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MERCHANTS


There are all active merchants of the dealdude

GreatCall

GreatCall is a service designed to make cell phones easier and less expensive to use for Baby Boomers and their parents. The phones, which cost $147 each, are simple, with large buttons. They also have buttons that connect automatically to emergency services and Jitterbug customer service. There is a $35 setup fee but no monthly contracts, and plans start at $10 per month (for pay-as-you-go access) or $15 per month for set minutes that expire after 90 days if unused. You can kep your current cell number. Jitterbug also offers additional services such as roadside assistance for $4 per month There are limited areas in the U.S. where Jitterbug does not work; see the site for a coverage map. There is no roaming in Canada but you can make international calls on a per-minute pricing basis.


Guitar Center

Guitar Center was founded in 1959 when Wayne Mitchell purchased a small appliance and home organ store in Hollywood. A few years later, the president of Thomas Organ asked if Mitchell would be interested in selling a new line of guitars and amplifiers called Vox. By the late 1960s, The Organ Store had become Guitar Center. Today Guitar Center has more than 150 locations around the country, plus its online store. It also sells used gear.


H&R Block

H&R Block offers easy online tax return preparation, with guaranteed accuracy and step-by-step assistance:

  • If you are filing the simplest tax form, the 1040EZ, you can do it online at no charge (state filing is extra).
  • A simple 1040 return can be completed online, or you can download the software for Windows or Macintosh.
  • Most filers will need H&R Block At Home Premium, which provides tools and guidance needed for home ownership, investments, real estate and education. You can complete your return online or download the software. One personal state program and unlimited business state program downloads are included.
  • If you own rental property or are self-employed, you probably will need the premium edition.
  • The home and business edition allows you to complete both your personal taxes and those for your small business.
  • If the H&R Block tax software makes an arithmetic error that results in your payment of a penalty and/or interest to the IRS that you would otherwise not have been required to pay, H&R Block will reimburse you up to a maximum of $10,000.


    Half.com

    Half.com, which is owned by eBay, allows people to list secondhand books, CDs, DVDs, videos, video games and video game consoles, most of which are sold at least 50 percent off the list price, and sometimes closer to 90 percent. When you find a product or products you want, you pay Half.com by credit card. It notifies the seller(s), who ships to you directly via U.S. mail. As on eBay, sellers are rated by buyers for their promptness and how well they describe the condition of the item. If you can't find an item, add it to a wish list, and Half.com will email you if someone puts it up for sale. You also can list books, music, movies and games you'd like to sell.


    Hansen Wholesale

    Hansen Wholesale (formerly Home of Decor) is a specialty home furnishing store that carries more than 1,500 styles of ceiling fans, 11,000 light fixtures, and hundreds of fireplace furnishings, including gas logs, doors, screens and tools. The Hanson Wholesale site allows you to filter down your search by brand, style, finish, price and size.


    HBO Shop

    HBO Shop is the place to find DVDs, T-shirts and gifts from popular HBO drama and comedy series and documentaries past and present such as Band Of Brothers, Big Love, Bill Maher, Boardwalk Empire, Bored to Death, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Eastbound & Down, Enlightened, Entourage, Game of Thrones, How To Make It In America, Hung, In Treatment, Sex and the City, Six Feet Under, The Life & Times of Tim, The Pacific, Treme and True Blood.


    Hobbytron

    Hobbytron specializes in remote-control cars, trucks, helicopters, airplanes and boats, Airsoft guns, FM transmitters, electronic kits, robot kits, science kits, robot kits, magic tricks and other toys that appeal to the hobbyist.


    Home Depot

    Have some times on your hands? The Home Depot is the place to explore. And now you can do it without having to battle the crowds. The Home Depot's online catalog includes products for building and remodeling, home decor and organizing, outdoor living, tools and hardware and even a clearance (value) center. You can browse it latest catalog and ad circulars or download how-to guides.


    Hooked on Phonics

    Hooked on Phonics offers a variety of time-tested instructional kits for children and teenagers from ages three to 15. Its products include the famous Hooked on Phonics as well as Hooked on Math, Hooked on School Success, Learn to Read and Master Reader, Hooked on School Success, Learn to Read Kindergarten, Learn to Read 1st Grade and 2nd Grade and Hooked on Spanish. Each program includes tools such as CD-ROMs, musical audiotapes, books and workbooks, parents' instructions and planners and require 20 to 30 minutes three time per week. There are typically four installments (available for 3-8, 9-12 and teens) in each series.


    Hotels.com

    Hotels.com allows you to search for and book discount rooms at more than 100,000 hotels worldwide. Simply enter your destination and arrival and departure dates and the site will present you with a list of available rooms and prices. You can then reserve a room with a click of the mouse. Hotels.com does not charge change or cancellation fees on bookings.


    Hotels.com Canada

    Hotels.com Canada allows residents of Canada to search for and book discount rooms at more than 100,000 hotels worldwide. Simply enter your destination and arrival and departure dates and the site will present you with a list of available rooms and prices. You can then reserve a room with a click of the mouse. Hotels.com does not charge change or cancellation fees on bookings.


