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Customer Reviews: 222
Top Reviewer Ranking: 20,195
Helpful Votes: 1319


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Julia James RSS Feed (Harrisburg, PA)
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Quickbooks Checks - 300 Computer Laser Checks - Wallet Checks
Quickbooks Checks - 300 Computer Laser Checks - Wallet Checks
Offered by COMPUCHECKS
Price: $22.95

2.0 out of 5 stars Two orders, both incorrect., July 3, 2016
I have twice ordered these checks directly from CompuChecks (rather than through Amazon), once for business use, and now, more recently, for personal use. My first order contained a typo on the printed checks -- their fault, not mine, as it was correct in my order submission. Annoying, but CompuChecks promptly replaced the checks. From the time I placed the initial order until I received the corrected checks was about two weeks.

The checks are fine -- they are a lighter weight paper than their more-expensive counterparts, but are otherwise functionally identical. I've used this style of check for years from various vendors, and all require a little tweaking to get them to align properly with Quickbooks or Quicken.

About a week ago, I placed an order for the same style checks for personal use, and received them very promptly. However, they, too, contain a typo (numbers transposed in my address), introduced during their process, since it again was correct in my order submission. Again!?!?

Now I will be waiting yet another week before I can use my checks, and have to dispose of another stack of hundreds of papers each containing my bank account information -- not something I just want to chuck in the trash.

I'm amazed that their system seems to rely on manual re-typing of information, given that I typed in all the information (correctly) when I placed the order. This should be automated, or at least they should learn how to use copy & paste, or *at least* send you an electronic proof of how the info will *actually* appear on your checks.

While CompuChecks appears to be offering a very good value, I am not at all sure that the hassle is worth the savings.


Burts Bees BB Cream with SPF 15, Light, 1.7 Ounces
Burts Bees BB Cream with SPF 15, Light, 1.7 Ounces
Price: $9.07
14 used & new from $3.00

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but no miracle, March 30, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Now in my mid-30's, I'm a no-makeup girl. I wasn't always this way, though I've never been someone who wouldn't leave the house without her "face", but sometime a few years ago I just (mostly unconsciously) decided that it wasn't worth the extra time in the morning PLUS the worry throughout the day that something was smudged or worn off or otherwise really advertising that I was wearing makeup, and I stopped bothering. Still, though, sometimes my face is red enough that I feel self-conscious, and I thought BB cream might be a good compromise. I'm finding that most days, though, I'm still not bothering, so it's not the answer to my particular prayers. It still gets four stars, though, because it might be the answer to yours. To wit:

- Color. I'm pretty fair, usually the second or third lightest option in other foundations, with warm undertones. The "Light" color in this is a pretty good match for me -- maybe just a hair dark -- and because it's more sheer than full-on foundation, it's a little more forgiving. There are people out there who are fairer than I am, so if you're usually the lightest option in other foundations, this might be a little too dark, even as sheer as it is.

- Application. It's a little thicker than I would like. If I apply it straight, it's difficult to get it sheer enough to not look like I'm wearing foundation, or to get it even. I can also feel it, like a coating on my face, if I touch my skin. If you're wearing it under other makeup, or don't mind looking like you're wearing makeup, this is probably not an issue. But if what you really want it something closer to a tinted moisturizer, it's a little too thick for that. Which leads me to...

- Moisturization. I have very dry skin, and this is not moisturizing enough to wear on its own. I've tried applying regular moisturizer first, and then this, but it gets a little streaky. Since this is already a little thicker than I'd like, I've taken to mixing it on my fingertips with a little bit of Aveeno, and applying that way. It's hard to get the ratio right, but it does work well for me this way, and makes it easier to get sheer even coverage, while still evening out my skintone. The to-the-touch feel is still present (which I don't like), but it's not intolerable. I do feel like this strategy means that more comes off when I blow my nose or something, but it's sheer enough that I don't think it's noticeable.

- Overall. While I like this product, at least when combined with my regular moisturizer, I find that I'm not using it often enough that I'll bother to buy another tube when (if) it runs out. I'm probably always searching for products that will make it nearly effortless to look good (aren't we all) and, surprise surprise, this isn't effortless enough for me. I think every woman has her own threshold for what kind of ROI is worth it on time vs final appearance, and I think I'm at a somewhat extreme end of that scale, helped enormously by the fact that I'm not particularly unhappy with how I look without makeup. If you're just a smidgen more willing to invest time than I am, but want to not look like you're wearing makeup, or don't feel that you need full-on coverage, this just might be an excellent product for you.


