My Rabbi – My Shopping Agent? – Rabbi Starts New Shopping Service

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Consumers often feel guilt and stress over recent purchases in a phenomenon called "buyer's remorse." Rabbi Moishe Melamed, in a stroke of creative genesis, has opened a new service, a guide to the perplexed for computer and high-tech shoppers called theshoppingagent.com.

Rabbi Melamed says that along with a gene for high cholesterol, “Computers and electronics are in my blood."

Rabbi Moishe Melamed, in a stroke of creative genesis, has opened a new service, a guide to the perplexed for computer and high-tech shoppers called theshoppingagent.com.

The confusing overabundance of purchasing options boggles the mind. Rapidly evolving technology forces shoppers to buy with little understanding of what they are getting or whether they are paying too much. With perplexity comes paying too much, with overpayment comes guilt, with guilt comes Rabbinic counseling?

But Rabbi Melamed has another solution. Engage a shopping agent. In response to years of helping friends and family members navigate the changing technology landscape, and making sure that, Heaven forbid, they didn’t pay too much, Rabbi Melamed has opened a new personal online shopping service called theshoppingagent.com. Through this website, and with live phone service, he specializes in helping people buy the right piece of equipment at the right price.

“I assist customers in mapping out exactly what they are looking for," said the Rabbi. He insists that no other factors impact upon his decisions. "I get paid by the customer for my time – not for selling any specific product or brand. My loyalty is 100 percent with my clients." TheShoppingAgent.com does not allow any advertisements on its site to avoid even the appearance of any non-kosher influences.

Rabbi Melamed says that along with a gene for high cholesterol, “Computers and electronics are in my blood." The Rabbi explains that he knows how to get the best products and best prices by careful Internet navigation. He says he spends hours of his own time researching all of the latest technological developments and comparing prices.

Rabbi Melamed cautions, "Some Internet sites are scams, or even if legit, some add on all kinds of fees, or push outmoded features. Retail sales personnel only assist customers in choosing options offered in their store. And sometimes salesmen get paid extra if they convince you to buy extended warranties and accessories that you really don’t need."

The most popular items on The Shopping Agent are computers systems, flat screen televisions, cameras, gaming systems and MP3 players. But they also assist with high end kitchen appliances and other basic devices.

“For years, whenever I needed computer-related guidance, I went to the Dell website, and ordered a computer for what I thought was a good price,” said Gary Greenstein, a user of theshoppingagent.com. “But when I recently engaged Rabbi Melamed to help me buy a new system for my law office, I realized that previously I purchased features I didn’t need and systems with old generation processors. I am embarrassed to admit that I also paid way too much. The new system that the Rabbi helped me get came in at one-third of what I would have paid for a comparable system had I put it together myself.”

But the Rabbi is not without his critics. “I don’t know why anyone would hire someone to help do Internet research, it’s so easy to just do it by yourself,” said Billy Liebel a self-professed computer geek and an outspoken critic of Rabbi Melamed. “His fees are reasonable, I can’t argue with that, but I don’t need a Rabbi to help me do something that I can do myself,” he said. “If you spend an hour or two online, anyone with basic computer literacy can come up with a system that matches whatever the Rabbi recommends,” said Liebel.

Rabbi Melamed counters that his individualized attention can result in hundreds of dollars in savings, which he says is well worth his low up-front fee. “Maybe I have had a little help from above,” said the Rabbi, “but so far, with my money-back guarantee policy, I can track a 100% customer satisfaction rate."

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Zalman Melamed

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