From the October 2000 issue of Startups

Forget the days of driving all over town to find your heart's desire-just visit the aisles of cyberspace. Trouble is, there are a gazillion Web sites out there. How do you know where to go? We were curious, so we chose three products and put a few Web sites to the test:

Siemens Gigaset 2402 2.4 GHz Cordless 2-line Phone System: a two-line phone system with handset that can be used independent of the base

  • Officemax.com. Price: $200. Shipping: free on orders of at least $50. Easy to find, with a clear picture and description.
  • Etown.com. Price: $200. Shipping: varies. Good display.
  • Radioshack.com. Price: $280. Shipping: $9. Poor display.

Auto Exec by Nu-Dell Manufacturing Co. Inc.: a portable desk for your car

  • Traveltools.com. Price: $180. Shipping: $13.95. Easy to find, with good info.
  • Everythingwireless.com. Price: $150. Shipping: free on orders over $100. Easy interface, good description.
  • Atyouroffice.com. Price: $187. Shipping: free on orders over $100. Good picture and description.

Nerf Wildfire Automatic Blaster by Hasbro Inc.: a machine-gun-like dart gun

  • Etoys.com. Price: $27.99. Standard shipping: $4.50 ($3 base plus $1.50 per item). Very easy search with a clear picture. Also has accessories and customer reviews.
  • Toysrus.com. Price: $29.99. Shipping: $4.25. Super easy to find with their search engine. It showed a clear photo with a description.
  • Kbkids.com. Price: $29.99. Shipping: $4.50 (same as above). It has a very easy interface with a short description and customer ratings.