BLU Life XL - LTE Smartphone - GSM Unlocked - 8GB +1GB RAM - Dark Blue
BLU Life XL - LTE Smartphone - GSM Unlocked - 8GB +1GB RAM - Dark Blue
Price: $123.06
9 used & new from $104.60

4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too good to be true, February 16, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I am a little obsessed with these off-brand cell phones that seem like such an amazing value, BLU in particular. I purchased a BLU Studio X earlier this year, and received a BLU tablet through the Vine program shortly after. I didn't end up being happy with either, but it didn't manage to shake my interest in BLU as a brand. Unfortunately, this phone also doesn't live up to the promise.

As many other reviews note, for the price, the specs on this phone are great. Almost. The hardware seems to be fairly comparable to the Moto G 2nd Gen I had for most of 2015, albeit with a larger screen and better camera. That phone is in the same price range, so it's hard to say that you get more phone for the dollar just because this is an off-brand. Regardless, if I were reviewing the phone on specs alone, this would be a much better review.

However, no specs make up for poor performance, which is what I experienced with this phone. Background: I ended up ditching my Moto G in favor of the new Moto X that came out this fall (a significantly more expensive phone, I know), because I found the Moto G to be sluggish, and I just don't have the patience to wait. Shortly after buying the Moto X, though, I realized I really should have gone with a dual SIM phone so I could have my work and personal lines on the same phone, and this seemed like a great possible replacement.

The bad-but-not-terrible: The dual SIM works, but you definitely have to download a third party app to get any real functionality out of it. The phone is almost exactly the same dimensions as my Moto X, but the screen is significantly smaller.

The worst: This was not only more sluggish than the Moto G, but significantly less reliable right out of the box. Apps crash when a new notification is received, or just for no apparent reason at all. Tasks that should take just a few seconds take minutes as the app would take a while to load, then crash, then take a while to re-load. It rendered the phone unusable for me.

I am probably using my phone as a mini-computer more than many people, so it may be that lighter users wouldn't experience these problems. But if you'e a light user, you probably don't need a phone that is needlessly big. If you don't need the dual SIM function, a Moto G is a great option in the same price range. If you do need it...I just have to imagine there are more reliable options out there.


Aveeno Absolutely Ageless, Daily Moisturizer SPF 30, 1.7 Fluid Ounce
Aveeno Absolutely Ageless, Daily Moisturizer SPF 30, 1.7 Fluid Ounce
Price: $18.97
13 used & new from $18.34

3.0 out of 5 stars Too greasy, February 10, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have very dry skin, prone to scaly patches in the winter, and heavy-ish moisturizers are my best friend. Lately I've been using the regular Aveeno body lotion even on my face, so I was excited to try this face lotion. I've found myself going back to the body lotion, though, because this feels more like sunscreen than lotion, and I just don't like it. I don't worry that much about getting the SPF, though, so maybe if you do, this would be worth a shot.

This lotion feels like it sits on top of my skin -- like a sunscreen -- rather than sinking in to moisturize. It leaves my face feeling greasy -- unheard of for me! -- rather than soft. The worst was when I rubbed my eye one day, hours after application, and felt like I got sunscreen in my eye. I'd take almost any reminder of the beach this time of year, but not that one!

Scent is light and inoffensive. Bottle dispenses even with one light pump, more than is necessary. If you really need an SPF lotion, this might be fine for you, but I bet there are better options out there. I just haven't found them.


Teva Women's W Delavina Low Wool Mid Calf Boot
Teva Women's W Delavina Low Wool Mid Calf Boot
Price: $31.09 - $139.95

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars WAY too narrow, plus awkward height, February 1, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Oh, I was so enamored with these boots...until they arrived!

I don't know why I went with Amazon's size recommendation rather than reviews, but I am normally a 5.5 or 6 (more often a 6, at least lately), and on the narrower side of medium. Despite all the reviews saying to size up, Amazon recommended a 6, and so that's what I ordered. While I could get my foot into the boot, and they were allllmost long enough, they were so narrow I felt like the front my foot was being folded in on itself. Since the fit was all wrong, I couldn't wear them long enough to tell what, if any, arch support would be provided in a good fit, but I don't think it would be much. To get the right width, I think would need to go up at least half a size, maybe a full size, beyond what I ordered.

