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How Do You Shop Online?

? Blu-ray versus HD-DVD |


| Daily Devotions... For Mobile Phones ?

April 03, 2006

How Do You Shop Online?

Rob Hof

I've been noticing how many new kinds of e-commerce venues are sprouting up lately, from the fledgling Google Base and classified-ad startups like Edgeio and to upcoming offerings from Microsoft, eBay, and others.

And it got me wondering: How do most people actually shop online these days? This will clearly be an unscientific poll, but I wonder if you might indulge me a few basic questions:

When you're looking to buy a product, do you still go direct to the big e-commerce sites, such as or eBay? Or do you type in a query on Google first? Or a comparison shopping site like or Shopzilla?

What's most important to you in choosing where you end up buying? Do you favor the places like or that have gained your trust before? Or do you prefer to go with the bargains you might get from smaller sellers at eBay or on the classifieds sites?

Let me know, either in Comments, below, or by email: I'll try to make sense of the responses and post a followup if they look interesting. Thanks!

09:25 PM, Microsoft, Search, e-commerce, eBay

TrackBack URL for this entry:

hi rob- i swear by EBAY. I have saved so much, and have never had a bad quality item yet.recently saved over $400 on a car touch screen stereo w/warranty for my son. have to watch for negative comments. everything is listed in front of you. no searching. the only thing i think people have to watch is how long someone has been a registered ebayer, and the shipping charges. when you think you can save money and you got a real deal, the shipping nails you. gotta watch it. also, i never buy anything from other than the good ol' USA. if it a product like a tv or other big item i wouldnt want to pay shipping on, yes i do go to shopzilla. love it.

Posted by: cindi dzialo at April 3, 2006 11:42 PM

Amazon. Apple. Or from some companies directly like Bare Bones or other smaller software makers.

I'm afraid of the little shops unless I can find some details about them. Like I recently ordered from CustomInk because I saw an article about them opening their comments - they post all reviews from customers, good or bad.

I usually just type the company name or site and the word "sucks" in google. Usually tells the tale. I won't mention what I found under "Rob Hof" and "sucks".

Posted by: dg at April 3, 2006 11:55 PM

I am a Google fan. I always Google everything. When it comes to high priced items, I prefer reputable sites. The other day I bought a digital SLR camera. Used Otherwise, I would not mind about the size or reputation of the web stores. However, I also google to see if there are any issues with the site.

Posted by: Anand at April 4, 2006 03:05 AM

Hello Rob.

Well when we did this type of research here in Sweden we found out that new e-commerce companies need to spend a lot of money on advertising for people to remember them. By making a name you attract the shopper imediately, he doesnt have to look around. We visit an average about 6 websites a day, so you understand the importance of marketing. I send you a link where we talk a bit about the shopping experience from a customer point of view.

Posted by: Theodore at April 4, 2006 10:48 AM

I shop on line all the time. But as an IT person, I am quite aware of security issues. I stick to big companies (like L.L. Bean, Barnes & Noble, Hewlett Packard) because their web sites are written in a more security-conscious manner and they can afford to use Verisign or similar services. Occasionally I buy a little utility program from a small site and have had no trouble so far.

Posted by: Barb at April 4, 2006 11:19 AM

First and most important rule: Never buy from Amazon! Their patent policy (one click shopping) is utterly offensive given that their business exists only because the people who developed the internet gave their work to the world unfettered. Next, Google the thing I'm looking for and see what pops up. Evaluate sites by looking at or such and pick a combination of price, service, shipping and taxes that suit the moment. I've never had a problem and I've used companies large and small, known and unknown from all over the country. And last, never buy from Amazon (did I say that already?)

Posted by: Mark Stracke at April 4, 2006 06:45 PM

I really like to purchase Their prices are pretty competitve, but a large percentage of every purchase goes to benefit the charity of your choice. I bought a book and donated over $5 without spending a dime. They are super reliable, I've always gotten my products in a really timely manner and the customer service is really helpful. I think its great to be able to give back to society while doing your shopping!

Posted by: Jamie at April 20, 2006 03:35 PM

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