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How to Apply the Goals of National Consumer Protection Week to Online Shopping

As mentioned in our previous post, this week, March 1-7, is National Consumer Protection Week.  We outlined the goals of this week, along with the tools the official website offers.  In this section, details how you can apply the goals of National Consumer Protection Week to online shopping.

Online Shopping: A Sea of Possibilities

When it comes to online shopping, the possibilities are endless.  With the simple click of a mouse, you as a consumer are led to hundreds of web pages that feature the type of product or service you are looking to purchase.  Most of these sites claim to offer the most popular and highest quality version.  Given this overwhelming number of options, how do you make a decision about which product or service to buy?

The first bit of text listed within the Consumer Info section of The National Consumer Protection Week website says the following:

“Information can help people get the most for their money, whether they are trying to stretch their paychecks, find a quick fix for a spotty credit history, or tell the difference between a real deal and a potentially fraudulent product or service.”

The keyword: information.  Being an informed online shopper can help you spend your money more wisely.  With that said, let’s explore the ways you can gather specific product and service information.

Comparison Shopping

Comparison shopping is defined as the act of comparing prices of something in advance before shopping for the best bargain.  There are specific websites, such as, that place products and services side-by-side.  They paint an unbiased picture of each product or service, giving the consumer the key information they need to make an informed decision.  This information includes prices as well as the scope of service that each company offers.  Of course you have the option of individually researching each product on your own when comparison shopping; however, this can be a very time-intensive process, especially if you are not familiar with the industry you are researching.

Consumer Reviews

Within a lot of these comparison shopping websites is a section where users like you can post product reviews.  Here on, we encourage you to test out the many free trials you read about.  Documenting your positive and negative experiences with any products or services can help you decide which service you ultimately would like to subscribe to.  Furthermore, posting honest consumer reviews is the type of active participation that National Consumer Protection Week advocates.  The more dialogue consumers generate through open discussion about products and services, the better educated we all become about how to spend our hard-earned money.

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