Good free online services have their own page
Good online services you pay for have their own page
Why bother with this page? Why not use Google to find "EVERYTHING"?? Because Google will find everything, and it won't make any editorial comments. And you have to know what to search for. This page presents some things that I, not robot, commend to you.....
The following are services in which I have no interest, apart from being a happy user. Well, unless you count being a minor shareholder in some cases, or places where I have posted "stuff", or participate in affiliate programs. But something gets listed here only if I would recommend a product to my maiden aunt, regardless of any (slight, in every case, except the space I've given Google for their clearly- not- from- me ads) chance of personal gain.
This page is a page for shoppers. Issues of selling things on the net are addressed within my page about web services for which you have to pay.
Be careful. You can give credit card and personal details out on the web, but not recklessly. Be especially careful with your email address.... not because where there's the greatest risk of major consequences, but because there is considerable risk of endless "minor" annoyance. You might even want to have an extra email address to which things that don't interest you can be sent. Be sure you learn a bit about spyware before you get too adventurous roaming the internet. (I've put together a little introduction to spyware avoidance for you.)
The links that follow are to the US site for most of the businesses. If you are in another part of the world, the site may re-direct you automatically, or maybe you'll want to seek out a local version. Sorry... I too resent the US seizing the ".gov" domain for the US government, as if any others were second class. My decision arose from the fact that this page is more likely to be found by a US reader than by anyone else.
PayPal: (Used regularly since 2001; continue to use at 2/18. Remarks may be dated, though.) Most big online retailers will accept a credit card. I use my credit card for online purchases quite often... when I know that the retailer is reputable and competent, and I know that I'm are really on their site, not a honey trap mimicking the reputable firm's site. Knowing isn't easy. The "https URL is a help.
For other online purchases, there's PayPal. The system isn't perfect, especially from the seller's point of view, but it works pretty well.
You give your credit card or bank account details to PayPal. Once they have verified those details, you can "email" money to people! You just do something quite simple, and the recipient of the funds goes along to PayPal to collect (most of) their money... but they cannot access your credit card or bank account details. PayPal operates as a trusted middleman. It works pretty well. If you give PayPal your bank details, the person receiving money from you will be much happier, because if the funds are sourced with a credit card, the recipient gets less and has more hassle, if he/ she isn't paying PayPal an ongoing fee to participate at a higher level.
eBay: (Used regularly since 2001; continue to use at 2/18. Remarks may be dated, though.) It isn't perfect, but it is a part of This World! Do give it a try... carefully. There's much more about eBay, including information that will interest buyers, on my page about services that charge for their use, but don't let that dissuade you from using eBay... they take a cut from what you thought might be going to the seller. Buyers incur no eBay fees directly.
Amazon: (Used regularly since 2004; continue to use at 2/18. Remarks may be dated, though.) Amazon is a great way to obtain easily books, DVDs, etc. (The "etc" has of course grown since I was first recommending Amazon!).
Books, DVDs: always consider buying a "used" copy? They can be very cheap, and are often genuinely "like new". It is also a great source for books that are not mainstream. I've obtained old books, a replacement for an interesting but obscure thriller which I lost when only halfway through it. I've bought bird guides for odd corners of the earth.
Abebooks: (Used regularly since 2012; continue to use at 2/18.) Abebooks is "eBay for grown-ups wanting books". You can find cheap copies of common books, but also museum grade copies of rare books. Have a browse, just for the fun of it. Make the "list books most expensive first" election. Many of the best, most reliable dealers are members of ABAA (USA) or ABA (UK) (There are .com and .co.uk.... and many other... variations. All list all books at any Abebooks site, but there are advantages to using your "local" site.)
Travelocity: (Updated 2/18.) I planned many trips with Travelocity's help until their UK site shut down, several years before this 2/18 update. They did tend to deluge you with junk mail, but it is worth it. I like TripAdvisor.com and .co.uk at 2/18. Also the Lonely Planet and Rough Guides pages. Wikipedia is worth visiting to learn about a city. Many of their pages have a section specifically for matters of interest to tourists.
Expedia: (Used regularly since 2004; continue to use at 2/18.) I've planned many trips with Expedia's help.
Orbitz: A friend who is an "expert traveler" also liked Orbitz. I haven't used it much myself. (Friend's remark would have been about 2012.)
Tucows: (Used regularly years ago... 2001-2010?) This was an excellent good place to find software. I still use it from time to time in 2018. I've said more about on other pages, but thought it deserved a mention here, too.
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