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Shopping and Auctions
Finding good stuff and understanding auction sites.

There are so very many places to buy and sell stuff on the Internet; it's mind boggling and it's wonderful. What do you want, a bottle of wine, a cat toy, a new purse, a dog bed, a cookbook, a tent, an RV, a car, the perfect birthday gift, office supplies, or the hottest new DVD movie for the weekend? It's all out there and more!

On This Page:

Comparative Shopping
Making Secure On Line Payments PayPal
  Auction Web Sites eBay Auction Site Separate Article:
"Learn How To eBay!"

Comparative Shopping Sites are all the rage; these sites really give us power over our consumer dollars by saving us gas money, while helping us finding the lowest prices. What more can you ask? Plus, these shopping sites generally give comparative prices for both on line stores and local, brick and mortar stores. Are you thinking about getting an up-convert DVD player to go with your HDTV; then hey, search the shopping sites to learn what's available, what other buyer's opinions are, and where you can buy one at the best price.

Sometimes people who are new to Internet shopping get concerned that they will accidentally buy something when they are clicking around in an on line retail store - think - an on line company can't get any money out of you over the Internet unless you give them a credit/debit card number. Some companies make it even scarier for newcomers by not letting customers see the shipping charges until they click "buy" or "add to shopping cart", but again, they can't charge you until you fill-out a purchase form with information such as your name, address, bank card number and so on. Suave Internet shoppers commonly add items to a company's on line shopping cart just to see what shipping charges and sales tax will add up to (if any). A virtual shopping cart is like a real store shopping cart in that you can accumulate items that you might want to buy and if you change your mind you can take items back out, but a virtual shopping cart is also a calculator that adds up the prices of the items placed in it, along with any shipping charges and sales tax. Just like a real store shopping cart, the store doesn't charge you until you check out, and if you decide you don't want anything in your cart, just leave it. Note, sometimes people think that mail order purchases are tax exempt; this is not true. When you make on line purchases you will be charged sales tax if the on line company you are buying from has offices or stores in your state; you will have to pay your normal state's sales tax.

The days of having drive from store to store or having to walk all over a mall are almost gone. Shopping is still fun and sometimes necessary, but it seems like most things can be surfed for on the Net. With the clacking of our computer keys and the clicking of our mouse we can find almost anything on line along with details, descriptions, and often other people's opinions. The Internet helps our money go further by saving on gasoline and enabling us to price compare.

Special note, be careful about going to well known web sites by doing a browser search, there are fraud web sites that have similar names, like "Wallmart" for "Wal-Mart". Once you have verified you are going to the correct web site, bookmark it and use your bookmark to go to the web site, to avoid typing errors and going to a fraud web site and giving out your personal information to thieves.

Want to give a gift card or have you received one and want to know what you have. Scripsmart's web site offers a guide to gift cards.

Some of the popular, comparative shopping sites are:


Interesting Shopping Web Sites:

Neiman Marcus Online Outlet Store - Last Call by Neiman Marcus

FashionPhile - Vintage, Limited, Rare Luxury Bags

Making Secure On Line Payments for Internet purchases is something to consider when buying mail order. While some people might send a check or money order, most people will probably use some type of credit or debit card to pay for on line purchases.

Here are a couple of tips for using credit and debit cards safely. First, when a web site is using secure, encrypted transmissions, their URL address in the browser box while say "https" notice the "s" after the "http"; the "s" signifies that the transmissions are secure. Example: is the URL address for PayPal. You do not type in the "s" it will come up automatically. If you rarely buy mail order, that's about the best you can do, make sure that you are ordering from a reputable company with a secure web site.

If you frequently buy mail order, then the second tip is to acquire a specific card for making Internet purchases so that a thief can not get into your main banking accounts. You can open something like a PayPal account or get a PayPal debit card, you could apply for a credit card with a low limit, or you could get a specific bank debit card that is linked to a bank account you open just for making on line purchases.

PayPal is probably the most popular of the Internet payment companies and it is owned by the same company that owns eBay. PayPal is more than just a way to pay for eBay purchases, many, many major businesses accept PayPal just as they accept direct MasterCard or VISA payments.

