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Title: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Online Shopping
Author: Preston Gralla
Publisher: MacMillan Publishing Company
Publication Date: 11/1998
Pages: 348
ISBN: 0789717611
Price: $16.99

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Online Shopping is a how to book on shopping on the Internet. It is filled with insider tips; shopping secrets; hands-on advice; and lists of the best shopping sites in cyberspace. If you haven't yet bought anything yet on the Internet, this book will get you started. It'll teach you everything you need to know before shopping online--how you can be sure that no one will take your credit card information, how to research anything before buying it, the best places to go for buying anything on the Internet. If you've already bought something online, this book will help you become a better shopper--you'll learn all the tips and tricks of the trade, and you'll get the best product at the best prices.

The Internet is also a great place to get shopping information and advice even if you are not actually buying something online.You don't have to buy a car or airplane tickets or other goods over the Internet; you can just use it to get shopping information, inside deals, and consumer advice about all kinds of products and services before you buy from a store. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Online Shopping can help you get his information..
Just about anyone could use this book. It is great for beginners who have a basic knowledge of Windows and the Web, and Intermediate and Advanced users who want more information. The Complete Idiot's Guides are designed for anyone not familiar with a topic or technology. They are clever, conversational tours through the most commonly used features of a product. Rather than covering every way to accomplish each task, these books focus on doing things the simplest, most straightforward way. They are created to be non-intimidating and put the novice user at ease with the friendly, funny writing style.

The book is divided into four parts. It starts with the basics of online shopping, moves on to teaching you how to be a cybersavvy online shopper, clues you in on all the ways to great bargains online, and finally, teaches you how to buy anything over the Internet or with an online service. It is well-organized and full of funny cartoon graphics, which I have used in this review. The author uses two boxes to provide you with inside secrets, tips, and bits of information that will help you get the most out of your money when you shop online.

Part 1, Chapters 1 through 3, "How to Shop 'Til You Drop in Cyberspace," covers everything you need to know before embarking on your online shopping expedition. Armed with the information in these chapters, you'll be able to boldly go where many have gone before--to the malls, stores, and shopping sites on the Internet. You will learn how to shop, how to make sure that your credit card information is never stolen, and how to protect your privacy online. You'll find out what kind of stores you can buy from in cyberspace and how to use them all. You'll become a pro at using virtual shopping carts and getting free samples of stuff before you buy.

Part 2, Chapters 4 through 7, "How to Be a Cybersavvy Online Consumer," you learn how to be a sharp-eyed online shopper, always getting the best deal possible and making sure that you don't get burned. How can you get the scoop about warranties and return policies, and know you're buying the best product at the best price? How can you make sure that you never get burned--and woe to the person who tries? You learn how to check for hidden costs before buying, and how to make sure that you're buying through a secure, reputable site. You get the complete low-down on online return and warranty policies. You see how you can get the inside skinny on shopping sites online--and you get a list of the best sites to check for when doing consumer research. You'll learn how to avoid Internet scans and con artists. And finally you'll find out how you can get shopping robots and virtual shopping assistants to search the Internet for you, looking for the best bargains.

Part 3, Chapters 8 through 11, "In Search of Bargains Online," gives you the lowdown on how to get great deals and freebies online. This part teaches you how to go about getting the best bargains, gives you inside tips for bargain-hunting, and leads you to the best bargain-hunting sites online. You learn about the remarkable array of bargain-hunting sites, and learn how to get coupons, enter contests, and get all kinds of free stuff. You find out how to shop on classified ad sites, and which offer great bargains. And finally, you become an instant pro and killer bidder at online auctions.

Part 4, Chapters 12 through 26, "How to Buy Anything in Cyberspace," covers just what it says. Here's where to turn when you want to buy anything from cars to CDs, electronics, food, sports equipment, and household goods. Each chapter covers a different type of product or service.You get tips, advice, and insider hints on what you should know before buying anything from used cars to jewelry. You find out how to drive the best bargain. And then you get a list of the best sites to go to for shopping. It covers buying new and used cars; books, tapes, movies, and CDs; computer hardware; software; electronics; travel deals; food and wine; financial services; homes and apartments; health and fitness items; items for the home, garden, flowers, and gifts; clothing, grooming, beauty, and jewelry products; and child's games and toys.

Glossary, "Speak Like a Geek," defines important computer and technical terms.

This is a great book, full of information on online shopping and fun to read. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in shopping on the Internet.

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