Start Your Shopping On The Net

Smart shoppers know that it pays to do your homework before making a major purchase, whether they are looking to buy a new car or to get the lowest airfare to Cancun or Las Vegas, for example.

Nowadays, many people are beginning their product research on the Internet. MySimon.com gives you results in realtime online and also offers a free newsletter. Yet another site to try is ComparisonShop.com. If you don't need to shop right now, BargainDog will send you a free customized email telling you only about the product categories for which you registered, however often you would like.

Yes, Consumer Reports is on the Web, but to get the Ratings, you have to subscribe to the print version! (This is because Consumer Reports accepts no advertising. They must have the income from the paid print subscriptions to pay their bills.)

Other major auto sites include Edmund's and the Kelley Blue Book site. More and more dealers are discovering that people arrive at the dealership already having decided on not only which car they want but which options, including which colors! They have come to the dealership literally to kick the tires and buy the car!

Most of the major search engines now have shopping links. Here are a few to get you started (in strictly alphabetical order): AltaVista Shopping Guide, Excite Shopping, Lycos Shopping, and Yahoo! Shopping.

The InternetMall.com is the granddaddy of Web shopping sites (having been around since 1994) and deserves a visit as well. See also FreeMerchant.com, the bargain portion of this site.

Want to know when your favorite product goes on sale in your area? Try SalesHound.com!

This free service will even email you to let you know, if you tell it what you are looking for and what stores you prefer.

One note of caution, though. If you decide to send your credit card number over the Web, make sure it is going via a "secure" or "encrypted" connection. On most sites nowadays this is not a problem, but don't type in your credit card number to send over the Web unless the site has a "secure server"!

For more information see:

  • Buyers Index
  • Active Buyer's Guide
  • Bargain Dog: Fetching the Best Deals on the Net
  • MySimon.com
  • ConsumerSearch | ComparisonShop.com | InternetMall.com |
  • Consumers Union (Consumer Advocacy)
  • Secure Electronic Transmission (tm) Protocol
  • CyberSource (Includes Internet fraud screening)
  • SafeShopping.org (American Bar Assn.)
  • E-Commerce & the Internet (Federal Trade Commission)
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    Last Modified: 7/30/2001