Sunday, November 30, 2008


Hello shopping fans! Okay, so that headline is over the top and written with tongue firmly planted in-cheek. But we did come across some marketing advice this week from a LinkedIn connection, Gil Carson.

Copy Writing Secrets of the Masters

Gil's materials are pointed toward merchants, website owners and marketers, and seem to be proven-effective, based on his success. As shoppers, you should be aware of how websites and businesses market to you and use words and "copy" to seduce you or incite you to action. No judgment is meant by that, by the way... these are just techniques and are not "good" or "bad" in their own right (
"...for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so..." - Shakespeare). They can be used by the most ethical, trustworthy (and DreamWorthy) sellers - as Gil would suggest - or by the biggest hucksters on the planet. So as always, stay sharp and Caveat Emptor.

Caveat Emptor

Speaking of Caveat Emptor, here are a few watchdogs that may help make your online shopping experience safer, wiser and trouble free.

Consumer Reports

Like they need an introduction, Consumers Union (CU) is an expert, independent, nonprofit organization whose mission is to work for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves. To maintain its independence and impartiality, CU accepts no outside advertising and no free samples and employs several hundred mystery shoppers and technical experts to buy and test the products it evaluates.

Better Business Bureau Online
Even less of an intro is needed in this case, but I'm surprised how few friends actually check businesses at the BBB. Here are some quick reminder links:
Check out a business or charity here
BBB Resource Library: Tips for Computer/Internet/Technology use is a consumer feedback website. Consumers share reviews about customer service and experiences, rating and reviewing the service they experience from businesses. The site is free and easy to use. You'll see positive, negative, and neutral reviews.
Epinions (a company, which is an
company). According to their site, they help "people make informed buying decisions. It is a premier consumer reviews platform on the Web and a reliable source for valuable consumer insight, unbiased advice, in-depth product evaluations and personalized recommendations."

Early Adopter Shopping
"is a user driven internet startups community. Entrepreneurs, investors, and bloggers are staying informed on up-and-coming internet startups using our blog platform, where internet entrepreneurs submit their startup to see what others think about it."

From their home page, scroll down and type 'shopping' into the search box on the right and voila'... you'll see some interesting new shopping-related sites.

Online Shopping Business Ventures

This is a topic for an entire blog, but here are some teasers for the week. Caveat Emptor applies here, too. We have reviewed these opportunities but are not involved with them and cannot personally vouch for their viability.

Shop to Earn/Shop to Earth This is an affiliate marketing 'get paid to shop' Website that is also a MLM/network marketing business opportunity.

  • Company tour and opportunity explanation
  • Official Company Blog
  • We have two LinkedIn connections (that we know of) who are working the business.
  • Rae's site is here and Jill's site is here.


"How would you like to be rewarded for every purchase you make online? At Market America, we do just that! ma Rewards™ is the program that gives back by rewarding you for the purchases you make online at"
  • That's the pitch from marketamerica, which posts a sharp-looking affiliate site for members.
  • ma also provides a business opportunity for those who want to pursue the MLM/network Marketing lifestyle.
  • Another LinkedIn contact of ours, Kim Hyson, has a site and speaks highly of the program.
  • A quick search for 'handbag' reveals a stunning 904 options in a surprisingly wide price range, including some Jimmy Choo handbags. Hmm. If you've been wondering what to get us for Christmas...

Ebates is another pre-arranged affiliate marketing site, with a ton of merchants involved. Like the others, Ebates allows you to earn cash-back rebates just for shopping online at their 1,000 or so stores. Here's a detailed review on by a trusted Ebates reviewer (for clarity, the reviewer is unknown to us, but voted as trustworthy by the Ebates community).

"mission is to provide you with an easy and convenient way to save money when you shop online. For every qualifying purchase you make from any of our participating stores, you will earn cash back. Recommend a friend to CostCritter and you can earn even more."

Rebate Shopping with a Caring Twist is the brainchild of another LinkedIn connection, Kevin Lee of At we-care, they say it's
"better way of shopping. You shop as you normally do, at your favorite online merchants, but by adding an extra click through or using their plug-in, you can donate a percentage of your purchase to the nonprofit, school, or association of your choice."

MyPowerMall - with this one, 6% of all corporate profits go into the One-Child-At-A-Time program, helping needy children all over the country.

Tips for Shopping Online Safely

Microsoft Corporation tips:

ArticleBase articles:

Quick Holiday Shopping News Updates:
Give a Gift of Meaning This Season For a Good Reason

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.

Sponsorship transforms the lives of children around the world. You can help provide things like clean water, education, nutrition, and medical care for a child in need.

Ways To Give
And with that good deed done, we'll wrap up our Shop Talk for the week. Thanks for reading, and as always, happy shopping!

Until next time,

Your friends and Shopping Advisors at
DreamWorthy Gifts.

No comments: