Tech + Lifestyle

games, gear, and googleplexes (joke)

Score Big with Bing

Honestly? When the Bing search engine was first released by Microsoft, all it garnered from me was a shrug. I was in China at the time, so my top priority was minimizing my bandwidth use – when you’re working at dial-up speeds, you don’t care about resource-heavy perks or the background eye-candy that Bing is so fond of. I just wanted speed.

The homepage on Bing.

The homepage on Bing.

Now that I’m back in the US, I’ve tried it out rather extensively as I order parts for my coming computer build. I’ve got to say: Bing isn’t perfect, but it’s off to a great start. Search is decent, as are the various categories that filter results. What’s great right now, though, is the cashback program. Simply put, it’s making a big difference in overall cost of my system. There’s a special promotion going on right now called “Double Savings Days” which quite literally doubles the reward you receive for shopping with Bing, starting at August 10th and running to the end of the month. Most sites offer cashback of around 4-6%, but some get much higher.

Double Savings Days

Double Savings Days

Specifically, I’ve learned to love ZipZoomFly, a competitor to Newegg that has 20% cashback on their products. Frankly, it’s making me wish that I’d waiting on some of my earlier purchases (motherboard, power supply, multiple hard drives), but it made a big difference when ordering the Antec Three Hundred computer case I’d chosen, dropping the effective price from $62.99 to a little under $50. Additionally, a group of products I ordered from Newegg (which has the standard 4-6% off) received approximately $15 off in addition to regular savings. All of that is without involving the usual rebates that savings entail.

Yeah, Bing doesn't understand that "antec 300" = "antec three hundred"

Yeah, Bing doesn't understand that "antec 300" = "antec three hundred"

I’m not saying the program is perfect. Cashback from Bing takes something like 60 days to become available, so it shouldn’t be used as a way to artificially increase your budget. When you do decide to cash out, a minimum of $5 earned is required. Additionally, I don’t recommend doing product searches without really knowing what you want. It’s better to research products, determine EXACTLY which product it is that you want to buy, and then see where the best deals are. Also, the search wasn’t perfect – when looking up my computer case, it made a difference that I’d searched for “antec 300” instead of “antec three hundred.” If I hadn’t thought to type it out, I probably wouldn’t have been able to realize savings with the search. Surely Microsoft can make Bing a little more intelligent than that.

All in all, I’m pretty excited about getting to put together my computer, and the pleasant surprise of Bing saving me a significant percentage only makes it better. I’m not suggesting you buy anything unless you need to, but hey – if you were already planning to order anything, you might as well use Bing and save some money on your purchase.

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August 13, 2009 - Posted by | Tech | , , , ,

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