The Internet not only reinvented social attitudes and trends, it brought into existence a whole new way of commerce. Most notably known as eCommerce, online shopping is perhaps one of the most dynamic areas of the Internet. Remember when Amazon first advertised during the Superbowl? Nowadays, online merchants like Buy.com, Overstock.com, and eBay are big name merchants with mass popular appeal. About the only thing that has stopped ecommerce from growing has been the identity theft crisis. A problem which companies like Microsoft and Google are trying to resolve as quickly as possible. However it is still possible to shop online and find some interesting bargains in the process if you know where to look that is.
Before heading out on the Internet to do your bargain hunting, it is best to protect yourself and your money. You should setup a separate checking account for all your online purchasing. This way if the account is compromised, the damage will hopefully be minimized to that one account and not your main checking account. I recommend opening the checking account at a completely different bank or institution as well. Some banks even offer online purchasing protection for free, so read carefully and compare different institutions.
Next you can setup a PayPal account and associate it with your new checking account. Although not all online merchants accept PayPal, many merchants do and occasionally you will find some merchants even offer a slight discount to PayPal users. Plus if you want to buy anything on eBay, it is easier to just use PayPal, since PayPal offers buyer protection for inexpensive eBay purchases.
You should also think about applying for a new credit card that you will reserve only for online purchasing. As with the checking account, many institutions offer various buyer protection plans, so shop carefully and find a card that offers the best incentives for you.
Bargain Hunter Sites
Unlike the local mall, the Internet not only offers plenty of places to shop, it also offers plenty of help in finding good bargains. Bargain and deal sites are plentiful and they really do help you track down good deals. The important thing to keep in mind is that not all of these sites give you unbiased opinions, many times bargain sites only work with select merchants, so it is best to use a variety of bargain deal sites, and not rely on anyone exclusively.