Go Online for a Terrific One-Stop Shopping Experience

by: Chris Robertson

Online shopping isn't new, but it continues to grow. An increasing number of people are letting their fingers do the clicking rather than head out to the mall or to a specialty store. Moreover, online shoppers are choosing boutique one-stop shopping sites over the Web's traditional e-commerce giants. Why? Because, in doing so, they can support entrepreneurs while taking advantage of wholesale prices and dropship bargains.

What can you find at these one-stop shopping online stores? Just about everything. These sites typically have everything from jewelry, electronics, and leather goods to automotive parts, supplies for pets, and toys. And, just like the mega sites, they have brand names in virtually every category imaginable.

You might, for example, find a Magnavox widescreen LCD TV with an integrated DVD player as well as Britney Spears' latest fragrance. You could find novelty items from your favorite sports team along with Olympus digital cameras. Or, you could shop for the latest Xbox 360 game along with a gorgeous pair of designer earrings.

Online Buying Tips

How do you choose which online store to patronize? When I'm looking for a site, I first look for selection and brand names. Unless I'm looking for a rare item, I always go for the online store that has at least 5,000 items in stock. Next, I look for organization. I like to shop at sites that organize their items by easy-to-find categories. I don't want pet supplies to pop up when I'm looking for jewelry, or to search for personal electronics and have outdoor furniture appear in my search results.

I'm also a big fan of sites that dropship. When my items come directly from the manufacturer, I find that they arrive faster and in better condition. Plus, since the site doesn't have to worry about stocking inventory, the owners tend to pay more attention to customer service.

Since I'm somewhat of a privacy nut, I prefer to shop on sites that don't sell or disclose my personal information to third parties (other than the shipper) without first giving me the opportunity to prevent my information from being shared.

Security is also extremely important to me, especially since I'm sharing sensitive information like my credit card number. So, before I click, I always make sure the site uses a secure server with encryption technology. If a site accepts PayPal, that's even better.

If you've been stuck in the online mega-store rut, I encourage you to give the smaller one-stop shopping sites a try. You'll likely receive better service, and have an overall better shopping experience.