    Household Products Database

    Household Products Database is compiled and posted by the National Library of Medicine. It allows consumers and scientists to research more than 4,000 consumer brands based on their chemical ingredients. The database, which includes information on auto, arts and crafts, home maintenance, pet care pesticides, household cleaning and personal care products, is designed to help answer questions such as: (1) What are the chemical ingredients and their percentage in specific brands? (2) Which products contain specific chemical ingredients? (3) Who manufactures a specific brand? How do I contact this manufacturer? (4) What are the acute and chronic effects of chemical ingredients in a specific brand? and (5) What other information is available about chemicals in the toxicology-related databases of the National Library of Medicine?


    I See Me

    I See Me creates personalized story books, such as My Very Own Name, for children. A parent or grandparent or friend enters basic information about the child into an online form, e.g., name, gender, birthday and a dedication. A hardcover book is then created and shipped within two weeks. Books start at $24.95 each (a keepsake box is $4.95). The most popular title, My Very Own Name, was written by Maia Haag while she was on maternity leave with her newborn son. She writes, "My goal was to write an educational book that would teach young children how to recognize letters and spell their names. I wanted the story to be entertaining, with a high degree of customization and wonderful illustrations." Mark Mille spent a year illustrating the book with colorful animals. I See Me also sells signed prints for $19.95.


    IKEA Direct

    Launched in 1996, IKEA now sells its famously inexpensive but stylish furniture and accessories online through IKEA Direct. Choose from products for the living room, bedroom or kitchen, including children's furniture and textiles (blinds, comforters, etc.). Ingvar Kamprad founded IKEA in 1943 in the village of Agunnaryd, Sweden, when he was just 17. Today the company employs 128,000 people in 24 countries.


    Indigo.ca

    Indigo sells books, CDs, DVDs and videos to residents of Canada and the world. It also sells used and clearance books.


    iTunes

    The iTunes Store stocks the latest digital music, movies, TV shows, podcasts, apps, ebooks and audio books. Download the free iTunes software for Mac or Windows computers or iPad, iPhone or iPod to access the store and organize your digital collections.


    JourneyEd

    JourneyEd sells commercial software at up to 75 percent off retail prices. To order, you must be a student at any recognized public or private high school, college or university. Faculty and staff at any school, including elementary level, also can order at student prices. See the site FAQ for all restrictions. Before placing an order, you must fax, email or snail mail a copy/scan of your educational ID to JourneyEd.


    Kelkoo UK

    Kelkoo is an online price comparison engine for residents of the U.K. that allows you to search multiple online retailers for the best prices on specific products.


    Kmart

    Kmart was founded by Sebastian Spering Kresge in 1899 as a five-and-dime in downtown Detroit. Today the company has more than 1,800 stores, as well as its online site. Kmart Online carries more than 20,000 products, including electronics, health and beauty products, jewelry, furniture, home decor, clothing, sporting goods, toys and software. It carries a number of exclusive brands such as home fashions from Martha Stewart and Essential Home and apparel from Route 66, Joe Boxer, Jaclyn Smith and Thalia Sodi. In fact, Kmart carries more than 4,000 Martha Stewart products, including Martha Stewart Patio Furniture and Martha Stewart Everyday Rooms.


    Kobo eBooks

    Kobo sells more than two million eBooks and 250,000 PDFs that can be read on smartphones, Mac or PC computers, Sony Reader or any other device that supports EPUB. Kobo eBooks is backed by Borders in the U.S., Indigo Books & Music in Canada, REDgroup Retail in Australia and Cheung Kong Holdings in Europe and has customers in more than 200 countries. It features many titles that are not available at iBooks, as well as New York Times bestsellers in both fiction and nonfiction, as well as hundreds of free eBooks. You can download apps for the site for the iPhone, Blackberry, Palm Pre and Android. "We believe open standards for eBooks are best for consumers, publishers, retailers and hardware manufacturers," says Kobo's founders. "Closed systems stifle innovation and growth. Kobo proudly supports EPUB and encourages our users to read a Kobo-purchased eBook on their smartphone, Sony Reader, laptop or whichever device they choose."


    Lids Canada

    Lids.ca, a divison of Hatworld, sells officially licensed and branded sports caps with the logos and slogans of college and pro sports teams.


    Lobster Gram

    Founded in 1987, Lobster Gram allows you to buy live Maine lobsters, or send them to friends as gifts. The lobsters are packed in a Styrofoam cooler with frozen gel packs, pads to keep them moist and bubble wrap to prevent too much shifting. The package is then sent by FedEx overnight (a lobster can live outside water for up to 36 hours). The site also sells crabmeat and steaks.


    LoveFilm UK

    LoveFilm is an online DVD and video game rental club for residents of the U.K. New members can try the service with no obligation for 14 days. If you continue with the membership, the monthly fee is £9.99 to have one DVD at a time, £14.99 to have two DVDs or games at a time or £19.39 to have three DVDs or games at a time. Membership also includes access to thousands of films that stream instantly to a PC, TV or Playstation 3 at no extra cost. Lovefilm also carries Playstation 2, Playstation 3, Xbox, Xbox 360, Sony PSP, Gamecube, Nintendo DS and Nintendo Wii video games.


    MacMall

    MacMall, founded in 1991, sells Macintosh computers, Mac accessories, Mac software, iPods, iPod accessories and consumer electronics. It is the top Apple reseller in the country.


