Shop ’til you drop!

Well ... we all know what time of year it is! The holidays are upon is. Have I got a holiday treat for you here!

Well ... we all know what time of year it is! The holidays are upon us. Have I got a holiday treat for you here! What do we all have to do this time of year? You guessed it ... shop! So, without further delay, here is a complete guide to shopping via the Internet. And don’t get mad at me when your credit card bills arrive!

Before I send you out on the World Wide Web of retail, let me give you a few shopping hints:

Research your product. Learn about features and what accessories come with it. Read what others say about it. Check the opinion sites listed below.

Look for a coupon or rebate. Check the sites listed below or go to google.com and search for “merchant name plus discount or coupon.”

Use the price comparison sites listed in this column.

Watch out for shipping costs. The larger companies have cheaper shipping rates.

Stay safe. Use only trusted sites. Check the Internet address and see if it has an “https” site, or has a lock or key in the bottom corner of the page.

Online opinion sites

www.epinions.com
www.consumerreview.com
www.consumerreports.org

Note: Many of the comparison shopping sites and larger sites have reviews of products from your fellow shoppers. Read a number of these opinions to get a feeling of the good and bad points of the product you are thinking about buying.

Online comparison shopping sites

www.pricegrabber.com
www.shopping.com
www.froogle.com
www.dealio.com
www.shopzilla.com
www.bizrate.com
www.mysimon.com
www.pricescan.com
www.nextag.com
www.dealnews.com
www.shopping.yahoo.com

Online closeout sites

www.ecost.com
www.overstock.com
www.smartbargains.com
www.woot.com
www.replacements.com
www.discontinueditem.com

Coupon and rebate sites

www.amazing-bargains.com
www.ebates.com www.gotapex.com
www.slickdeals.net
www.edealfinder.com
www.jumpondeals.com
www.dealcatcher.com

Technology shopping sites

www.shopper.cnet.com
www.techbargains.com
www.newegg.com

Books and more sites

www.amazon.com
www.barnesandnoble.com
www.buy.com
www.aaabooksearch.com

Auction sites

www.ebay.com
www.ubid.com
www.auctions.yahoo.com

Of course, you can always visit the site of the manufacturer of the product you are thinking about purchasing. Companies are making their own sites more robust and easy to use.

When shopping online, use any and all sites and resources at your disposal. You will find that you settle in on a handful of useful sites and will learn to navigate them quickly and easily. Putting this column together has put me in the mood to do some shopping. Race you to pricegrabber.com!

Jeffrey B. Dalin, DDS, FAGD, FICD, practices general dentistry in St. Louis. He also is the editor of St. Louis Dentistry magazine, and spokesman and critical-issue-response-team chairman for the Greater St. Louis Dental Society. Contact him by e-mail at jeff@dfdasmiles.com, by phone at (314) 567-5612, or by fax at (314) 567-9047.

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