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The On Ramp

The Blue Mountain Internet Customer Newsletter

 Issue # 36 October 2006 
  • Greetings from the Edi...
  • Quarterly Computer Dra...
  • All about Autumn
  • FAQ
  • Autumn Wordfind
  • Look For Yourself
  • Online Shopping - Good...
  • Spooky Riddles
  • Crossword
  • Craig's List
  • Picturefind Puzzle
  • Cool Sites
  • Payment Options
  • Kudos

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  • Online Shopping - Good or Bad?
    by Colin Miller
    October 2006
    As we quickly approach the holiday shopping season, you may be wondering if there are ways to avoid the mad dash at the stores. While online shopping can be less stressful than store shopping, there are some safety issues to consider. Credit card use online is safe when you see a padlock near the bottom of your browser bar. This indicates the site is SECURE.

    Pros of shopping online:

    Convenience: This is the biggest motivator for a lot of people. Online shopping is much faster and easier than schlepping out to the mall. You can shop at anytime of the day and you can step away for a few minutes and come right back to where you were.

    Price: You can find great deals online. You can also comparison shop by opening another browser. You will pay shipping and handling, but there is no sales tax on Web purchases if the company you buy from has a brick & mortar store in your state.

    Inventory: It is often possible to find high-demand items online that are not available at local retailers.

    Cons of shopping online:

    Scams: It is a small possibility, but still a possibility. You can get scammed during an online transaction. To avoid this, use a site like Reseller Ratings to check a seller's reputation. It is free and full of comments on just about any retailer you can find. If you don't find the seller, that's your first clue to avoid them. Stick to highly rated and well known retailers and your risk will stay low.

    Shipping: Shipping charges can add a significant amount to your total cost of purchasing You can shop around for this as well. Not everyone charges the same amount.

    Spam: Many companies will add you to a mailing list unless you check or uncheck the correct box. You have to read the bottom of your order page very carefully if you wish to avoid their mailing list.

    Sizing: Inability to try on clothes - this can be difficult depending on what size you wear. If you wear the same size across all clothes manufacturers, you have little to worry about. But if you wear one size from one company and another size at another, you may do some return shipping. Some retailers offer free return shipping, so look for that feature.
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    The On Ramp is a monthly publication of Blue Mountain Internet.

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