Mystery Shopping

Mystery shopping is an excellent way to make extra money. In fact, some people make a full time living doing it.

There are many mystery shopping companies that will pay you to shop, eat at restaurants and take part in focus groups.

A mystery shop consists of getting paid to go into a business without the employee’s knowledge and reporting back to the mystery shopping company.

A focus group is when you get paid to sit down with other people who are also getting paid and discuss new products or services.

Mystery shopping jobs and focus groups are easier to find if you live in or near a large metropolitan area.

After you do a mystery shop you answer some questions and file your report with the mystery shopping company. These reports are usually set up as a series of questions and often can be completed quickly.

The reason they have mystery shops and focus groups is so that companies can get feedback on their employees, products and services. That way they can see where there might be problems and make the necessary changes to improve things.

A few years ago I had some free time and I wanted to make some extra money. I took a course, How to Become a Mystery Shopper, at a local community college. After completing the course I registered with a few mystery shopping companies online.

You can do a search on Google for “mystery shopping.” Bypass the mystery shopping websites that are trying to sell something. You want to find the mystery shopping websites for the actual mystery shopping companies. These mystery shopping companies will never charge you any type of fee to register or to do mystery shops or focus groups.

Be sure to read all the free mystery shopping information you come across. There is an art to being a good mystery shopper. Basically you are like a reporter. You will never add your feelings or what you think to a mystery shopping report. Your job is to just answer the questions, report the facts and describe what actually happened during your shop.

You never want to give your own recommendations. That is not why you are hired. If the mystery shopping company wants a consultant, they will hire one. All they want you to do is to answer questions with just the facts of your mystery shopping assignment.

Once you find a few mystery shopping companies you can then register with them. They’ll contact you by email whenever they have a mystery shopping job in your area. You’ll only respond to the emails when you want to do the shop. Otherwise you can just delete the email. You get to pick and choose the shops you want to do.

A couple of years ago I did some apartment shops for the Jancyn Evaluation Company that took me about half an hour to complete. Since they paid $25, I was basically being paid $50 an hour.

You can register with the Jancyn Evaluation Shops Company. They may pay more than $25 today for apartment shops since it has been about two years since I’ve done an apartment shop for them.

Jancyn also does a lot of shops and surveys for the Ross Dress for Less retail stores. I’m not sure if Jancyn still has a business relationship with Ross, but I once handed out survey forms in one of the local Ross stores here in the Seattle area and made $500 for about 30 hours of work.

Here’s the URL for Jancyn if you’d like to register with them to do some shops. http://www.jancyn.com

Another mystery shopping company that I get a lot of email requests for shops for is the Secret Shopper Company. They seem to specialize in shops for Veterinary Clinics. They pay $15 plus up to $100 payment NOT including tip + $10. The only catch is that you have to own a cat or dog, which I don’t, but maybe you do. Here’s their URL http://www.secretshopper.com

OK, I’ve saved the best for last. Fieldwork specializes in setting up focus groups for some of the biggest companies in the US. They pay $50 to $75 for a focus group meeting that usually lasts about an hour.

The last one I did with them was for some research for eBay. They were trying to come up with a name for a new category on their website.

Fieldwork is located throughout the US in major metropolitan areas. You’ll have to visit their website to see if they are located near where you live.

It’s great if you have children since Fieldwork does a lot of focus groups involving children. Perhaps you can talk your kids into splitting the fee with you. Again, the pay usually works out to be about $50 to $75 an hour.

Unfortunately I have no children, but the next time I get an email for a focus group for children I’ll borrow a couple of my neighbor’s children. Here’s the link for Fieldwork. Fieldwork.com

Now you have a basic idea of how the mystery shopping and focus groups work. Start searching for more mystery shopping websites and get paid to shop, eat and taking part in focus groups. It’s easy money!

