So much for the idea that you can buy anything you like online, whenever you want.
My laptop's screen has been acting dicky lately, and research suggests the most likely candidate is the backlight inverter. Luckily, there's online guides that show me (with pictures!) how to get at that and get the FRU number off it. Easy so far.
Now I just need to find a new one. $SEARCH_ENGINE to the rescue. Plug in the FRU number and up come pages and pages of results. Oh goody, I should have no trouble here.
Except that, when I visit this myriad of sites, there's a lot of similarity in pricing and content (not the look of the sites -- no, they're all completely different -- just the prices and textual descriptions).
I've only managed to identify four separate stores, from visiting a good couple of dozen search results:
- One which sells the part I want for $35, but will charge me $79 to get it to Australia;
- One which sells the part I want for $59, but won't ship outside the US;
- One which sells the part I want for $24.70, but will ship outside the US only via some "ship to a US address and we'll resend it for you" service which is certain to (a) cost a fortune, and (b) take aeons to get the part to me;
- One which sells the part I want for $10, but which is otherwise running a completely stock Yahoo store interface (complete with "Site content copyright © Your Company Name Here" in the footer, and "put your shipping terms and conditions here" in the FAQ).
My choices, then, are: extortion, impossibility, slow extortion, or probable scam artist. What a set of choices.
So, I've come to the conclusion that e-commerce is a complete and utter joke unless you're in the US. So much for the global market and all that bollocks. Back to shopping the old-fashioned way for me.