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Online Buying Tips

Techstination feature for Tuesday, December 14, 1999

Have you been shopping online? A lot of people are. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a report on computers and technology. Those mall parking lots are still full. Online shopping isn't taking too much away from brick and mortar stores yet. But...

"We're forecasting nine and a half billion dollars being spent online and that's up from three and a half billion in the holiday season 1998."

Jill Frankle is director of retail research at Gomez Advisors. helps ebusiness companies compete online....and gives consumers unbiased rankings of the best places to shop on the net. What should you look for?

"Consumers should really do their homework before placing an order and understand what the pricing should be. I think also there's a lot of free shipping being promoted on the web and that's because many of the retailers are trying to lock in new customers. That's something that consumers can take advantage of."

Buying online is more convenient.....but before you click that final purchase button, check on return policies, those delivery charges and delivery dates....

"Because obviously people who are shopping want to know that their orders are going to be fulfilled in the time that they need them. And lastly, consumers should really keep a record of all their purchases. It's basically a digital receipt that they did buy something online."

It's a good idea to check the rankings before you buy.