    Macy's

    Macy's, established in 1858, is the Great American Department Store, with more than 800 stores in 45 states, D.C., Guam and Puerto Rico, besides its online presence. The department store stocks many top brands, including Calvin Klein, DKNY, Kenneth Cole Reaction, Levi's, Sean John, Marc Ecko: Cut & Sew, Nautica, Nike, Puma, Adidas, Timberland, Martha Stewart Collection, Tommy Hilfiger, Waterford, Michael Kors, BCBG Max Azria, Betsey Johnson, French Connection, Guess, Lucky Brand Jeans, Dr. Martens, Steve Madden, Cole Haan, Converse, Diesel, Stacy Adams, Roxy, Fossil, and our exclusive brands INC International Concepts, Alfani, American Rag, Charter Club, Tools of the Trade and Hotel Collection.


    Magazine Deals Now

    Magazine Deals Now offers more than 1,000 popular subscriptions starting at just $3.95 per year. Unlike other sites, Magazine Deals Now doesn't automatically renew your subscriptions but instead sends a reminder email when your subscription is nearing its expiration.


    Magazines for Miles

    Magazines for Miles allows you to exchange as few as 400 miles for free subscriptions to select magazines. Trade miles from Alaska, American, Continental, Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, United or US Airways. Titles vary but have included Entertainment Weekly, Sports Illustrated, Essence, Fortune, Golf, Money, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, Time, Travel + Leisure, Glamour, Wine Spectator, Self, Lucky and People en Espanol. No cash payment or credit card charge is required, and the magazines do not automatically renew.


    Mills & Boon UK

    Mills and Boon is the U.K. publisher of the bestselling series of Harlequin paperback romances and audio CDs, including Historical Romance, Medical Romance, Blaze, Desire, Intrigue, Superromance and Tender Romance. Mills and Boon sells 13 million books each year. In fact, 75 percent of all paperback romances sold in the U.K. are Mills and Boon titles. Harlequin has 1,500 authors around the world, including 200 who live in the U.K. Together these writers produce 600 new titles each month. Over the past 50 years, Harlequin characters have kissed each other over 20,000 times and headed for the altar at least 7,000 times. To introduce new readers to its romances, Mills and Boon offers two free books, with no obligation or postage fees, from one of several popular series.


    Missing Money

    State governments and the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators have joined forces to find people who are owed money from tax rebates, bank accounts and safe deposit box contents, stocks, mutual funds, bonds, and dividends, uncashed checks and wages, insurance policies, CDs, trust funds, utility deposits, escrow accounts, legal settlements and other sources of money that ended up unclaimed in state treasuries. The result is Missing Money. Are you on the list? Probably not. But it doesn't hurt to check. There are no fees.


    Modell's

    Founded in 1889 by Morris Modell in lower Manhattan, Modell's Sporting Goods is the nation's oldest family-owned and operated retailer of sporting goods, sporting apparel, menswear and athletic footwear. Search by keyword, category, league (NBA, MLB, NFL, etc.) or brand. Besides sporting goods, Modell's also stocks game-room essentials (including for darts and billiards), apparel, outdoors gear, exercise equipment and training gear.


    Mothercare UK

    Mothercare is the leading online retailer in the U.K. for babies and their mothers. It carries maternity, nursing, feeding, clothing, travel, bath and safety products, as well as toys and bedroom furniture. And Mothercare has the U.K.'s largest selection of pushchairs online. You can search for products by category, keyword or the age of the child. Mothercare also has many items for expectant mothers, as well as a gift service. Don't miss the clearance (sale) section, or the many helpful articles. Under "Preparing for Baby," for example, Mothercare offers a list of its top pushchairs, baby monitors, cots and car seats, as well as a list of everything you should bring with you to the hospital. Its advice and products extend to later parenting to include older babies, toddlers and "little people," a.k.a. children ages 3 to 8.


    Music Download Guide

    Music Download Guide, a companion site to Deal Dude, lists all known online sites that offer digital songs and albums. Some allow you to purchase songs or albums for a set price (typically 79 cents and up for a song and $4.99 and up for an album), while others charge a monthly fee for streaming access to your computer (typically about $10) and/or the ability to download music to your MP3 player (typically about $15). The music is accessible as long as you remain a paying member. You also can purchase songs and albums to own, which allows you to burn to CD or listen if you end your subscription.


    National Geographic

    The National Geographic Store sells a variety of products that help fund its mission programs and help indigenous artisans become economically stable while preserving their cultural heritage.


    Newegg

    Founded in 2001 and headquartered in City of Industry, California, Newegg carries more than 60,000 products, including electronics, computers, digital cameras, video games, software, DVDs, MP3 players, office equipment, televisions, phones and networking gear. It has won a number of awards for its customer service.


    News of the Weird

    News of the Weird is a weekly collection of slap-your-forehead antics, culled from the nation's newspapers. Compiled by Chuck Shepherd, the NOTW site includes a database of past weird-but-true news that you can search by keyword or state. The site also has the most recent 25 columns and instructions on how to receive it free each week by e-mail. NOTW proves the adage that truth is stranger than fiction, and funnier.


    Nothing But Savings

    Nothing But Software, a sibling site of Bargain Station, offers software, video games, computer accessories, gadgets, DVDs, toys and other products at up to 80 percent off retail prices. Founded in 1997, the retailer purchases overstock titles from manufacturers, publishers, distributors and wholesalers when they must make room for new releases or due to cancelled orders, overproduction or downsizing.