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Some Popular Markets in Lagos, Nigeria

In Lagos, Nigeria, there are a number of markets that attract a large number of people for various reasons. Some people go to these markets to purchase items because of their relatively low prices while others prefer them for a quality shopping experience. Take for instance a small scale retailer based in one of the suburbs, he or she may visit these markets to purchase bulk items from wholesalers in order to resell at lower prices at a more convenient time and place. If you as a retailer deal in GSM products such as sim packs, mobile phones, GSM recharge cards and accessories the you will naturally visit a market that has a large number wholesalers dealing in such products. In Lagos Nigeria, such places include Computer Village in Ikeja, parts of the Lagos island Market (Idumota) and one end of Saka Tinubu in Victoria Island. This of course is just an example as there are unlimited number of products and services one could deal in.

Here is my list of popular markets in Lagos Nigeria and the Kind of products such markets deal in;

1. Yaba also known as Tejuosho Market currently undergoing renovation it is one of the most modern markets in West Africa with standard facilities and infrastructure. Tejuosho market is a densely populated market, with thousands of shopping units and tens of thousands of customers who patronize the businesses that are resident in the complex on a daily basis. Until 2007 when parts of the market were gutted by fire, Tejuosho market was perhaps the busiest market in Lagos Nigeria after Idumota, Balogun, Oshodi, Alaba Market and seme markets.

2. Alaba International market. The so called largest electronics market in Africa, Alaba international Market is home to the biggest dealers of electronic products in Nigeria. Many of the dealers are big time importers and distributors of electrical and electronic gadgets such as flat screen televisions, generators, home appliances especially refrigerators, fans, air conditioners, even DVD sets, digital satellite dishes and decoders and many more. The market is a beehive of activities on all days of the week except on Sundays when most of the traders go to church.

3. Computer village. Computer village as the name implies is a market that deals primarily in the buying and selling of computers including software and hardware, mobile phones and their accessories. It is home to some of Nigeria's best phone and computer repair guys with many of them demonstrating remarkable skills in managing, maintaining and repairing phones, computer parts and other related gadgets. However there is a draw back, this market is also notorious for housing some people of questionable character such as touts, pirates, pick pockets and fraudsters. However the market offers many benefits such as affordable prices and quality products but only where such products are purchased from reputable and authorized dealers.

4. Idumota. One of the oldest markets in Lagos Nigeria, this market is the largest market in West Africa and possibly Africa with tens of thousands of lock up shops occupying various buildings in the market. The distinct feature about this market is that it is made up of very many multiple storey buildings some measuring 5 or even more floors. Most of the shops are actually apartment rooms converted into shops. The market is so big that as early as 6 am in the morning it is already recording large volume of transactions.

5. Balogun. Like the Idumota Market, Balogun market is located on the Lagos Island axis. It too is an old market with very many lock up shops however unlike Idumota market it has much fewer multiple storey buildings. Parts of this market extend into Marina and Broad Street (two of the busiest streets in the central business district of Lagos Nigeria).

6. Mile 12. This market is popular for being the hotbed of farm produce and raw foods. Any vegetable or fruit that grows in tropical Africa except those that are alien to Nigerian soil can be found in this market. It is the cheapest market for foodstuff especially vegetables, fruits and livestock other farm produce.

7. Mushin. Mushin market is a market known for having very cheap items when compared with other markets of Lagos Nigeria. The market is both a wholesale and retail market with almost every consumable imaginable available for sale.

8. Oshodi. Known for its rowdiness and large size Oshodi Market is Nigeria's second largest market after Idumota market. Up until early 2008, Oshodi was a no go area for many pedestrians and motorists as its roads were so jam packed that free flow of traffic was almost impossible. That is a thing of the past following the determination of the Lagos state government to rid the state of rowdiness, lawlessness and disorderliness. Prices of commodities in this market are also relatively cheap.

9. Onyingbo (White sand). This market located in the mainland Yaba axis along with its sister market at Iddo is a prime market in that it serves as a transit point between Lagos and a number of Northern states with foodstuff arriving from Northern Nigeria straight to it through Iddo. Although not as cheap as Ketu Market, oyingbo market has a number of affordable commodities mainly foodstuff and livestock.

10. Alade Market in Ikeja. This market is modern but not as complete as tejuosho. A number of businesses mostly corporate services and retail stores operate in the market offering services such as travel and tour services, bureau de change, resale of consumables and even car hire services exist in this market. Things are relatively expensive owing to its location (Allen Avenue) and proximity to the international airport.

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Online Shopping

What is online shopping?

