Buying Online for Dummies


Here's an astonishing little fact: In 1998, online commerce -- buying and selling goods and services over the Internet -- is expected to top $37.5 billion in sales. So put aside your skepticism, pick up a copy of Buying Online For Dummies, and start surfing for the best deals and bargains in cyberspace.

Buying Online For Dummies tips you to the best virtual stores and the right products at the right prices, all from the comfort of your home or office computer. You'll find ...

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Here's an astonishing little fact: In 1998, online commerce -- buying and selling goods and services over the Internet -- is expected to top $37.5 billion in sales. So put aside your skepticism, pick up a copy of Buying Online For Dummies, and start surfing for the best deals and bargains in cyberspace.

Buying Online For Dummies tips you to the best virtual stores and the right products at the right prices, all from the comfort of your home or office computer. You'll find helpful advice to make secure transactions over the Net, buy and sell through online classified ads, and set up your own Internet connection optimized for online shopping. Be sure to check out this book's 70+ pages of great online outlets -- from travel services to books and music -- and the book's bonus CD-ROM, which includes current versions of both Netscape and Microsoft Web browsers as well as other cool shareware and freeware programs to make your online shopping experience fun, safe, and hassle-free.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764503795
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/1/1998
  • Series: For Dummies Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 287
  • Product dimensions: 7.48 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 1.09 (d)

Table of Contents


Why a Book for Dummies?
What's in This Book?
Part I: Buying Online Basics
Part II: What You Can Find Online
Part III: How Do Ya Wanna Pay?
Part IV: Bargain Hunting on the Web
Part V: When Bad Shopping Happens to Good People
Part VI: The Online Shopping Directory
Part VII: The Part of Tens
What's with All the Margin Icons?
Can We Talk?

Part I: Buying Online Basics

Chapter 1: Buying: The Online Way
Why Buy Online?
We never close
Parlez-vous White Sale?
The science of ElectroShopology
The Ever-Expanding Marketplace
The great Web Rush of the '90s
Virtually safer
Your First Online Shopping Trip
Making the connection
Searching... searching...
Choices, choices, choices
Making it your own
Completing the transaction
Chapter 2: The Big Question: Is It Safe?
The Way Things Work
How the Internet works
A typical online transaction
Tales of Crypto Keys and Digital IDs
Encryption keys
Digital signatures
Digital certificates
Ready, SET, go!
Credit-Card Guarantees and other Truths
Standard credit-card policy
Special guarantees
Chapter 3: Shopping around the Web
Getting Online from the Get-Go
Getting the hardware you need
External and internal modems
Cable modems
DSL connections
The software side
Setting up an ISP account
Personal info
Pick a number
Browser 101
The lay of the screen layout
Going online for the first time
Jumping to a Web site
Investigating a Web site
Returning to favorite pages
The Netscape approach
The Microsoft way
Teaching Your Computer to Fetch: Search Engine Basics
Simon's simple search session
The searchers
Shopping search engines
Excite's Jango
Visa Shopping Guide on Yahoo!

Part II: What You Can Find Online

Chapter 4: Electronic Boutiques and Beyond
One-of-a-Kind among 50,000
Why such a variety?
Low startup costs
Global marketplace
Finding the small shops
Follow the content
The search engine route
Impulse shopping
Gift giving
Special small shop cautions
Name-Brand Shopping Online
Shopping online for the right info
Comparison shopping
Technical support and customer service
The International Web-Set
From the Net to Your Door: Internet Home Delivery
Chapter 5: One-Stop Virtual Shopping
Making the Most of a Mall
Hang a left at the @ sign: Finding the malls
A mall of malls
Mall specialties
Backorder No More: Catalogs Online
Online catalog advantages: Company side
No paper costs
Instant updatability
Order automation
Online catalog advantages: Customer side
Whose catalog is online?
Doing the catalog shuffle
Surfing AOL's Shopping Channel
The Free Shop
Reminder Service
Buying Advisor
Comparing notes with other AOL shoppers
Other AOL shopping services
Chapter 6: I Found It in the Online Classifieds
The Best Classifieds for You
Searching for classifieds
Search-engine classifieds
The classified super-sites
Special services
Other monster classified sites
AdQuest Classifieds
iMALL Classifieds
AOL Classifieds
Regional classifieds
Regular papers online
City networks
Answering a Classified Ad
Check 'em out
Payment options
Trusted third parties
Posting Your Own Classified
The posting process
Chapter 7: Instant Gratification: Buying Software and Information Online
Freeware, Shareware, Tryware... Everywhere
The many varieties of software
Where ware? and
The Fine Art of Downloading
Downloading a file
Opening your files
Executing the executables
Getting the Info You Need
Go to the library!
Private research firms
Saving pages
Grabbing pictures

Part III: How Do Ya Wanna Pay?

