Plus it has several advantages over shopping in a store.
1. Better inventory. I don't have to get to the store only to find they are sold out of what I want. If one store is sold out all it takes is a click of a button to take me to another store.
2. Variety. I am not limited to what one store has available. I can browse the entire internet to find a similar product that better meets my specific needs rather than making due with the closest match.
3. Price comparison. I don't have to assume the price at one store is the best I can get. I can check other stores to see if anyone has the same product for less.
4. Research. This is my favorite. Even when I do buy something in a store I try to research it online first. I find product reviews. Weigh the pros and cons. Does this product really do what it says? Will it work in the way I need it too? Will it break before I can even use it?
5. I can shop in my pajamas. Ok, that one is my favorite!
Today I checked out Become.com
At first glance Become.com seemed like nothing more your run of the mill product cost comparison shopping site. You can search and browse through a list of products and find the store with the lowest price. You can also see similar items and compare those prices too. I do find this type of site helpful when I am deciding on a purchase. It is much more convenient to have everything on one page than trying to check every individual site one at a time. Ok, I thought nice site but really nothing new. Then I noticed a little button next to the "Shop" button that said "Research." So I researched. Now this is something I can use!
"Product Shopping and Research Together"
That's right I can compare costs and research the products all in one handy site. When I click on research I am given a list of links to actually research the product. I can view all results or narrow down by product reviews, buying guides, discussion forums, or product details.
There is even a coupon section!
Cosco car seats: http://baby.become.com/cosco-car-seat-base
Toddler rain boots: http://www.become.com/toddler-rain-boots
Kitchen pantry shelves http://www.become.com/kitchen-shelves
Even more specifically, Whitmor Supreme 5-Tier Shelves
You name it! I had a ton of fun and might have spent a good bit of time on the kitchen shelves research. Did I mention I want one?
Do yourself a favor. Check out Become.com. It might just save you some money or even prevent buyers remorse caused by a hasty unresearched impulse buy!