Ultimately, though, I decided not to exchange them because I found the intersection of the shaft height and circumference to be very awkward. I could wear them under bootcut jeans fine, but they are too tall to roll straight-leg or skinny jeans, and too narrow to tuck skinny jeans into comfortably (I don't have skinny bird legs, but my calves are not abnormally thick). I don't wear enough dresses or skirts to consider keeping them for that use, but even if I did, I think the height, which is shorter than what I usually think of as mid-calf, would hit the exact worse spot visually, just making my legs look stumpy. These might be a good height for a tall and very skinny person, but certainly not for me (5' 3", 130 lbs).

As far as appearance, they are very attractive, though my personal taste would probably prefer them after the leather had gotten beat up a bit. There is another style of these that comes with less-shiny leather, so the version that now sits in my Amazon cart waiting for a possible price drop are the ankle heights in the other leather. If I ever do order them, it'll probably be in a 7, as I definitely want to be able to wear thick wool socks all winter long.


Avery UltraDuty GHS Chemical Labels for Laser Printers, Waterproof, UV Resistant, 4" x 4", 200 Pack (60504)
Avery UltraDuty GHS Chemical Labels for Laser Printers, Waterproof, UV Resistant, 4" x 4", 200 Pack (60504)
Price: $37.99
23 used & new from $32.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Works in the freezer, not in an inkjet, January 18, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
[I received both these and the 2"x2" labels. The labels are identical in every way except size, so my review for the 2"x2" labels is copied here.]

I own a small specialty foods store, and when we have fresh bread left over at the end of the day, we freeze it and sell it out of the freezer later. For months I've been looking for a way to label the individual bagged breads with the information we normally provide when we're selling it fresh -- bread name, price, ingredients, and baker info. All the labels I was able to find, though, either didn't hold up to being frozen, or couldn't be run through a printer. While these GHS labels are certainly overkill for my needs, since there's no other product on the market that does meet my needs, these are a godsend.

My questions upon first use were, 1) will they actually stick to the plastic bags?, and 2) do I really have to use a laser printer? The answers are both yes.

1. These labels *don't* stick well to plastic bags if the bags are some combination of cold/wet/not flat when the labels are applied, and for that reason they lose a star. They also take a few minutes to really adhere even in perfect conditions. So in order to get them to stick and stay stuck, I apply them to empty bags, smooth them out, wait a few minutes, and then put a loaf in the bag and put the whole thing in the freezer. I haven't done scientific testing of how long it takes for the stickers to really adhere, but within a few minutes I can still peel them off the bag; by the next day removing them would require ripping the bag.

2. I have a Canon inkjet printer at home, not one of the fancy inkjets they say might work with these. Some other reviewers say you can use an inkjet it just won't be waterproof, and I don't really need waterproof, so I thought I'd try it. I printed a sheet, let it sit in the tray for 20-30 minutes to dry, picked it up, touched the ink, and -- instant smudge. Everywhere. Even after 20-30 minutes to dry, these weren't not waterproof, they were just pools of ink sitting on top of the label. Had I been interested in getting ink all over my hands, I'm sure I could have wiped the labels practically clean. I have not had any issues with laser-printed labels smudging, so the answer is yes, you really really do need a laser printer for them!

Given that I'm not actually using them for chemicals, I haven't used the special Avery software for that purpose. I was able to find an Avery template for InDesign for 12-up 2"x2" stickers which worked great. My only alignment problems turned out to be user error, which disappeared once I realized I'd set my text boxes with asymmetrical margins. Oops.

Overall, I can vouch for the ability of these labels to adhere even at 0 deg F, and to remain smudge-free when used with a laser printer. If you have a need for those things, I don't know of any other easily available product that can meet that need.