    Office Depot

    Founded in 1986, Office Depot is the world's largest supplier of office supplies, with more than 1,000 stores in 44 states and $3 billion in online annual sales. Besides office supplies, Office Depot carries office furniture and technology products such as cameras, scanners, media, phones and printers. It also stocks audiovisual supplies and equipment, basic supplies and labels, business cases, calendars and planners, custom imprints, desk accessories, executive gifts, files, binders and storage, paper, forms and envelopes, pens, pencils and markers, printer and fax supplies, software and school supplies.


    Old Navy

    Founded and owned by The Gap, Old Navy sells reasonably priced apparel for men, women (including maternity clothes and plus sizes), children and babies. The first Old Navy opened in 1994 in Colma, California; when a Manhattan location opened the following year, Newsweek called it the first retail store in New York where the employees wore headsets. Today there are more than 840 Old Navy locations across the country, plus oldnavy.com, which debuted in 2000. Don't miss the annual Fourth of July sale, in which Old Navy sells $5 flag T-shirts. And don't overlook the year-round clearance sales in each department.


    Omaha Steaks

    Omaha Steaks sells premium steaks and seafood by mail order. It also sells veal, pork and lamb, poultry, classic pastas, desserts, appetizers, side dishes, sauces and seasoning, cookbooks and even pet treats. Buy for yourself or send gifts. Omaha Steaks' grain-fed Midwestern beef is cut and trimmed by hand, aged 21 days, vacuum-packed and flash-frozen before being shipped by UPS or FedEx in a polystyrene insulated cooler with dry ice. Founded in 1917 and headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, the company has two manufacturing plants, a distribution center and a freezer warehouse. It has retail stores in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia. Starting in 1990, Omaha Steaks was one of the first companies to offer online ordering, teaming up with CompuServe and later America Online. Today it has special offers designed specifically for visitors to its web catalog.


    Online Grocery Guide

    Online Grocery Guide is our companion site that lists every grocery store and service online that offers home or UPS delivery. Order your groceries online and then have them brought to your door in select areas, or sent by UPS or an alternative service. Many of the services offer coupons and discounts for first-time customers. The site also lists many services that deliver organic produce and products. Search by location or keyword. Our online grocery guide also includes services in Canada and the United Kingdom.


    Organic Bouquet

    Organic Bouquet, founded in 2001, sells sustainably grown flowers, plants, wreaths, and gourmet gifts of sweets, nuts and fruits packed and shipped in biodegradable packaging. All of Organic Bouquet’s products are certified by third-party agencies such as USDA, Fair Trade or Rainforest Alliance. Organic Bouquet is also involved in several community projects around the globe and maintains partnerships with more than 50 charitable organizations. The company says its goal is to do good while doing well.


    Orvis

    Orvis sells apparel and gear for outdoor adventures, including hunting and fly fishing. The retailer was founded in 1856 by Charles Orvis in Manchester, Vermont. Its flagship store still operates in Manchester, and Orvis is now the longest-running mail order business in the U.S.


    Payless ShoeSource

    Payless ShoeSource sells footwear and accessories at its online site and more than 4,500 stores nationwide. Its stock includes well-known brands such as Airwalk, Dexter, Champion, American Eagle by Payless and Zoe&Zac as well as exclusive designer labels such as Lela Rose for Payless, Christian Siriano for Payless and Isabel Toledo for Payless.


    PCM (PC Mall)

    PCM (formerly PC Mall), founded in 1987, sells discount computer equipment and accessories for home offices, small offices and businesses.


    Peapod

    Peapod provides online ordering and home and office delivery in the metro areas of Chicago, Boston, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Madison, New York City (all five boroughs), suburban N.Y. (Westchester County and Long Island) and Washington, D.C., and communities in the states of Illinois, Wisconsin, Maryland (Montgomery County), Massachusetts, Connecticut (Fairfield County and greater Hartford), Virginia (Fairfax County), Rhode Island (Providence area), Philadelphia area (Philadelphia, Montgomery and Delaware counties), Harrisburg, Mechanicsburg, and Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Try Peapod If Peapod doesn't yet deliver to your area, check Safeway, Vons or our online grocer guide. I'm telling ya, try Peapod once and you'll be hooked. You haven't lived until someone carries 40 bags of your groceries to your countertop. Plus, I haven't found the prices to be any more expensive than what we paid at the neighborhood grocery. And the delivery fees are reasonable; in Chicago, for example, the fee is $5.95 for orders over $100.
    Your first order takes a bit longer to put together because you have to use the site's search engine to find each item. But once you've placed your first order you can use a list of items from your previous orders to point and click. On average, it takes me about 20 minutes to finish my shopping at my computer every few weeks. I also make far fewer discretionary purchases than I used to (i.e. those sale cookies that catch your eye as you leave the doughnut aisle). Peapod also takes grocery coupons -- you hand them to the delivery person and they're credited on your next order. Peapod offers many instant coupons while you shop; simply click the link and the coupon savings are added to your order.
    People often ask about produce, because you're trusting someone else to pick it out. But on each item you buy, you can type in specific instructions, i.e., "Green bananas, please." I've never had a problem with the produce that's been included in my order. Peapod also offers regular weekly sale items, just like any grocery store, and occasionally throws in a freebie, e.g. during one promotion, they included a free quart of strawberries. And one great feature about ordering online is that you can click on any item to see a photo of it, along with its nutritional information. You also can sort items by price, by price per ounce or alphabetically.


