Shop Around the ClockHow to Buy Almost Anything Online

{mosimage}Shopping online has become a timesaving solution with today’s hectic pace of life. One click of the mouse and you can order food, art, furniture or even a car at any hour of the day or night.

Web retailers often offer large inventories, discounts, promotions and home delivery, making online shopping even more enticing. And let’s not overlook the benefit of no crowds and no lines.

The kickoff of the online holiday shopping season is Monday, Nov. 27, a.k.a. “Cyber Monday” – so now is a good time to try out a few Internet shopping tips that can help you navigate your gift list with ease:

• Compare prices before placing an order. Online experts know that prices can vary from site to site, so it pays to spend a little extra time checking out your options.

• Read product reviews and you could save time and money. Many online retailers will offer consumer feedback, which is especially useful when considering a performance-based product such as a digital camera or compact disc player.∑ Check the rating history of the retailer or seller if possible. The online community is quick to share positive and negative experiences through designated rating sites.

• Sign up for your favorite retailer’s e-mail list. Although you may open the door for periodic e-mail alerts, you also could receive online discounts or special promotions.

• Pay wisely. Make sure the retailer offers a secure, encrypted payment page. If you are unsure, call the retailer’s customer-service number and pay by phone.

– Lori Hutzler Eckert and Erin H. Thomas 


This site, which actually is an offshoot of, is a relatively new but very effective online price-comparison tool. Search by type of product or brand name to produce an easy-to-view list of Web retailers that carry your desired item and at what price.

Know who you are buying from with a quick check from an informative site such as this one. is popular for price comparisons, but it also allows consumers to share and rate a retailer’s performance history with an easy-to-access overall rating.

Many sites have a field or line for inputting codes and coupons, but have you ever wondered where those discount numbers come from? Check out sites such as this one for pages of coupons redeemable at some of the nation’s largest online retailers, including , and .


Did You Know?

The Destin Fishing Rodeo, which is held through the entire month of October, was founded in 1949.