Avery UltraDuty GHS Chemical Labels for Laser Printers, Waterproof, UV Resistant, 2" x 2", 600 Pack (60506)
Avery UltraDuty GHS Chemical Labels for Laser Printers, Waterproof, UV Resistant, 2" x 2", 600 Pack (60506)
Price: $39.99
22 used & new from $32.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Works in the freezer, not in an inkjet, January 18, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I own a small specialty foods store, and when we have fresh bread left over at the end of the day, we freeze it and sell it out of the freezer later. For months I've been looking for a way to label the individual bagged breads with the information we normally provide when we're selling it fresh -- bread name, price, ingredients, and baker info. All the labels I was able to find, though, either didn't hold up to being frozen, or couldn't be run through a printer. While these GHS labels are certainly overkill for my needs, since there's no other product on the market that does meet my needs, these are a godsend.

My questions upon first use were, 1) will they actually stick to the plastic bags?, and 2) do I really have to use a laser printer? The answers are both yes.

1. These labels *don't* stick well to plastic bags if the bags are some combination of cold/wet/not flat when the labels are applied, and for that reason they lose a star. They also take a few minutes to really adhere even in perfect conditions. So in order to get them to stick and stay stuck, I apply them to empty bags, smooth them out, wait a few minutes, and then put a loaf in the bag and put the whole thing in the freezer. I haven't done scientific testing of how long it takes for the stickers to really adhere, but within a few minutes I can still peel them off the bag; by the next day removing them would require ripping the bag.

2. I have a Canon inkjet printer at home, not one of the fancy inkjets they say might work with these. Some other reviewers say you can use an inkjet it just won't be waterproof, and I don't really need waterproof, so I thought I'd try it. I printed a sheet, let it sit in the tray for 20-30 minutes to dry, picked it up, touched the ink, and -- instant smudge. Everywhere. Even after 20-30 minutes to dry, these weren't not waterproof, they were just pools of ink sitting on top of the label. Had I been interested in getting ink all over my hands, I'm sure I could have wiped the labels practically clean. I have not had any issues with laser-printed labels smudging, so the answer is yes, you really really do need a laser printer for them!

Given that I'm not actually using them for chemicals, I haven't used the special Avery software for that purpose. I was able to find an Avery template for InDesign for 12-up 2"x2" stickers which worked great. My only alignment problems turned out to be user error, which disappeared once I realized I'd set my text boxes with asymmetrical margins. Oops.

Overall, I can vouch for the ability of these labels to adhere even at 0 deg F, and to remain smudge-free when used with a laser printer. If you have a need for those things, I don't know of any other easily available product that can meet that need.


Cuisinart TOB-260N Chef's Toaster Convection Oven, Silver
Cuisinart TOB-260N Chef's Toaster Convection Oven, Silver
Offered by Gourmet Kitchen Gallery
Price: $259.00
9 used & new from $259.00

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works a treat, January 18, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Thanks to an ongoing house renovation project, I haven't had a real oven for a couple of years now. This Cuisinart convection oven replaces two countertop ovens we had been using -- a conventional toaster oven, and a larger Hamilton Beach countertop oven. I wasn't sure if this would really be big enough to serve as our primary oven -- that is, to replace the larger Hamilton Beach -- but it really can fit a chicken, so I'm very happy.

This oven comes with two racks, a pizza stone, and a baking sheet/broiler pan. The accessories were a major selling point for me because I'm constantly struggling to find bakeware that fits in the Hamilton Beach. Happily, though, not only to the included accessories fit in the oven, but my go-to small roasting pan -- which only fit in the HB lengthwise -- also fits. Which means, it seems, that even though this has a smaller profile, the actual interior horizontal dimension is bigger than the unit it replaced.

As far as use, my initial reaction to the controls on this oven were kind of "WTF were they thinking?!?!", but it hasn't taken me long to get used to it. My husband also initially thought there was NO WAY he was ever going to learn how to use it, but just a couple of days ago he confessed that he has figured it out, and it's not so bad after all. It's certainly not an intuitive control system from the start, but once you get that you press a button, turn the knob, press the button, turn the knob, press the button, turn the knob, and then press a different button...it's not so bad. I haven't quite figured out how to change the temperature while the oven is on without turning it off and resetting the timer, but I suspect that's just user error. There's a multi-bake function included, which allows you to set it up at the start to change temperatures partway through, but I doubt I'll ever use that.