    Perfume.com

    Perfume.com sells more than 10,000 perfumes and colognes as well as 2,000 hair and skin care products. All products are authentic; this isn't the place to find knockoffs or imitation scents. All of Perfume.com's products are the exact fragrance you would find at a department store or salon, but at lower costs (up to 70 percent lower) achieved through bulk buying, lower overhead and smaller profit margins. Brands include Alfred Sung, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Chanel, Christian Dior, Bocheron, Bulgari, Christian Dior, Davidoff, Dolce & Gabbana, Elizabeth Arden, Escada, Estee Lauder, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Guerlain, Hermes, Hugo Boss, Jean Paul Gaultier, Jessica Mcclintock, Karl Lagerfeld, Kenneth Cole, Lacoste, Lancome, Liz Claiborne, Marc Jacobs, Paul Sebastian, Perry Ellis, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Thierry Mugler, Versace and Yves Saint Laurent. Perfume.com also sells a variety of gift sets.


    Personalization Mall

    Personalization Mall can put a name, logo, message or date on just about anything. It sells personalized gifts for anniversaries, birthdays, new babies, showers, weddings, engagements, communions, graduation, housewarmings, Mother's Day, Father's Day, retirement and many other special occasions and holidays. Search by occasion, recipient or keyword. Personalization Mall has delivered more than two million personalized gifts, and it promises to get it right the first time. How about a Rubik's Cube with family photos on each side? Or golf balls with your company logo? Or a picture frame with your child's name? Personalization Mall also sells stationary, apparel and even gifts featuring your pet. Personalization is always free, and most orders are completed and shipped within 48 hours.


    PetCareRX

    PetCareRX carries prescription and non-prescription medications for dogs, cats, birds, fish and small pets that cost up to 50 percent less than what veterinarians charge. Besides vaccines for dogs and cats, PetCareRX carries medications for arthritis and pain, deworming, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, antibiotics, behavior management, cardiovascular, ear and eye, gastrointestinal, heartworm, respiratory, skin and coat, thyroid and urinary tract illnesses. It also has a wide variety of over-the-counter products for these ailments, along with allergy relief, diet and nutrition products, shampoos, skin and coat vitamins and teeth and gum products. PetCareRX sells food and filters for fish, accessories and cage toys for birds and harnesses, toys and other products for ferrets. When ordering a prescription drug for your pet, you must provide the veterinarian's name, phone number and your pet's name, so that PetCareRX can verify the prescription. PetCareRX has several vets on call to answer questions. It also offers an "autoship" re-ordering option if your pet needs the same medication on a regular basis.


    Petco

    Founded in 1965, Petco carries supplies for dogs, cats, fish, birds, reptiles and other small animals. Besides its online site, Petco has 590 stores across the nation. The site stocks more than 10,000 pet-related products, including specialty stores devoted to cold weather, holidays, travel, last-minute gifts, new pets, flea and tick and patriotic pets. Since 1999, the Petco Foundation has raised more than $10 million for more than 1,300 organizations.


    PetFoodDirect

    PetFoodDirect, founded in 1997, carries more than 16,000 products and 400 brands. Besides canned and bagged food for dogs, cats, birds, wild birds, fish, horses, reptiles, ferrets and other small pets. PetFoodDirect also sells toys, accessories, pet gifts, scratching poles, magazines, books, tapes, videos, collars, leashes, doggie toothbrushes and even goofy neckties and watches for people who love animals but perhaps lack fashion sense. Its stock includes top brands such as Greenies, Wellness, Purina, Merrick, Evo, Canidae, Dogswell, Innova, Natural Balance, Orijen, Pill Pockets, Frontline, Happy Hips, Solid Gold, Weruva, California Natural, Flossies, Wysong, Nupro and Halo.


    PhotoStamps

    Stamps.com has been licensed by the U.S. Postal Service to create and sell personalized PhotoStamps. To create a PhotoStamp, upload a digital image and PhotoStamps prints it on legal U.S. postage that you can then peel and stick on envelopes. The stamps come in sheets of 20, and each measures 1.9 inches wide by 1.4 inches high, with an image area of about 1 inch by 1 inch. It's a great service for holiday letters or invitations. A sheet of 20 PhotoStamps to mail first-class letters of an ounce or less is $18.99, or 95 cents each (including the postage). PhotoStamps also sells pre-stamped postcards, envelopes and priority mail labels.


    Pier 1 Imports

    Pier 1 Imports sells a variety of unique home decor products and furniture. The site boasts, with justification: "If it's interesting, if it's impressive, if it's colorful and cute and one-of-a-kind, odds are it's probably from Pier 1 Imports." The company has been around for more than 50 years and stocks some 6,000 products online.


    Plow & Hearth

    Founded in 1980, Plow & Hearth specializes in products for country living. What began as a small retail "center for self-sufficient living" along Route 29 in Madison, Virginia is now one of the fastest growing companies in the country. Plow & Hearth carries products for the hearth and home (including curtains, rugs and pet products), outdoor living and the yard and garden, including deck furniture. It also sells footwear (including Dansko and Ugg brands) and apparel. Don't overlook its outlet section, which has products that sell for up to 60 percent off retail.


    Powells Books

    Founded in 1970 by University of Chicago graduate student Michael Powell, Powells is the one of the largest book retailers in the U.S., with more than four million new, used, rare and out-of-print books and DVDs. It is headquartered in Portland, Oregon, where it has six stores and three warehouses. Its site lists multiple secondhand copies of most books, meaning you can find a great price on just about anything you search for.


