I’m sure most of the techies here have used Newegg.com. It’s my primary destination for all things tech. The fair prices, superfast shipping, knowledgeable customer reviews, and fantastic customer support all keep me coming back again and again.

I recently discovered that Newegg is branching out beyond mere tech to more consumer oriented products. Sort of like a Newegg version of Amazon or Target. You can buy clothes, automotive supplies, cosmetics, etc. It’s called the Newegg Mall.

When I say you “can” buy such stuff at the Mall, I’m speaking in purely hypothetical terms. Whether you’ll ever find exactly what you’re looking for is highly unlikely. Let me give an example…

Last night I saw a kid wearing a Rock Band t-shirt and I thought it’d be cool to get one for my son. So rather than hit Amazon, I decided to give the Newegg Mall a try. A simple search for “rock band t-shirt” (without the quotes) brought this as the first choice:

Sure it’s technically a band, but it is neither a t-shirt nor a rock. So it’s not even close. None of the 36 products offered on that first page were actual t-shirts with the Rock Band logo.

Still, the search was modified for lowest price. I decided to try the “best match” option. The results got even worse:

Sure, it’s a wedding band, but it’s not even close to being a t-shirt or a rock. At least the headband was made of cloth like a t-shirt and could be worn by rock stars. Nearly all of the 36 results on the “best match” page involved rings.

I decided to give Amazon a try with the same search, and sure enough, I actually found t-shirts with the Rock Band logo.

I then gave the Newegg Mall another chance. I have a 6 year old daughter who loves the color pink, so I decided to look for pink drum sticks. They’re easily found on Amazon by searching for “pink drum sticks.”

The Newegg Mall was not quite as accurate. The first “best match” result was this:

None of the first 36 results were drum sticks, pink or otherwise.

I know what some of you are thinking. I’m searching for things the Newegg Mall doesn’t carry and I’m somehow wrong to expect that the Mall should carry everything I want. However, that’s BS. When a store does not have something I’m searching for, the store should simply tell me that.

This is how that simple process works. I searched for “mobius monkey salad” on the Newegg Mall and it gave me 58 irrelevant results. Amazon, however, said my search “did not match any products.”

I then tried “clarified righteous sweater.” The Newegg Mall gave me 167 irrelevant results. Once again, Amazon politely informed me that my search “did not match any products.”

When I’m shopping for something, the emphasis is on the “thing.” I certainly do not want to be distracted with crap I do not want to buy. And I don’t want to waste my time hunting through irrelevant results given to me when the store is not even selling the product I want. If you aren’t selling what I searched for, tell me that. Don’t waste my time.

Accordingly, narrow results are very important to me, and I imagine, to customers in general. Burying what the customer wants in an obnoxious mix of bad search results is not a good way to run an online retail business. The vast majority of people will try it and then leave when they can’t find what they want. And if they get ridiculous results like I got, they’ll never come back. The only reason I’ll go back is because of the amazing goodwill Newegg has earned with me. I’m sure Newegg will eventually get their search engine working correctly. If not, my guess is that the mall will close up shop.

  1. thelion1856 says:

    when i searched “big dick” with out quotes it gave me….

    LACIE Big Disk Extreme+ 1TB 7200 RPM 3.5″ USB 2.0 / IEEE 1394a / 1394b External Hard Drive Model 301199U

    when i searched john c dvorak it gave me some lady’s legs in high platforms…link to the item below…
    Nuwave-501, 5″ Chunky Heel Mule Sandals

  2. KD Martin says:

    Good one, SN. This saves me a bunch of time and headaches. Amazon is still my source of choice for non-tech purchases.

    Rock band T-shirt — Har!

  3. SN says:

    1. “when i searched john c dvorak it gave me some lady’s legs in high platforms

    Hilarious! Thanks for posting.

  4. dusanmal says:

    Newegg users with Firefox 3: can you check-out normally? Since installing it I can’t pass through their checkout process (endless loop). Newegg support made feeble attempts to help which all have failed. I use completely standard Firefox 3 with no addons or altered settings from the default (all cookies, scripts,… enabled and unrestricted). No issues with any other site/checkout, etc.

    (Hey, new use for Dvorak.org as tech support forum 🙂 )

  5. Improbus says:

    You would think that Newegg would have heard of beta testing. Newegg is still my #1 destination for computer related items.

  6. SN says:

    2. “Good one

    Thanks. It’s just nice knowing that dvorak.org will soon be only search result on google for “mobius monkey salad”

  7. Jim says:

    big nickels = watches
    chocolate chip cookies — single match, a chocolate chip cookie perfume (eeeewwwww)

    “rock band” t-shirt (with quotes) gets shirts at least, but nothing that specifically says “rock band”.

    Really weird, almost like they’re training the algorithm and haven’t finished.

  8. Tooki says:

    I’ve never thought too much of Newegg’s text search engine; it’s always been kinda finicky. That said, Newegg’s power search and guided searches are much more appropriate for finding tech-related items anyway–so much so that searching on Newegg has become second nature to me. Much as I like some other online stores like Tigerdirect, I always struggle with the lack of a well developed way of narrowing down results.

  9. FRAGaLOT says:

    Hmmm I’m partial to ZipZoomFly my self for tech. I ordered stuff from them that literally came the next day (w/o over night or express)

    If I want to shop for frivolous crap, I’ll walk out the door and head to Target, Wallyworld (walmart), or for this past Xmas.. BigLots! for really cheap frivolous crap.

  10. SN says:

    8. I have no problem with Newegg’s search. I can usually find what I want. And unlike the Mall, Newegg will tell me when they do not have what I’m searching for.

    However, as you point out, Newegg’s search is more geared towards finding tech. I think it’s too complicated for the average non-tech user. Amazon certainly as that market covered.

  11. RTaylor says:

    I ordered an item from Newegg last week with free shipping. They used DHL. The tracking was insane. The thing zigzagged across the country before ending up in Atlanta where it was mailed via USPS. I know DHL has stopped domestic shipping, but I guess they have to fulfill existing contracts.

  12. SeaninSeattle says:

    I got a high-end rice cooker super cheap from Newegg with no problems throughout the transaction. I give them high marks. I would buy from them again. True story, as Dvorak would say on TWIT.

  13. diemilkdud says:

    I like new egg but your right their search is less than desirable ,I usually use google to search the site and it works allot better .In fact using amazons’
    “new and used” button after searching usually brings a couple of accurate hits from new egg.

  14. B. Dog says:

    The cool t-shirt for this year says GITMO NATION.

  15. orangetiki says:

    When did Newegg become part of ASI?

  16. hhopper says:

    I tried Newegg one time and they refused my credit card “for my own good.” I never went back.

  17. Cris says:

    Yes, it is all very interestingly, but I which in what do not agree…

  18. george says:

    worst customer service ever. Stay away from neweggmall.com


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