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The mall has some great online stores, many top-rated by site judges like Bizrate.com, E-Smarts and Yahoo Internet Life. They give you excellent value for your money: most give you a discount of at least 15% off normal retail prices. The Mall even has a "Free Stuff" site and two "Shopping Agents" that help you shop for the lowest prices. Both were rated among the "Six Hottest Shopping Bots" by ZDNet. Three sites in the mall were picked among the "5 Top Shopping Sites" by PC Magazine, when they picked the top 100 web sites: mySimon, Amazon.com and etoys. Before you go shopping, you may want to read iMarvel's Online Shopping Tips page for some helpful tips.
The following options are available:
- Headline: The headline at the top shows you an "offer of the day" for a great product at a low price. Click on it to see the full offer, and all the other recent shopping offers.
- Shop For: Type whatever you're shopping for in this text-box.
- Shopping Spy: Click this button to use the "Bottom Dollar" shopping agent to search for the item you typed into the "Shop For" text-box. This shopping agent will compare prices for you at several different online stores. (Note: there is a select-box in the Bottom Dollar store on the right end of the mall, listing categories such as Books and Electronics. You should choose a category there before you click on the Shopping Spy.)
- mySimon: Click this link to use the "mySimon" shopping agent. MySimon is the unbiased site for comparison shopping on the Internet. Shoppers compare millions of products from over 1000 merchants in categories like books, music, movies, apparel, computers, electronics, toys, sporting goods, gourmet foods and wines.
- Text Boxes: In a text box in any store, you can type whatever you're shopping for. Click the GO button to find it at that store.
- Store Signs (Amazon.com, etc.): Click a store sign to go straight to the store. In the future, we plan to add a version of each store that you can actually keep on your hard disk.
- Info: If you click here, a window will be opened that will present you with information about this store. Usually it will be information from the Bizrate.com directory of online stores. There, you'll find a wealth of information about the store, its policies and how highly-rated it is.
- Go: Click this button to go straight to the store.
- Find: Click here to search this store for whatever you typed into the "Shop For" text-box.
Some of the stores are:
1Travel.com: 1Travel.com is one of the best full-service discount travel sites online. They have link on their home page that you can click to check the flight schedule of most airline flights. It's also a very customer-friendly travel shop, top-rated in a study by emarketer.com, and ranked #2 among all leisure travel sites by the Gomez Advisors site. Almost every travel subject imaginable is directly accessible from their home page!
Amazon.com: The largest and best bookstore on the Internet, which also sells music, videos, electronics, toys, and holds auctions.
Beyond.com: One of the Internet's best software stores. 30000 software titles are offered at low to moderate prices, with over 2000 titles available for immediate download and usage. We're impressed by how well designed and easy-to-use their site is.
CDNow: This online music store has won the top rating for music stores in numerous online rankings. You can listen to thousands of music samples, without necessarily buying the music. Their automated "Album Advisor" helps you find good music based on your own preferences. And their service is great! You can create your personal "My CDNow" page, which lets you keep a Wish List of items you might want to purchase in the future, see discographies of artists you love, get updates on new releases and more. They even allow you to return CD's after you've opened the package (other online music stores will only allow you to return opened CD's.)
FreeShop: At FreeShop, you can find free and trial offers for many product categories.
eToys: At E-Toys, you can search for children's toys, games and software. Their search engine can help you narrow down the choices by letting you specify the price range, toy category and the age of your child. If you'd rather trust humans to help you pick toys, they have a "Picks of the month" feature. Their "low price guarantee" is a great added attraction.
Magazine Mall: A magazine shop with great discounts, great service and a family-friendly emphasis.
Reel.com: A video store with a "Movie Matches" feature: you just type in the title of one of your favorite films, and Reel.com will provide a list of "Movie Matches" -- similar films that cover the same subject, appeal to the same audience, or provide a similar moviegoing experience. They also carry over 85,000 movie titles (new or used) for sale. Many are hard-to-find classics. VHS, laserdisc and DVD formats are available, all at 15% below suggested retail. You can watch trailers of recent releases, or visit their "Cinema Univeristy."See also: Tips Wizard.