Online shopping is the process consumers go through to purchase products on internet. There are number of online shopping store and online shopping malls, eshop, e-store, internet stop, web shop, are available over internet which gives option to buy or purchase products of your own choice.

Online shopping is nothing but electronics commerce (e-commerce) used for business-to-business (B2B) or Business-to-Consumer transactions or it relates to variety of business dealing conducted online.

Why is online shopping important and useful?

Online shopping is important because it offers buyers convenience that has never been achievable.

1) Options: For every product you can get number of vendors at one place. For example: if you want to buy mobile phones then you will get different mobile venders like Nokia, Motorola, lg, Samsung mobile phones are available at one shop.

Shoppers are provided with an abundance of merchant sites where almost any goods on earth can be bought. Consumers can also compare prices from a variety of different retailers with greater ease, compared to them physically going to shop in a built shopping centre to check prices.

2) Available 24*7: The technology that is now available allows customers to shop on the internet 24 hours a day and seven days a week without having to leave their homes or offices

3) Fast Service: Most of the online shopping websites delivers product with 3 working days. The best thing is there is no shipping cost included in the Cost price of the product.

4) Price and Selection: One advantage of shopping online is being able to quickly seek out deals for items or services with many different vendors. Shoppers find a greater selection online in certain market segments (for example, computers and consumer electronics) and in some cases lower prices.

5) Product Cost: Compared to normal shopping stores the products are available at cheaper then them.

6) Comparison: On internet you can compare pricing of product from one brand with other. So, there is option to buy product cheaper with better quality.

7) Easy Mode of Payment: There are very easy way / mode of payment. Credit cards are most preferable. But some online shopping vendors like cafegadgets.in, crazypricing.in gives option to their customer to purchase products on Emi or draft, Cheque are also acceptable by other online shopping. Means all facilities are given to customers and you don’t have to carry cash all the time.

Stores for Online Shopping in India

1) eBay

2) Cafegadgets.in

3) Crazypricing.in

4) Gadgets guru
and many more

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Free E-Commerce Website Using Google Sites and PayPal

I started off with the goal of making a website that has no on going costs, minimal transaction fees and low maintenance. The choice of having all features integrated into the one website? or do I manage the website and let a third party do the financial transactions? security is a key to answering this question, a third party will be my option. Firstly I did allot of research into free web hosting solutions, benefits, security and 100% uptime. The list got down to a few, I tested them and decided on Google sites which ticked all the boxes. The main disadvantage is also an advantage, it locks down allot of code, making it harder to implement heaps of features but increases security immensely.

I have decided on my web hosting, now look at payment systems. The customer would have to be redirected to a secure website, the data passed between my website and the shopping cart had to be minimal as this can be hijacked or changed. I looked at allot of cool Java and php based shopping carts but in the end, all still sent across code that could easily be changed by someone smart enough. PayPal and Google Checkout are the main players, being in a Australia, Google Checkout was ruled out so I worked with PayPal.

Google sites is very easy use, first you give the website a name, choose a template and play around with the formatting a bit. Add a picture of the item you want to sell, then put it in the back of your mind for a bit, we now head over to PayPal.

Yourself 's a PayPal The the Create account and change the account type to Business at Http://www.PayPal.com . PayPal gives you the option of making pre-made buttons that are attached to your account and because no dollar amount or numbers of items passes between the sites, it is very secure.

Creating a PayPal Button:

Profile >> My Saved Buttons >> Create New Button

Select Yes; create an "Add to Cart" button.

Give the item a name, if you have multiple of the same items, include an item number.

Choose a price

Additional Options:
Postage Weight or Postage cost for that item.
Track Inventory, PayPal can stop people purchasing items if you run out of stock.

Once the button has been created, select the tab e-mail, copy the code and keep this for later.

Go back to your Google sites web page and add an image that your going to use as the "add to cart" button. This can be the one provided earlier by PayPal or you can choose to make your own image. Make sure you happy with the size, Google sites gives you the option of small, medium or large, but if you want something different, it can be changed in the HTML code option.

select the image, then click up the top on the link button. This is where you link your button to the PayPal, choose link to external website and paste in the PayPal link you kept from earlier.