    Priceline

    Priceline is a unique travel service that allows you to bid on airline tickets, hotel rooms and car rentals. Here's how the bidding process, known as "name your own price," works:

    Airline Tickets: Enter when and where you want to travel and the maximum you will pay. If an airline agrees to take your bid, you are issued a nonrefundable ticket (i.e., it cannot be cancelled, refunded or exchanged). All flights are economy and you will not earn frequent flyer miles. You cannot choose your time of departure but domestically it will be between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. International flights can leave at any time. Once you enter your bid, you should have a response within 60 seconds. Most flights will be as much as 40 percent less than at other booking sites. If you find a better price with in 24 hours of buying the ticket, Priceline will refund its entire cost. In addition, Priceline sells tickets through traditional means with no booking fees. Finally, if another Priceline customer books the same flight for a lower price, the site will automatically refund you the difference, up to a maximum of $300.

    Hotel Rooms: Select the city where you would like to stay, the date of the reservation, how many service stars you would like the hotel to have (one to four) and place your bid. Priceline will let you know if your bid has little chance of being accepted, such as if you bid $50 for a room in midtown Manhattan. To help you place a reasonable bid, Priceline will provide the median price of a hotel room in the city you select. Reservations are non-refundable, non-transferable and non-changeable even if the reservation is not used.

    Car Rentals: Enter where you'd like to pick up the car, the type of car you want, the dates and a bid. If it's accepted you'll receive your rental from Alamo, Avis, Budget, Hertz or National. Rental cars are non-refundable, non-transferable and non-changeable even if the reservation is not used.




    Puritan's Pride

    Puritan's Pride sells hundreds of varieties of vitamins and herbs online, including those for Acidophilus, Allergy Relief, Antioxidants, Aromatherapy, Body Building and Sports Nutrition, Bronchial Support, Cardio Vascular Health, Colon Helpers, Daily Weight Management, Dental & Oral Care, Detox, Foot Care, Glandulars, Hair, Skin and Nails Care, Immune Support, Joint and Bone Support, Memory Support, Menopause, Mood Support, Skin Care, Vein Support, Vitality and Water Balance. It also sells products for pets. Check back often for great sales (2-for-1, 3-for-1) and coupons. You can search the site by category or keyword, or browse an extensive collection of health articles.


    QuitSmart

    QuitSmart is a stop-smoking program developed by the director of the Duke Medical Center Stop-Smoking Clinic. It's available as a self-help kit for less than $30. In many communities you also can sign up for a three-session class that provides personalized instruction. Each kit includes a guidebook, hypnosis audiotape or CD and a Better Quit® Cigarette Substitute.


    QVC

    QVC was founded in 1986 by Joseph Segel, who saw an opportunity for a channel devoted entirely to retail discounts. Its online site attracts more than six million visitors each month. See the current item on air, recent items on air and the daily deal.


    QVC UK

    QVC UK is the online site for QVC TV, which has hourly specials on products by top brands such as Birkenstock, Bose, Decleor, Elemis, Kipling, Liz Earle, L'Occitane, Ojon, OPI, Philosophy, Samsung and Sony. Check the site for the current item on air, recent items on air and the daily deal.


    Rakuten (Buy.com)

    Founded in 1997, Rakuten Shopping (formerly Buy.com) bills itself as "the Internet superstore." It carries more than a million products, including computers, software, electronics, cellular, books, music, games, video and DVD, and toys. Besides food and a place to sleep, what else do you need?


    Real SuperPass

    For $14.99 per month, Real SuperPass includes 90 ad-free radio stations, premium sports and news programming (including music videos and live video news from ABC, the BBC, Sporting News, Nascar, the NBA, CNN, iFilm the Weather Channel and other sources), 10 song downloads, one game download, full-length online movies (independent, documentary, international), one gig of online storage and photo/video sharing, a year subscription to a print magazine, McAfee security software (virus protection, firewall, PC tune-up, parental controls, home networking) and RealPlayer Plus software.


    Recalls.gov

    Recalls.gov is a free site maintained by six government agencies to keep consumers informed about products that have been recalled by the manufacturer, or for which the government has issued a safety alert. You also can report problems you've had with products to the appropriate agency.


    RegNow

    RegNow is a marketplace of independent software vendors. Browse hundreds of software titles in . Because you download the titles and the vendors are selling direct, without the cost of packaging, shipping or middlemen, you can get great software at great prices. In addition, we have a selection of exclusive coupon codes that allow you to take up to 25 percent off select products. A number of merchants also offer free trial versions of their software with limited features so you can try before you buy without fear of spyware or viruses.


    Relax the Back

    Relax the Back, founded in 1984, sells products to help relieve and prevent back and neck pain, including ergonomic furniture such as mattresses, chairs and recliners.


    Restaurant.com

    Restaurant.com is a database of more than 18,000 restaurants that offer discount dining vouchers (most offer $25 certificates for $10, $10 certificates for $4 or 50% off vouchers for $6.25). Some vouchers have restrictions (e.g., no Saturday dining, can't be applied to alcohol, one certificate per month, parties of two or four) but these are stated up front so there are no surprises. Search the database by selecting a state and city from the pulldown menu and then a neighborhood or type of cuisine. Once you have purchased the certificates, you can print them from your computer, so there's no waiting for them to arrive by mail. There is no charge to create an account.


