Tag Archives: online shopping

The Sharing Economy of Things: Buy, Sell, Lend

The internet has no shortage of online stores. There are millions of websites that cater to online shopping, designed for anybody and everybody who may be interested in what they’re offering. Shops and clearing houses usually represent businesses: big name retailers, wholesalers and vendors. But what about typical users like you and me – isn’t there a way we can get in on buying, selling and trading without having to, ya know, own a business?

Even if you aren’t set up to move volume and even if you don’t have a website of your own, you can still use the Internet to move your goods and get things from other people.  Sure, sites like eBay come to mind, and that particular site is a big part of the the peer-to-peer market system.  But thanks to the sharing economy, eBay has become a forerunner in what is now a spectrum of options that let you sell, trade, and even loan out money from your hand to the hand of another person, all thanks to the cloud.

Online Bidding

bid_iconBidding isn’t a new concept for the internet, but it has created a special niche for buyers and sellers. eBay is easily the biggest of the bunch, and it also stands alone as a peer-to-peer site. The rundown (in case you aren’t familiar with online auctions) is straightforward: anyone with things to sell can set up an account on eBay, take some pictures of the item and list it.

Another user can find the item, bid for it and/or buy directly from you. Even if you don’t want to list the item yourself, you can use the eBay service (now called Valet) that allows you to mail the item to an eBay processing center so that they can list it for you. Continue reading

Top 5 Tips for Faster, Easier and Safer Shopping Online

So black Friday is over. You’ve fought the crowds; you’ve scoped the sales, and now you’re going online.  Whether you’re out to find a better deal or just getting prepped for cyber Monday, there are some important things you can do to make shopping safer and easier.

1. Remember the -s

https_iconShopping online? Whenever you go to a site that handles sensitive information – especially your credit card info – it should be protected by encryption.  To check, look in the url.  If the site is secure, it will have an -s after the http.

It’s not important that the whole website be secure, just the part the handles your account info, so look for the https:// when you’re in the checkout area.  If it’s not there, think twice about putting in any important information.

2. Don’t get lost in the site

magnifying_glass_iconSome websites are easier to navigate than others.  Finding the promotions isn’t hard; those will be the first thing you see.  But what about all of that side-information like shipping rates, and return policies?

Use the key combination CTRL+F in all of the major browsers.  This brings up a search box where you can look for specific words on the page.  Go to the homepage and look for words like “shipping” and “policy”

If that doesn’t lead you where you want to go, search instead for “sitemap“. The sitemap is a page on a website that’s designed to be a hub for the various links on a page.  Go here and repeat the searches. Continue reading