My finished result is:

http://www.dollsclothes.com.au

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5 Critical Mystery Shopper Questions For Banks and Credit Unions

Secret Shopper programs have become a popular tool for banks and credit unions to maintain a pulse on their customer service standards and performance management incentive triggers. These programs excel at capturing what company standards and beliefs have effectively translated into desired behavior and which have not. The following questions are critical to ensuring shopper assessments truly capture the beliefs and behaviors which are most critical to producing the desired results.

1. Number and type of open ended questions asked. If any sale is to be made the MSR / CSR must be trained to exhibit the behavior of curiosity. The employee must ask questions that require customers to respond with an experience or emotion. Yes or no answerable questions do not provide how the customer feels about a product or experience with your institution or that of a competitor. Questions that start with "have you ever had the experience of" or "you know what frustrates me about X" and ends with "I do not suppose that has ever happened to you" work great. Arriving at the goal of having MSR's / CSR's that display this desired behavior requires extensive belief and behavioral training which is constantly reinforced by the company culture.

2. Number and details of attempts to move from inquiry to action. Many times shopper forms contain generic language like "employee attempted to close sale" or "employee recommended additional product or service" Many times forms give employees credit for merely mentioning a product or describing a products features. It is critical that a MSR / CSR suggest next action steps and attempt to move the customer to complete the sale. Measurement questions such as "employee offered to show me to an office to complete opening the account" or "employee attempted to set an appointment for me to discuss options and benefits of opening a new IRA account".

3. Specific product or service benefits presented. Most times a shopper form will capture the explanation by the MSR / CSR of features like "100% money back guarantee", "no points" or "no account maintenance fees" but fail to capture how or if the employee presented the benefits that the customer would derive from the product or service. The most useful assessment will capture the "so that" benefit statements. For example "Our mortgage and home equity loans provide the benefit of no points (so that) you do not have to add additional principle to your balance that you would have to pay interest on for the entire term of the loan". Another example would be "our IRA accounts carry no maintenance fees (so that) all the interest you earn you keep and do not have to return as fees".

4. Product or service relationship connections / benefits made. Many times shopper forms contain generic language about cross sell attempts such as "MSR / CSR attempted to cross sell additional products". The best way to measure effective cross sell beliefs and desired behavior is to ask what product relationships or cross product benefits the employee offered. An example would be MSR / CSR explained that by having a car loan with the bank / credit union along with a checking account with debit card I would receive an additional .25% rate reduction on the car loan (so that) I would have a lower monthly payment, pay less interest and possibly reduce the total repayment period of the loan. Another example would be "MSR / CSR explained that by opening a checking and savings account I could set up a split direct deposit of my payroll so some funds could automatically go into savings (so that) I could start a high interest nest egg on a budget I can afford.

5. Details of how MSR / CSR asked for the business. Often mystery shopper assessments neglect to capture whether the employee asked for business. It is nearly impossible to capture business if you place the entire burden on your customers to seek you out and ask for it on their own. I can not begin to tell you how many very adequate and heartfelt sales presentations I have been witness to where the only thing that turned a sure sale into a no decision was failure on the sales persons part to simply end the presentation by asking for the sale. It's as simple as "I am hearing from your responses that this product provides you with all the benefits you are looking for. May I set it up for you now?" The shopper form should require the exact verbiage as to how the MSR / CSR asked for the business.

In drafting the 5 critical questions I made no attempt to cover all the potential area Mystery / Secret Shopper inventories can be focused to measure and illicit desired behavior. For instance overcoming objections would be an entire course in itself. In writing these questions my wish was to share my experience with developing effective shopping assessments and some of the most common pitfalls. I applaud you for your commitment to your customers if you currently engage a secret shopper program. If you do not I submit that there is one thing you can take to the bank or credit union and that is if you are not shopping your customer contact employees I can assure you your competition is. Why would anyone provide the competition with that kind of advantage.

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Factors That Make Shopping Online a Good Idea

Shopping being an essential one for everyone can be fun and easy for some, while some would consider it a chore and irritating. Online shopping is the perfect solution for the home bound and for those who find shopping a difficult task. Online shopping has proved to be a boon for those who live in rural areas too. Whether you’re buying directly from a business online retailer, an individual online shopping site, or an Internet auction site, shopping online can be fun, simple, time saving and economical.

