Shopping Online

Reprinted from PN October 2012

Tips and ideas to help make shopping online a safe and rewarding experience.

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In this day and age, more and more of us are turning to the Internet to purchase clothing, books, food, technology, and just about anything else you could want.

Between 2002 and 2010 the U.S. experienced tremendous growth in Internet sales, and that trend should continue. According to a Stastica report, online sales are expected to reach $260 billion by 2015. Are you shopping online?

A Growing Option

If you don’t already shop online, it’s becoming harder and harder to avoid going through the Internet to buy at least a few things.

Some stores only exist online, others offer cheaper prices and/or special discounts than in physical locations and some provide a wider selection of items than in their actual store.

Recently I needed to replace my washer and dryer. When the local big box hardware store didn’t stock a specific model, I turned to the Internet and purchased my appliances, saving approximately $400.

Navigating the Web

The vast number of websites with a plethora of products and services can make it tough or possibly even intimidating to shop online.

If you haven’t shopped online, try it for a specific item and branch out from there. Regardless of your level of expertise, these tips and ideas should help make it a safe and rewarding experience.

Find the deal. Bing, Google, and Yahoo all have a specialized search for shopping. Once you find the model number of the product you’re interested in, search for that product model number.

Get a hand finding a deal. The web browser add-on InvisibleHand knows what you’re shopping for and pops up a lower price (on the top of your screen) with the direct link to where you can find the product (

Use a loyalty program. If you have a loyalty credit card, use it. Ebates offers cash back in the form of a check at regular intervals. They offer rebates and coupons for hundreds of online retailers (

Manage your payments through one site. Registering with an online retailer can be tedious and mainly captures payment information and billing and shipping addresses. However, if you establish an account with PayPal or Google Wallet you only have to enter your information once ( or

Grocery shop online. If you live in major urban area, some grocery chains provide online shopping and local delivery. For someone with a disability this can be a huge convenience, but there is a charge for delivery. Check with your local grocery to see if they offer this service.

Become a member if you use a retailer often. Some online retailers such as Amazon and FTD offer premium memberships. With these memberships you save by receiving free shipping and no service charges. It’s worth investigating.

The next Tech Talk will discuss LinkedIn. Send your topic suggestions or questions to Updates

New information for or corrections to topics covered in the past:

New OS for Apple

Released July 25, OS X v10.8, also termed Mountain Lion, is Apple’s newest desktop and server operating system.

The new operating system (OS) goes a little further in mimicking features in Apple’s mobile, iOS 5. System-wide Dictation is a feature that should prove popular with those who have difficulty typing.

To turn it on, navigate to the Dictation & Speech pane in System Preferences; however, you must have a broadband connection for it to work.

Very Important: If you have Sticky Keys enabled, the default shortcut keystrokes (fn fn) will not work; however, you can assign a new shortcut (I used Option-Z). To set a custom shortcut go to your System Preferences->Dictation & Speech.

iPad Mount for Wheelchair

I have not tested this product, but just recently The Joy Factory, Inc. unveiled its Charis carbon fiber iPad MagConnect mounting system specially designed to provide greater iPad accessibility for wheelchair users and more (


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