    Roboform

    Roboform is a freeware program that stores your log-ins and passwords until they're needed to fill in online forms. Say you come to a page that requires you to log-in. You fill in your user name and password and Roboform memorizes them as you type. The next time you visit the page, a small window pops up. You click the button that says "log-in" and the information is filled in automatically. The same goes when you have an order form that asks for your mailing address, billing information, etc. Confidential information such as your name, address, credit card numbers and login IDs and passwords are stored only on your computer. It works as an add-on for Internet Explorer version 4 or later, all browsers based on IE, and Netscape 6. Unlike other freebie form fillers, Roboform does not collect any marketing information as you surf. The free version of Roboform is available to personal users. It limits you to 30 passwords, 30 identities, three custom fields in identities. The pro version includes unlimited passwords and identities, the ability to turn off the "fill non-empty fields" option, selective form filling, folders and other advanced options. The pro version is $29.95 with free upgrades and a 30-day guarantee. You can get the program on CD for an additional $15.


    Romance Book Club

    The Rhapsody Romance Book Club is a discount book club devoted to hardcover romances and sagas. Its introductory offer allows you to select five romances for a total of 99 cents plus shipping. As a member, you must purchase four more selections from the club catalog within a year at up to 60 percent off publisher prices (all are priced at $9.95 or less).


    Safeway

    Safeway offers online ordering and grocery home delivery in California (San Francisco, Marin, Greater North Bay, East Bay, South Bay, Sacramento, San Jose, Peninsula, Monterey, Salinas); Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; greater Phoenix, Arizona; Maryland; Philadelphia; and Washington, D.C. You receive the same prices and Safeway Club specials found in your local store. Order by 9:30 a.m. for same day delivery. If Safeway doesn't yet deliver to your area, check our online grocer guide.


    Saks.com

    Saks Fifth Avenue, founded in 1924, opened its online store in 2000, hoping to duplicate its reputation for personalized shopping experience. You can shop online by a distinct look, a specific designer or individual items. Saks.com features most of the top brands and designers, including Alexander McQueen, Alexander Wang, Burberry, Chloe, Diane von Furstenberg, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Emilio Pucci, Fendi, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Milly, Oscar de la Renta, Prada, Rag & Bone, Ralph Lauren, Salvatore Ferragamo, Stella McCartney, Theory, Tory Burch, Valentino and Yves Saint Laurent.


    Sams Club

    Sam's Club is a membership buying club owned by Walmart. Memberships start at $45 per year and allow you to shop at any Sam's Club or through it online store. According to a study that compared 324 products in 28 categories, Sam's Club saves consumers on average of 30 percent over grocery and specialty retailers. The first Sam's Club opened in Midwest City, Oklahoma, in 1983. Today, Sam's Club has more than 47 million members in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, Brazil, China and Mexico.


    SavingStar

    SavingStar provides paperless coupons for select products when you register your grocery loyalty cards on the site. Select the coupons you'd like to use and when you purchase the item and use your loyalty card, the savings will be deposited into your SavingStar account. One you have accumulated $5, you can have the money sent to your bank account, PayPal, converted into an Amazon gift certificate, or donated to charity. Participating stores include A&P, ACME Markets, Albertsons, Albertsons in Wyoming, Albertsons Market, Angeli's Central Market, Baesler's Market, Baker's, Bashas', Bel Air, Big Y, BI-LO, Bloom, Brookshires, Buehlers, City Market, Copps, CountryMart, County Market, CVS, D&W Fresh Markets, Dicks, Dillons, Dorothy Lane, Family Fare, Farm Fresh, Festival, Food City, Food Emporium, Food Lion, Foodtown, Fred Meyer, Fry's/Fry's Marketplace, Gerbes, Giant Eagle, Giant Food Stores, Giant/Martin's, Glens, Hannaford, Harris Teeter Food Markets, Harter House, Harveys, Hen House, Hilander, Homeland, Hy-Vee, Ingles, Jack's SuperValu, JayC, Jewel - Osco, JustSave, Kash 'n Karry, Kennies, Key Foods, King Kullen, King Soopers, Kings Super Markets, Kroger, Lancaster and Lebanon, Lofinos, Lowes Foods, Main Street Market, Mariano's, Marsh, Martin's IGA Plus, Nob Hill Foods, Omalia's, Owen's, Pathmark, Pay Less, Peapod, Pick n Save, Piggly Wiggly (select states), Price Chopper, QFC, Rainbow, Raleys, Ralphs, Redners, Remke bigg's, Rite Aid, Roche Bros, Ron's, Sav-A-Center, Shaw's, Shoppers Food & Pharmacy, ShopRite, Shurfine, ShurSave, Smith's, Star Market, Stater Bros. Markets, Stauffers of Kissel Hill, Stop & Shop, Sudbury Farms, Super Fresh, Super Fresh Northeast, Sweetbay Supermarket, Thriftway Shop n Bag, Tops, VG's, Village Market, Waldbaums, Wegmans, Weis Markets and Winn-Dixie.