More about Shopping Online…

Since the development of the Internet, all hard-to-obtain, hard-to-do things have become quite simple that anyone can get anything from wherever they are, all by using a your PC. The Internet not only gives you an ocean of information you required, at the same time expands your shopping options like never before! Now, with only a few clicks of a mouse, you can go online to buy just about anything you need or want.

Festival shopping can be a real stress for most of you, and with Christmas just around the corner, it’s time for you to think about the gifts you have planned to buy. Secure online shopping gives you a little less shopping stress and saves more time, especially during Christmas and other festival season when the crowd packs the streets. Shop your things without venturing into the crowded shopping areas and wrestling your way between shoppers. Most important of all, you need not hurry or worry about finding a parking lot for your car. A simple online search can lead you to the right product at the right price, fast.

If you are looking for great online shopping suggestions or you want to find Australia’s best online shopping websites please read on…

Online shopping benefits…

  • Online shopping offers unbelievable convenience to the shoppers.
  • Online shopping allows people to browse through a variety of retailers, items and categories without leaving their home, compare prices with greater ease and order as many items as they can afford.
  • It provides round the clock service that allows you to shop at your leisure, regardless of your time. Unlike direct shopping where you can shop only during the showroom’s working time, online shopping allows you to buy things any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year.
  • Compared to physically going to a shopping mall to shop, online shopping can reduce overhead costs in a variety of ways that inturn reduces the prices to an unbelievable amount.
  • Online retailers too offer many attractive sales promotions. “Festival/seasonal offers”, “Discount sales”, “Buy one and get one free”, and “Buy now” could be few of them. Bargains can be numerous online.
  • Online shopping renders you great help if you wish to gift your daughter who is staying in another country, you can make her day special by sending her a jewellery set by shopping online.
  • With a click on your mouse, you can buy anything from flowers to fly tickets. Groceries, clothing, jewellery, gifts, wine, art, pet supplies, pharmaceuticals, sports goods and equipment, toddlers and kids essentials are some of the others you can get online.
  • The transaction you do is purely safe and your credit card data is encrypted.

Use the checklist below to help make your online shopping experience a safe one

  • Be clear with your needs & budget: With copious online retailers in the Internet, supplying anything you wanted are sure to confuse you while deciding on the one you are looking for. So it is important to be clear with your needs and preferences along with your budget to make your shopping easy.
  • Decide with your paying format: Be clear with your payment format, whether using your credit, debit or charge card before shopping, for making your shopping safe. It is always advisable to save and get your transaction records printed.
  • Check out the terms & conditions: Do read the terms and conditions of the site from which you have decide to shop, to be clear with the delivery, refund policies and warranty. It is a good idea to search and shop from retailers within your country, if you want fast deliveries and low shipping fees.
  • Know your online retailer: Make sure you shop from secure and safe online shopping sites.

We hope this info helps you to shop safely and wisely online. Online shopping is the most practical, economical and fun method of shopping that is perfect for everyone. It saves on your time. Browse through different products without going to the market, compare the prices of products offered by online stores and make the best deal for yourself and your loved ones.

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How Pawn Shop Loans Are Treating in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

The pawn business is booming. But pawn shops are not just doing business with the working poor. Instead, middle and upper income borrowers are taking their valuables to pawn shops to generate the cash needed for mortgage payments, vehicle loans, school tuition and even essentials like food and clothing. Pawn industry trade magazines have taken notice of this trend and more and more pawn brokers are opening locations in high end shopping centers. Specialty pawn stores now look more like jewelry stores than merchandise filled pawn shops and they openly solicit wealthy customers. In Atlanta, there is a pawn store called "The Happy Hocker" that specializes in jewelry and watches advertises itself as the "pawn shop for the rich and famous."

Bankruptcy lawyers are also seeing these well heeled borrowers. While the 2005 changes to the nation's bankruptcy laws generally require wealthy debtors to file Chapter 13, there has been a steady upward climb in the number of bankruptcy filings by families who have household earnings of $ 100,000 or more. Not surprisingly, many of these high income bankruptcy filers have pledged into pawn collectibles, jewelry, electronics, watches and family heirlooms in an effort to raise cash. Scared, embarrassed and unsure about exactly how pawn stores work, these pawn borrowers unnecessarily risk their property if they are not alert to time deadlines and default provisions.

