RepairClinic.com (http://www.repairclinic.com/0001.asp) is an example
of the best type of web-based business in that it combines its selling
function with information that is of value not only to customers, but
to a wider audience as well. The site is easy to navigate and
seems to answer every conceivable question a customer might ask about
obtaining parts and accessories for common household appliances and
about making appliance repairs.
The main business of RepairClinic.com is selling appliance parts and
accessories. The web site therefore contains a list of the
appliances for which parts are available, a list of the brand names
RepairClinic.com carries, and complete shipping and pricing
details. Significantly, the site carries the VeriSign logo and
digital ID to prove its shopping cart is secure.
There may not be a better search feature available on line. In
order to find an appliance part, the customer must select the brand
name and appliance type from dropdown lists, both of which would be
available just by looking at the front of the item. If the
customer cannot provide a model number, the application poses a series
of questions to help pinpoint which part is needed. Based on the
answers, the customer is then presented with a list of parts that meet
the description together with a picture. The chance of error is
reduced to a minimum.
Accessories are grouped by appliance and then, where appropriate, by
Here, too, the site makes skillful use of photographs
to help the customer make sure he is selecting the correct item.
Unfortunately, at time of writing, RepairClinic.com, which is located
in Michigan, only ships within the United States. However, the
web site is still useful to everyone else because it carries
instructions on how to repair household appliances such as dishwashers,
refrigerators, ovens, microwaves, humidifiers, and air
conditioners. Diagnostic information is also provided to help
figure out exactly what is wrong. Where appropriate, the
instructions refer the customer to the manufacturer, since not all
appliance problems are suitable for do-it-yourself repairs.
Appliance recall information is also available on the site.
Although much of the diagnostic and repair information is available in
appliance manuals, every householder has had the experience of losing
manuals, or of buying secondhand appliances that have no manual.
This makes RepairClinic.com a useful addition to the world wide web for
do-it-yourself enthusiasts everywhere.