Chapter 8: Ye Olde Credit Cards -- Online
It's Really Okay -- Trust My Uncle Sam
Using Your Credit Card Online: Play-by-Play
Entering the info
Setting up accounts at some stores
Keep Your Cards Handy in a Microsoft Wallet
Setup and organization
Pulling out the Wallet
Online Credit-Card Services
Shopping for a credit card on the Web
Credit-card customer services
Chapter 9: Electronic Shopping with Electronic Bucks
Is It Real, or Is It CyberCash?
Using the CyberCash Wallet
Configuring the CyberCash Wallet
Adding credit cards to your Wallet
Paying with the CyberCash Wallet
The Small but Beautiful World of Micropayments
Making change with CyberCoin
Best of both worlds: Using MS Wallet with CyberCash features
Banking on First Virtual
Chapter 10: Other Toll Roads to Travel
The CyberCash Checking Account Connection
Online Bill Paying
The CyberCash PayNow system
The CheckFree way

Part IV: Bargain Hunting on the Web

Chapter 11: Let Loose the Shopping Hounds!
Ferreting Out the Info
Comparison shopping on the Web
Running a comparison
Other CompareNet services
Buying Tips
Bulletin Boards
Just the facts, Ma'am: Consumer Reports Online
Birds of a Feather Shop Together: Using the Newsgroups
Newsgroup basics
Searching for a group
Following the threads
Emily Post-ing, or following proper netiquette
It's DejaNews all over again
Shopping Services: Call in the Pros
A classic service, online style
Gifts 'R Us
Around the world in 80 shops
Chapter 12: Letting Your Computer Shop for You
Using Intelligent Agents
Come to the Kasbah!
Let RoboShopper Do It
Programming the RoboShopper
Look at the Pretty Firefly
Stamping your Firefly Passport
Visiting a Firefly site
Chapter 13: Going... Going... Gone! (Online-Style)
What's Up for Auction?
How an Online Auction Works
The bidding war
The selling side
Special Online Bidding Situations
Dutch bidding
Reverse auctions
Bad Bid-ness
Play nice or don't play at all
The dark side
Chapter 14: The Push Is On
Signing Up Online for Offline Browsing
Be alert
All the news that fits in your e-mail
The Magic of Web Site Channels
Channel me
The PointCast Network
Managing Your Subscriptions

Part V: When Bad Shopping Happens to Good People

Chapter 15: Tracking 'Em Down
Checking Your Order Status
A question of status
Filing your own backup
And the Waybill Number Is...
Doing the FedEx, UPS, Airborne Express, and USPS rhumba
Keeping a copy
Corresponding with Your E-Reps
And you can quote me!
I cc you, you bcc me
Be a little forward
We all have our attachments
Chapter 16: Protecting Your Online Rights
Walking the Cyber Watchdogs
The real cybershop cops
In The Public Eye
Doing business the BizRate way
Expressing Your Customer Dissatisfaction
Better Business Bureau
Going on patrol with a CyberCop

Part VI: The Online Shopping Directory

Buying Online For Dummies Internet Directory
Aloha, Bon Jour, Howdy: Traveling on the Web
Where to, Buddy?
Okay, So Book It!
The Travel Specialists
The Real "Estate" Deal
You Rentin'...
...Or Buyin'?
Shopping for an Online Mortgage
Second that E-Motion
One If By Land...
Two If By Sea...
And Three If By...Air?
Consuming Electronics
Picking Up Some Hardware
Those fabulous computing machines
Audio, video, and beyond
The Best Software Anywhere
At Your Services
Hello, Operator?
Wanna watch some tube?
The Internet connection
It's the Good Life, Online!
Some Cool Stuff for the Home
Stocking the Virtual Cellar
What's in the Fridge?
From Movies to Music and Back Again
Nothing's Quite Like a Good Book
How 'bout Some New Threads?
Don't Forget to Accessorize!
Great Pastimes
Family, Friends, and Fido
Keepin' the kids happy
It's the thought that counts
And don't forget the cat food!
Stayin' Alive
Sports, health, and fitness
Nature lovers and the great outdoors
That's Entertainment
Goin' out
Stayin' in

Part VII: The Part of Tens

Chapter 17: Ten Reasons to Buy Online
It's Safer than Telephone or Mail Orders
It's More Convenient
You Can Shop the World
You Can Get an Instant Record
Shopping Search Engines Make It Easy
Forget-Me-Not Reminder Services
Online Personal Shoppers
Of Shopping Carts and Shopping Malls
Pulling Out the Old Electronic Wallet
Variety, Diversity, and Novelty
Chapter 18: Ten Things That Are Easier or Cheaper to Get Online
Doing the Download Shuffle
Who Has the Information?
Going to Clip Me Some Art
Fly Me to the Web
Greetings from Afar
Finding the Best Plastic
Playing the International Shopping Game
Coupon Clipping Mania
The Better Catalog Way
'Tis Better to Give Online
Appendix: About the CD
System Requirements
How to Use the CD Using Microsoft Windows
How to Use the CD Using the Mac OS
Using the Directory Links
What You'll Find
MindSpring Internet Access
Netscape Communicator 4
Internet Explorer 4
WinZip 6.3
Stuffit Expander 4.0.1
Shopping Explorer
Password Manager 2.1.2
If You've Got Problems (Of the CD Kind)


IDG Books Worldwide, Inc., End-User License Agreement

CD-ROM Installation Instructions

Book Registration Information

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