In most cases, the biggest risk to a pawn borrower arises from the default provisions of the pawn loan. Generally, upon default, title to the pawned collateral transfers to the pawn broker. Therefore, in general, if a borrower is thinking about filing for bankruptcy, he should file his case before the pawn loan goes into default and / or before title actually passes.

Although bankruptcy laws are federal laws and applicable in every state, pawn shop laws will vary from state to state. In general a bankruptcy court will look to local laws to determine when a pawn loan is in default. Local laws will also set out the rules about what a borrower needs to do in order to keep his pawn loan out of default – usually this mean tendering an interest payment.

In most states, a Chapter 13 filing while the pawn transaction is still current will preserve the debtor's ownership in the property. The automatic stay in bankruptcy will prevent the pawn broker from selling the property and the Chapter 13 plan will give the borrower an opportunity to pay back the pawn loan as a secured debt. The borrower may not get possession of his property right away, but at least he knows that the property is safe.

By contrast Chapter 13 may not be as much help after title has passed. In this situation, the pawned merchandise does not become part of the debtor's bankruptcy estate and therefore the loan is not included in the plan. There are some arguments that a clever lawyer may use to bring the pawned property back into the bankruptcy estate, but this process is an uphill battle.

As a rule, therefore, pawn borrowers should try to file their Chapter 13 cases before their pawn transactions go into default. At a minimum the pawn borrower should seek legal counsel prior to default to learn more about the applicable state law and the local bankruptcy procedures that deal with pawn loans.

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Why Shop at Online Stores?

As the season changes, everyone wants to get out and buy cool clothes and dresses. Some prefer to go shopping with friends at all the trendy stores. A new season means a new wardrobe and a whole new line up clothes. While nothing beats the fun of hunting for a dress or the perfect pair of shoes with a friend, you can now do this more comfortably. I am, of course, talking about the vast array of online stores that have cropped up to cater to your every need.

Reason 1: Online stores come in all shapes and sizes, virtually speaking. They may cater to a particular type of shopper, or they may sell a wide variety of clothes and accessories. That is not the only purpose of online stores. At these websites you can find a lot of useful information about the latest trends. What is in this season? And what is out? You can find the answers to all these questions and more at these stores.

Reason 2: Online stores are not just places for women shoppers. Most stores have a separate section for men. The kid’s section is also worth taking a peek at if you are looking for some new clothes for your toddler. In fact, the wide range of selections available often makes decisions a lot harder, but no less fun. Online stores make the shopping experience much easier and hassle-free. If you are not comfortable with the price tag of an item, you can simply look elsewhere. The World Wide Web is a big place, which means that there are countless places to shop. However, the best stores offer high quality dresses and accessories at affordable prices. Once you find a good online store, you should stick with it.

Reason 3: Do you know what is in style this season? You are sure to find all the trendiest clothes online. You can buy dresses online, and have them shipped right to your home. Many online stores even offer free shipping within the United States. The important thing to remember when shopping online is to keep an open mind and lots of available time on your hands. Most online stores stock more items than any of your local clothing stores. It is easy to get lost in a mire of fashionable clothes, accessories, and shoes. If you want to save time, then stick to the items you absolutely need and leave random browsing for a later time.

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Undergarments Shopping

When shopping for undergarments, people have to be extra careful. They should make sure that the items they choose fit comfortably and suit the clothes they wear. An undergarment, as its name suggests, is worn underneath clothing, so it is not visible to others. Even if this is so, it can greatly affect how the wearer feels and looks. Therefore, one of the factors to consider when choosing undergarments is the material or fabric it is made from. This is especially important in some climates.

Perhaps the main advantage of online undergarments shopping is the convenience it gives. It saves the time and trouble of going to different shops and falling in line to pay for the product. It would definitely be easier to shop online by browsing a number of websites to check the available products, compare prices, place an order and finally, pay over the Internet. On the other hand, the major disadvantage of online undergarments shopping is the possibility that the items won’t fit. This can be a problem with online shops that use a “no return, no exchange” policy.