PayPal is like a credit card middle person between buyers and sellers. It is great for buyers because a buyer only has to give their credit card or bank information to one company, PayPal, and then they can use their PayPal account to pay for their purchases. The XYZ company that a person buys something from never sees their credit card or bank information; the XYZ company just gets a payment from PayPal on the buyers behalf.

Money can be added to a PayPal account several ways including bank transfer or from a credit or debit card. With PayPal, people can open an account and transfer money into that account specifically to make on line purchases. Money does not have to be put into a PayPal account in advance. A PayPal account can be linked to a credit or debit card or a bank account and PayPal will move the money around whenever the buyer makes a purchase.

PayPal has a debit card available, with a major credit card insignia, that can be linked to a person's PayPal account. Having a PayPal debit card makes it easy for PayPal customers to extract money whenever they want via a local ATM machine, and the PayPal debit card can even be used at local grocery and department stores, just like any bank debit card.

Individuals and small businesses who are selling products on eBay are common users of PayPal because it allows them to accept payments over the Internet without being credit card merchants. Additionally, if these sellers have signed up for a PayPal debit card, they can immediately access their funds by using their PayPal debit card like any bank debit card (if the seller doesn't have a PayPal debit card it takes a few days via bank transfer or the mail for them to receive their money from PayPal).

There are some processing fees, of course, but primarily those fees are paid by the seller or the store. However, the PayPal debit card, like many debit cards, charges a fee to the cardholder to extract cash from a local ATM type machine.

Please note: PayPal and eBay require separate registrations; signing up for one does not register you with the other one.

PayPal sign-up page.

Link to eBay page with information about PayPal and how to sign up.

Auction Web Sites are popular because people love auctions and because they give people the opportunity to find all kinds of really cool stuff. Auction sites are great for everyday stuff and astounding for locating hard to find items, especially for collectors. eBay is such a huge player in the auction world that it will be given its own separate article "Learn How To eBay".

Some of the popular auction type sites are eBay, uBid, Yahoo!, and Amazon lets individuals sell stuff on their site. There are some surprising auction web sites such as Sam's Club Auctions.

(It should be noted that uBid and Amazon are not typical auction sites. uBid is a company, more like a store, that sell products in a auction format; it is not a collection of individuals and companies like eBay. Amazon allows individuals to sell items on the Amazon site, but at fixed prices rather than in a typical auction style.)

eBay Auction Site!
eBay is possibly the most interesting and exciting place on the Internet, just ask any of the millions of people who eBay and are loving it. It's the mail order buyers' play land. It's an entrepreneur's dream come true. It's a collector's paradise. It's a bargain lover's Shangri La. Whether you are interested in buying, collecting, or selling, eBay is the place to be. And best of all, there is no cost to browse eBay, and you are not even required to register unless you want to buy or sell something.

Link to the eBay pages of how to register, buy and sell.

Flippity App - Browse for eBay items locally using local zip code. - Item Search - eliminate foreign counties and select locations by zip code.
Search Options along the left side of an eBay search results page:
1) Eliminate foreign seller - "Location - US Only".
2) Zero in on items closer to your location - "Distance - Miles & Zip Code .

"Learn How To eBay" is a "to the point" article (on separate pages of this site) to give you an overview of you what you need to know about buying and selling on eBay. You will learn the basics of buying and selling, gain an understanding of the costs and fees, along with tips about how to pay for purchases as a buyer or collect payments if you want to sell items on eBay. Further, this article discusses how safe you are buying and selling products on eBay.

There are tons of books available about both the Internet and eBay, but "Learn How To eBay" was written with you, the person new to eBay, in mind; and it was written to be brief and to the point. "Learn How To eBay" gives you the truth about the pitfalls so that you can enjoy the fun of an on line auction; it can be a wonderful world to play in if you understand the rules. This article cuts through the initial confusion of eBay by concentrating on the important points of buying and selling; leaving the more intricate steps to be learned from some of the many really good books that are available.

"Learn How To eBay" sticks with the basics, what is important to the newcomer, to you, so please take a few minutes to read it! Don't sit on the sidelines wishing you could eBay, come on in and join us, the Internet water is fine and warm out here in cyberspace. And if you have already dipped your toe into the water, but are still a little unsure of yourself, this article might boost your confidence so that you too can take the headlong plunge into the world of on line auctions.

Learn How To eBay! A Guide To The eBay On Line Auction Place. - Click Here.


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