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 Vast.com 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 Amazon.com or eBay? Or do you type in a query on Google first? Or a comparison shopping site like Shopping.com or Shopzilla?

What's most important to you in choosing where you end up buying? Do you favor the places like Amazon.com or Walmart.com 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: rob_hof@businessweek.com. I'll try to make sense of the responses and post a followup if they look interesting. Thanks!

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