If a store does not accept returns, it makes no difference if the purchase has been made online or in person. Once people buy from retail shops and they are contended with their purchase, it can be an advantage to buy the underwear online, since it is more likely to fit. Some shops accept returns on undergarments that still have their tags attached to them. Therefore, making online purchases of underwear on these sites can definitely be an advantage, even if they are not the same brand.

One more advantage of online undergarments shopping is the possibility of searching not only local shops, but stores from the entire country, as well. Shopping locally will only allow consumers to visit a few stores in person, while shopping online gives them a wide range of choices, in terms of style and color. This is particularly helpful for those who live far from urban areas. One of the disadvantages of making online purchases is the probability of experiencing poor service or not getting the ordered item on the expected date. These potential risks, however, can be prevented by purchasing from reputable online shops and from those recommended by family and friends.

Undergarments that are sold online usually have accurate and detailed descriptions. A disadvantage to this is the fact that the items for sale are not tangible. These online sites do not show all the different colors or pattern options in their online catalog. Another disadvantage of making an online purchase of underwear is the time you have to wait for the delivery.

The last disadvantage of purchasing underwear online is the shipping charge. However, since these items are lightweight, the shipping may not cost too much. Come to think of it, the amount of money that consumers spend when shopping from different local stores can just be as much as paying the costs of shipping, when it comes to transportation and fuel costs. They can, however, save these additional charges by buying from sites that provide free shipping. This is another advantage of online undergarments shopping.

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Describing a Shopping Center

What is a shopping center?

A shopping center, shopping mall, shopping precinct, shopping arcade or simply mall is defined as one or more buildings that form a complex of shops that represent merchandisers, having interconnecting walkways that enable visitors to walk easily between different units, along with a parking area. Therefore it can be simply defined as an indoor modern version of a traditional marketplace.

The term “shopping center” is mostly used in Europe, South America and Australia. In Hong Kong the frequently used term is the same, but might also contain words like “plaza”. However, in North America and the Philippines, the common term used is “shopping mall”. There are places where other terms are used to basically describe the same thing, such as “shopping arcade” or “shopping precinct”.

How did the shopping center appear?

Shopping centers corresponded with the suburban living rise in many of the Western World parts after World War II, especially United States. Modern strip malls have developed from the 1920s. The design had a tendency to be inward facing from early on, where malls would follow theories of how could customers be attracted in a controlled environment. Similarly, the concept of having one or more big stores in a mall was pioneered early, considering that other smaller scale chain stores or individual stores would benefit from the shoppers that were attracted by the big stores.

Shopping center types

There are some different types of centers, based on how large they are and where they are placed.

1. Regional – a regional mall is a shopping mall designed to service a large area (15 miles), larger than a conventional mall. Therefore, it can vary between 400,000 square feet to 800,000 square feet. It also has at least two big stores, and has to offer a wide selection of stores. The tendency of those malls s to have higher-end stores, which need a larger area to have profitable services, and may also have discount department stores. In vacation areas, these malls are usually tourist attractions.

2. Super regional – this is a shopping mall with more than 800,000 square feet of gross leasable area, probably 3 or more big stores, more variety, mass merchant, and fashion apparel. This type of mall usually is the dominant shopping venue in the region where it is located.

3. Outlet – this is a type of shopping center where manufacturers can sell their products through their own stores directly to the public. Some stores may be operated by retailers, mostly selling discontinued products or returned goods, and therefore having a heavily reduced price.

Components of a shopping center

1. Food court – typically consists of several fast food vendors that surround a shared seating area.

2. Department stores – these exist to draw retail traffic, resulting in people visiting the smaller stores as well. Physically, those anchor stores are located as far as possible from each other, in order to maximize the traffic amount between them.

3. Stand-alone stores – consist of satellite buildings, usually located on the same tract of land or nearby. Those stores may or may not be in a legal connection with the central facility through ownerships or contracts. They may use common parking lots or have their own ones. However, those stores and the shopping center are usually perceived as one single unit.

Regardless of how they are, today we could hardly imagine our world without shopping centers.

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