These are some of the features you can find on internet shopping sites. With a little time and effort you can save substantial amounts of money. Other than your time you'll need access to a computer and a printer and a credit card.
Remember never send your credit card number by email. Always look for the Key symbol or the Locked Padlock symbol in the bottom left corner before you transmit your credit card number to a shopping site.
Decide.com will predict if electronics are going to be cheaper in the near future
Priceline.com This site lets you bid on items ranging from airline tickets to mortgages. Sorry, no more groceries.
ebates Barnes & Noble 4%, Old Navy 3%, Home Depot 3%, Lillian Vernon 3%, Dell Outlet Computers 2%, Esprit 10%, J.C. Penny 3%, PCConnection 1% are just some of the stores that offer rebates through this site. Usually these rebates go to the advertisers, but now they can go to you as cash. Sign up with ebates and always go through their site on your way to an internet store. Your rebates will be sent to you as a check every quarter.
Sales Circulars SalesCircular.Com provides information about products advertised by the local retail stores every week. This information includes product name price, description, dates and any special deals. The product categories that are currently covered include consumer durables, electronics, computers, software and peripherals. Stores covered include Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA, Office Depot, Office Max, Radio Shack, Sears, Staples, Target, Walmart and Wards. There is also a section on "Free after Rebate"
Freebies.com How about some free stuff? Recipes, samples, catalogs, trial software, horoscopes. The list is as long as the American business imagination.
Free coupons from Amazing-Bargains
ebay Auctions . Largest of the auction sites, ebay lets people offer and bid on a wide variety of products. Caveat Emptor
Let the robots do the surfing to find you the lowest price.
Pricescan also offers unbiased reports of the cheapest prices. A nice feature is the ability to compare "functionally equivalent" products, not just identical ones.
TheFind includes event tickets in its shopping search engine.
Shopping.com is a site with a great interface for "narrowing-in" on specific feature you might want. Reviews offered through epinions.
Pricegrabber.com is another big online price comparison site. They feature Bottom Line Pricing calculations which include the tax and shipping calculations.
Overstock One person's excess is another's bargain.
TechBargains for Tech gear
Apple's Refurbised Outlet on eBay selling Apple products with a one year warranty.
Want somebody else's opinion on subjects from colleges to restaurants to golf clubs, try epinions for unbiased reviews by consumers like you.
One of the best expert product review sites on the internet is Consumersearch.com. It offers intelligent reviews and a "where to buy" link lists the companies that sell the product and their price.
Amazon.com is known as the biggest store on the internet but you can also get reviews of products here. The audio and DVD reviews are usually quite comprehensive.
Everything you bought on it's way to you? Find out how close it is with a tracking number. Once you've ordered something and its been shipped, some stores will provide you with a tracking number from the carrier. Entering a tracking number into Google usually works too.
Or need to return something?
To remove existing SpyWare, download and run Ad-Aware from Lavasoft. Then run it after every new software installation. Be warned that removing the SpyWare may make some of the FreeWare inoperable. In that case you will have to decide if you can live with the privacy intrusion or go on the internet to find ways around the spyware. A search I did on Google for "disable spyware" turned up over 8,000 results.
Another, even more aggressive spyware killer is SpyBot. It's free but it is so useful you really should send in a donation.
I recommend you download all of these programs, then update and run them regularly (at least monthly).
In Massachusetts (and since September 2005, the whole U.S.) you are entitled to one free credit report per year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. You can also get one if you think you've been denied a job or a loan because of a credit report. If there is any erroneous information on there it's probably not in your favor. If you don't correct it, nobody else will.
The easiest for you, is to call the national number. 1 877 322-8228 You will have to say and spell your first and last name and also supply your address, Social Security number and date of birth. At the end of the call you can order reports for any or all of the credit reporting agencies. They will be mailed to you in 15 days or so.
If you want the reports faster you can get them online by going to
which, for security, you should type into your browser's address bar. This method requires layers of authentication which can be annoying and sometimes don't work. The compulsive among us will request a report from a different reporting company every four months. The rest of us will do all three once a year.
Credit Reporting Agencies are required to remove your name from lists they supply to creditors and insurers. It only lasts for two years but it's better than nothing. They make you jump through a hoop because you must call a toll free number 888 567-8688 and request a form, complete it and return it. (Do you think they don't really want you to do it?)
To reduce the number of direct marketing ads ( some call it junk mail ) send your name, address and signature requesting removal to Direct Marketing Association, P.O. Box 9008, Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008
Massachusetts Do Not Call list
Massachusetts, as of January 1, 2003, offers a Do Not Call list that makes telemarketers take you off their call list. Definitely register at this site.
Federal Do Not Call list
The Federal Government through the FTC has implemented a National Do Not Call List. However Massachusetts is one of the states that will forward your telephone number if you signed up in Massachusetts. If not, Do Not Call Registration can be completed at www.donotcall.gov or at 1-888-382-1222
Personally what I do when a telemarketer calls is say Uhuh, Uhuh a couple of times and then gently put the phone down. For the next minute or so every time you walk by the phone you will hear them chatting away. Eventually they will figure out you're not there anymore and hang up. After another minute your phone will beep to inform you it is off the hook and you can hang it up. I figure if you hang up right away it just lets them go on to the next sucker. This way it eats up their time. For some reason I get immense satisfaction from dealing with calls this way.
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Why is there a shopping page on a high school library web site? Good question. The answer is actually fairly straightforward. The same skills that we ( teachers, librarians, tech staff ) are trying to teach you; research, comparison, evaluation are exactly the same skills you will need to be an intelligent consumer. As young adults you are going to be buying a lot of stuff and not just cool stuff like clothes and cell phones. Eventually you'll be buying things like sofas and lawn mowers and vacations and insurance. The internet and your research skills can help you get better value for your money.