, 2006, 5:42 pm

I’ve been very impressed with Fidelity Investments. They’ve got such good service and I really appreciate the fact that I wasn’t shunned just because I don’t have thousands of dollars. If you want to set up a 401k, IRA or dozens of other options, I would recommend them.

COD December 14, 2006, 6:04 pm

We still have the $25 LL Bean backpack that I bought for grad school in 1991. It survived 3+ years of night school, 2 kids as an adjunct diaper bag, and has been used pretty much daily ever since.

I can’t say it looks like new, but there are no rips or tears, and all the zippers work fine.

Ryan December 14, 2006, 7:30 pm

Perhaps if LL Bean sees your post, Chris, they’ll send you a complimentary new one. 🙂

jk December 15, 2006, 5:16 am

I love the teddy bear shakers! And I hate the fact that the closest store is so far away. What a super-cool store, you are right about the Container Store.

I love amazon for carrying all kinds of stuff I’d struggle to find elsewhere. I use relatively expensive filters for my home filtration system, and somehow I figured out I could get them quickly and cheaply from amazon. I love that I can find out-of-print CDs from their partners as well.

I love C.O. Bigelow too–it’s the country’s oldest apothecary and if you can’t get to their store in NYC, you can buy their products from Bath and Body Works. Their skincare line is basically unisex and free of bad stuff. I hate that B&BW burns oils in their store to “fragrance the store.” It limits the time I can bear to be in there.

I love the comfort and cool look of Earth shoes but not the price. I found a pair at Marshall’s for $15 and later learned they are normally over $100. They are better-designed than even Doc Maartens.

Merle December 15, 2006, 11:41 pm

Greg: I like Fidelity okay, but I prefer Vanguard in most cases. They have a lot lower fees, and they didn’t turn their nose up when I started out with just a few $K.

Of course, my company went the cheapo route with the Fidelity 401K, and our clueless HR person picked some of the worst possible funds that were conservative, large-cap, and never got over 8% returns. I was lucky that she included one international fund, and sank most of my money into that.. giving me a 17.2% YTD return. 😉

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