Shop and Sell Online

The Internet has created a new marketplace where people can buy or sell items online. This is known as e-commerce. Anyone with a product can sell it or auction it without a storefront, and no matter what you’re looking to buy you can almost always find someone who has exactly what you need. This doesn’t only apply to goods but services, too, like booking travel.

Many sites have made it safer and more secure to make purchases online, but be sure to see the Stay Safe section for ways to protect yourself and your money on the web.

Two women high-fiveCraigslist

Craigslist is the online equivalent to the “Want Ads” in newspapers, organized by location right down to your hometown. Here you can find a place to live or a place to work. You can also find services such as music or language lessons. And that's just the tip of the Craigslist iceberg. Here are some examples for what you can do on Craigslist:

Craigslist For Sale:  You can find great deals on used items, from furniture to electronics, or sell your own stuff.

Craigslist Real Estate:  Here you can find a house or apartment for rent or for sale. You can also find roommates and shared housing opportunities.

Craigslist Free:  Find free furniture, technology, and other goods.

eBay

eBay is an online auction house where buyers make bids on an item over a period of a few days. At the end of the auction period, the highest bidder “wins” the item, although often there is an option to “Buy Now” for a set priced if you don’t want to risk losing an auction at the last second.

eBay has built a reliable site where people can trust that the items they win will be sent promptly, and that items they sell will be fully paid for. To create a positive environment, eBay uses a system where buyers and sellers can rate one another after a transaction. If a user gets enough poor ratings, it sends a warning signal that they are not safe to buy from or sell to.

PayPal, a secure way to transfer money online, is often used to ensure that buyers and sellers act fairly during a transaction. It is a wise decision to use PayPal when possible in order to avoid fraudulent users.

Freecycle

Man with paper workFreecycle is a free network of 6,737,000 people across the globe. It's a grassroots movement of people who are giving and getting stuff for free in their own towns. Freecycle is about reuse and keeping useable items out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer.

Travel

Making travel plans over the Internet allows you to select exactly the right flights, accommodations, and ground transportation you require. Controlling costs has never been easier, as travel sites allow you to compare several packages at once to find the best deals. Plus, travel customer service representatives are accessible and helpful over the phone.

Here’s a list of well-known travel websites to get you started:

Expedia
Travelocity
Kayak
Hotels.com
TripAdvisor.com

You can also purchase tickets online directly from low fare airlines such as Southwest Airlines or Jet Blue who often have special Internet fares to encourage online booking.