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Ready...Set....Shop! Online!

Boot Camp feature for Thursday, November 23, 2000

Ready, set, shop! More people than ever, will do it online. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bloomberg Bootcamp. There are all kinds of forecasts about how big online holiday shopping will be this year. One thing for sure... .is that millions of people will do at least some of their buying on the Web. Which sites should you trust? The folks at Consumer Reports have a new tool for online subscribers that can help. VP John Sateja says the new e-Ratings cover over 130 top online holiday shopping sites...

"What we do is we look at the policies that are part of those ecommerce sites in terms of what their privacy policies are, what their return policies are, what their return policies are, how they handle customer service, return shipping charges, things of that nature. We also look at the usability of the site in terms of how easy it is for a customer to use and access information on the site and also the content."

Consumer Reports has half a million online subscribers. The price is 24 dollars a year... but you can opt to may for one month at a time for 3.95. What you won't find are ratings of smaller online shopping sites. For help there, you can turn to a company called WebAssured. Founder Travis Morgan...

"Web Assured is really the only service that offers all three components... the certification seal, the online dispute resolution and ultimately a money back guarantee that's underwritten at Lloyds. We will actually refund the consumer's money."

It's a free service and you can find more information on the sites with the seal at WebAssured.com. Bootcamp, I'm Fred Fishkin, Bloomberg Radio.