I have a friend named David Garstang who collects ancient coins. However, David is also a good husband and father who likes to stay home with his wife and two daughters. David lives in Southern California, and, as such, he would normally buy his ancient coins in the usual places: at the beach during a topless volleyball tournament, in a bar on wet T-shirt night, or while sailing a yacht off the Mexican coast. David, of course, being a good husband and father, cares nothing for such pastimes. Instead, he buys his ancient coins through online auctions over the Net. These auctions offer a wide variety of merchandise, bought and sold by people all over the world. No matter what your interests, there is probably someone selling what you want right now (especially if you are a collector). All the buying, selling and bidding is done via the Web and email, so you never have to leave your home. This works well for David, as he can stay home on Saturday nights, rather than wasting his time running around Southern California. (Did I mention that David is a good husband and father?)
Do you love the heart-pounding thrill of going to an auction, when it gets down to mano a mano bidding and you don't know how it's going to turn out? Going to an auction provides a raw, mercantile experience as close to pure buying and selling as you can get. If you have a day off, check with the Net and find out what auctions are scheduled for your area. If you are planning a trip to a new place, why not visit an auction while you are there? These auction-related resources will help you find an auction in the U.S. as well as many countries around the world.
Have you ever wondered just how weird online auctions can get? Wonder no more. Check out some of the strange things that people are selling, and it won't be long before your feelings about the human race change significantly.
Buying/Selling Talk and General Discussion
Where do you go on the Net when you want to buy or sell something? Here are the main buying/selling Usenet groups, the places where it is okay to post a personal advertisement, wheel and deal till you drop. These are also where to look for a bargain. Just remember, when you are dealing with someone who you have never met, be sure to take normal precautions. (For example, if you are selling a house, don't actually send the house to the buyer until the check clears the bank.)
Catalogs by Mail
Catalog and junk mail fans will have a blast at this site. You can browse reviews of newly released mail order catalogs, order catalogs online and preview catalogs.
CD clubs have their system all set up so they can make lots of money off you. If you want a fighting chance of getting the best value for your money, you should check out this site. It has a FAQ on how to get the most out of CD clubs and information on the strategies of membership, resale value of CDs, the ins and outs of using club coupons, how to stop getting cards every month, how to return CDs you don't want, and more.
Shopping, shopping, shopping. Do you like to shop, but don't like to get dressed to leave the house? Shop at home, by checking out the great classified ads on the Net.
Before you make an important purchase, it's good to compare. Well, here are some tools called shopping bots ("shopping robots") that can help compare and compare and compare. You can do side-by-side comparisons and read product reviews and articles about the products. I have a friend who successfully used one of these resources to buy a digital camera. First she found some information to read. Then she performed a search according to the specifications she wanted, which helped her narrow down the choices to the one she wanted. She now lives happily ever after, and you can too.
Want the secret to happiness? Here it is. (1) Print your own coupons from the Net. (2) Take them to the store. (3) Live happily ever after.
A flea market is an open-air marketplace in which low-cost goods are sold informally. And what could be more fun? I love walking around flea markets, and I bet you do too (and you can pick up some great bargains). Whenever the urge to bargain and buy cheap strikes without warning, here are some resources to help you find a nearby flea market.
Online Payment Services
An online payment service is a facility that allows you to transfer money to anyone who has an email address. Think of it as a special type of bank account that is used only on the Internet. You open the account, put money into it and then transfer money to other people. At the same time, other people can transfer money to you. You can use an online payment service to buy items at online auctions, send someone a gift (of money), or pay a debt. If you'd like to try out one of these systems, open an account, put in $100 and send it to me. I'll write back, telling you whether or not it worked.
An outlet store sells brand-name or designer merchandise from a single manufacturer. The manufacturer can use the store to sell special types of goods, for example, excess inventory that is left over at the end of a season. The idea is that, because you are buying direct from the manufacturer, you can save money. Do you really save money? Well, probably not much more than a regular discount store. When it comes to buying retail, the sad fact of life is that, no matter what anyone says, you can't cut out the middleman (and, no matter what anyone says, unless you are going to resell what you buy, you are buying retail). Still, outlet stores tend to cluster in groups -- called outlet centers or outlet malls -- so you can visit one location, and have the time of your life shopping for brand-name merchandise until you fulfill yourself, give up, or run out of money (whichever comes first). Ready to give it a try? These resources will help you find the outlet center of your dreams.
Do you want what you want, when you want it? You can get it. All you have to do is specify your heart's desire and then let other people make you offers. For example, let's say you have your heart set on a purple Hello Kitty porcelain bowl. Just register your need. If someone has one to sell you, they will contact you and offer a price. Also, if you have something to sell, check this site to see if someone wants what you have.
Don't you ever buy anything again in your life without checking the Net first. You'll find so many items on sale in your own neighborhood, you'll want to rush out immediately and start buying (or you can buy online). Try the Net first and I guarantee you will be amazed: the information, convenience and savings are incredible.
Do you like to hang out at the mall? Of course you do. But wouldn't you like to know what's going to be on sale before you go? Even more important, what if you go on a trip to a city you have never visited? How are you going to find out where the malls are? No problem. The Net will help you find the mall you need with only a few clicks of the mouse. As long as we have the Net, you will never be deprived.
Do you have a strong need to find the online shop of your dreams? No problem. Moreover, once you find the shop of your dreams, you'll find helpful information, for example, which credit cards are accepted, price ranges, phone numbers, email addresses, and so on. If that's not enough, you can relax between shopping expeditions by reading articles, picking up a few tips, and talking to other online shopping buffs.
Shopping With Children
Shopping with children can be either a delightful pastime or -- how can I put it? -- a "challenge". My philosophy is to use the Boy Scout technique: be prepared. Here are some tips and hints that can make the difference between having a pleasant afternoon or developing post-traumatic stress syndrome.
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