So far we've roasted a chicken, roasted some squash, toasted countless pieces of bread, heated up boli and pizza, and made a few toasted cheese sandwiches. While we're still kind of figuring out the nuances of convection vs speed convection, we've been impressed at how well it both bakes and toasts, and our only complaint with the results is that if you're using the bake function, it won't start counting down the timer until after it's done pre-heating. With sensitive baking, of course, we'd just wait until it beeps to say it's done pre-heating, but for reheating pizza, we just threw it in there and turned it on. The delay before the timer started counting down meant the pizza was done in MUCH less time than was on the timer, and if we hadn't been paying attention it would have burned to a crisp. The fact that the timer doesn't start until it's preheated is great for regular baking, but is a shift from normal toaster oven operation that will require some adjustment on our part.

I think the biggest benefit of this oven over the other toaster ovens we've had, other than now owning things that actually fit in it, is that it not only works as a small oven, but it is actually effective at toasting bread as well. I have *not* done exhaustive research of the alternatives available, but this oven gives me no reason to -- I'm very happy with it.


Joseph Joseph Peelers with Multi-Peel, Multicolored, Set of 3
Joseph Joseph Peelers with Multi-Peel, Multicolored, Set of 3
Price: $14.99
11 used & new from $14.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sexy, but not super functional, January 5, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
My husband and I cook a lot, and are always (obsessively) collecting the best kitchen tools we can find. This is the second Joseph Joseph item I have, and while I think their products are very sexy and well-made, their cool-seeming designs don't work out to be the most functional.

The peeler blades themselves are fine. New peelers almost always are. I have very small hands, and the handles are pretty comfortable. They aren't contoured at all, which probably means they're better for a wide variety of hands, but you'll never get a feeling of an absolutely perfect fit.

The extra functionality they promise, though, doesn't quite materialize. On the back of the packaging, they say the little eye on the green straight peeler can be used to eye potatoes. I suppose it could be, but far less effectively than the little curved channel that appears on the end of many other straight peelers.

I found the julienne peeler totally ineffective, and a little scary -- I wound up pulling out the mandolin anyway, which was what I was trying to avoid! It is, I will say, SHARP, but difficult to get at the right angle for effective and safe strokes on small veggies (I was trying to julienne turnips for a turnip & carrot slaw).

Overall, I think this is a very cute set if you like to have a stylish kitchen and don't require the added functions on the peelers, or need them so infrequently that you won't mind them not working super well. If you really need to julienne frequently, buy a mandolin. If you need to zest, buy a zester. But then again, if you're just peeling, there are probably better peelers out there anyway...


Black & Decker BDH100WW Powered Squeegee Vac - Corded
Black & Decker BDH100WW Powered Squeegee Vac - Corded
Price: $22.92
12 used & new from $17.19

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Useless, January 3, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I don't know if the product I received is defective or if I'm missing some clues about how to use it, but while I thought this would greatly reduce the amount of time and effort I spend cleaning glass-front display refrigerators at the small shop I own, it will definitely do nothing of the sort.

I usually wash windows and glass doors with Windex and some wadded up newsprint. Looks beautiful when done, but does take long enough for each window that the thought of doing *all* of them is pretty burdensome.

Upon receiving this squeegee, I charged it overnight, and then put it to work on the window in my front door the next morning. As other reviewers have noted, the directions are TERRIBLE, but there's an icon on the handle indicating that you put tap water in the little hole on the top of the handle. Done. I didn't see any indicator anywhere that you could put cleaning solution in the handle, so didn't.

Other reviewers have also noted the poor design -- the awkwardness of the power button and rotating the head -- and while I agree with those comments, they wouldn't be a huge deal if the thing worked well otherwise. But after following the directions as best I could -- spray, wipe with the cloth side, rotate, squeegee -- my window was covered in big grimy streaks. Okay, I thought, maybe this window was too dirty, but this thing would work for routine maintenance. I washed the window using my usual method (windex and plain newsprint), cleaned the squeegee itself of any grime it might have picked up, and tried again. Nope, big grimy streaks all over the window. Totally useless.

Another reviewer mentioned using it on a counter, so I tried that. It did pick up a some dirty water, but a wet rag would have come away dirty too, and this was no easier than using a rag. Tried it on my shower walls. Definitely no easier or more effective than spray cleaner and a rag. It did suck up some scummy water, but wasn't sufficient on its own.

I can imagine that some people, if they already owned this, might use it occasionally for spills big enough to require more than one rag -- suck up some of it, then use a rag to finish the job. It's certainly not worth spending any amount of money on, though, and its functionality isn't worth the space it takes up in my home.


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