    Sears

    Sears is famous for its catalog, which you can now browse online. The retailer was founded in 1886 by Richard Sears, who had been an agent of the Minneapolis and St. Louis railway station in North Redwood, Minnesota. He had lots of free time waiting for trains so began selling lumber and coal on the side. One day a local jeweler refused a shipment of watches, so Sears bought it and sold them to other station agents. That led him to create the R.W. Sears Watch Company in Minneapolis. The next year he moved the operation to Chicago and hired a watchmaker named Alvin Roebuck. Soon after, Sears, Roebuck and Co. was born. Today it has 2,400 stores around the country as well as its online catalog. Products that have a star next to them can be ordered online and picked up at the nearest Sears store, with no shipping fees. Sears has a number of its own brands, including Craftsman and Kenmore. It also sells Land's End, Levi's and Structure apparel and Martex, Utica and Colormate bed and bath products. Plus, Sears offers an exclusive line of home fashion products designed by Ty Pennington. Search by department or keyword.


    Second Spin

    Each day visitors to Second Spin add as many as 3,000 CDs, 1,000 DVDs and 200 video games to its inventory, making this California-based store the largest online dealer of secondhand music and movies. Unlike Half.com, the products come from Second Spin rather than the individual seller.


    Sesame Street Store

    Sesame Street Store sells products featuring the characters of the famed Sesame Street children's program on PBS, including Bert and Ernie, Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Elmo, Grover and Oscar. Proceeds from all sales go back to funding children's educational television. You can browse by product type, character or special collections.


    ShopPBS

    ShopPBS sells DVDs of all PBS programs, with the proceeds supporting further programming. The selection includes popular PBS series such as the American Experience, American Masters, Empire Series, Frontline, Hands-On History, Masterpiece Theatre, Mystery, NOVA, NOW, Scientific American Frontiers and Sesame Street. You can browse bestsellers, new releases, specialty shops (e.g., British comedy, British drama, African-American programs, military history, soundtracks, kids or Monty Python) or interests. Don't overlook the outlet shop, where you can save up to 50 percent.


    Shutterfly

    Shutterfly is an online photo storage and sharing service. Membership is free and you can upload as many digital photos as you like to order prints or send to friends and family. You can also add your photos to a variety of products such as photo books, calendars and other gifts. The Shutterfly Express Uploader quickly uploads photos from your computer's desktop, and you can view and edit images before sharing them. And each photo you order from Shutterfly can be personalized on the back at no charge with a short message.


    Sideshow Collectibles

    Sideshow Collectibles produces limited edition 12-inch figures, polystone statues, film prop replicas and fine-art pieces that make great gifts or collectibles (you'll notice while browsing that many of its dolls and figures are sold out). Since its inception in 1994, Sideshow Collectibles has earned a reputation for its dedication to accuracy and artistry in recreating the likenesses of pop culture icons, including film and television monsters, villains, heroes, mystical creatures of fantasy and legendary figures from history. Sideshow manufactures a number of licensed collectibles, including for The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Marvel Comics, James Bond, Aliens, Predator, Friday the 13th, SAW, Chucky, Universal Studios Classic Monsters, Terminator, Indiana Jones, The Godfather, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, World of Warcraft and many others. It also makes its own lines of 12-inch collectible figures and accessories, including The Dead (zombies) and the historically accurate brands Bayonets & Barbed Wire (WWI), Brotherhood of Arms (American Civil War) and Six Gun Legends (western characters).


    Sierra Trading Post

    Founded in 1986 in Reno, Nevada, Sierra Trading Post specializes in name-brand closeouts, overstocks and seconds of dress, casual and outdoor clothing for men, women and children, along with shoes and boots, home decor, accessories and gear. Closeouts may be last year's model or colors but are brand-new, overstocks are products that the manufacturer simply made too many of to sell at full price and seconds have minor cosmetic blemishes or irregularities. The typical savings are 35 to 70 percent of retail. Sierra Trading Post ships more than 60 million print catalogs per year from its headquarters in Cheyenne, Wyoming. It also has retail stores in Reno, Cheyenne and Cody, Wyoming. When visiting its online site, don't overlook its "bargain barn," the web exclusives or the list of recently reduced products. You can search by keyword, category or brand. Sierra Trading Post carries more than 700 brands such as Columbia Sportswear, Dansko, Keen, Birkenstock, Teva, Merrell, Carhartt, Barbour of England, the North Face, SmartWool, Ralph Lauren, Saucony, Orvis, Bomber Gear, Patagonia, GoLite, Reef, Timbuks and Kaenon, among many others.


    Sittercity

    Sittersity is an online referral service allowing parents to find reliable and trustworthy babysitters and nannies. The Sittercity database, which can be searched by zip code, contains more than 150,000 listings. You can also narrow the results of your search by age, availability (part-time or full-time) and whether the sitter has his or her own transportation. Once you have narrowed down your choices, you can contact each sitter and arrange offline interviews.


    Smarthome

    Smarthome, based in Irvine, California, specializes in products to automate the home, including lighting, security, and home entertainment products that the average do-it-yourselfer can install. It also makes and sells its own brand of lighting and appliance automation products, from starter kits to keypads to dimmers to computer interfaces that communicate over your home's existing wiring and radio-frequency signals, what the company calls a "dual-mesh system" that increases signal reliability.


    Snapfish UK

    Snapfish UK is an online digital photo service that allows you to upload your photos to edit, arrange and share. You can even send them from your mobile phone, and Snapfish offers free, unlimited storage. You can then order prints for as little as 10p each or 8p with pre-paid plans (the first 20 are free when you create an account). You can order 6"x4" (100 x 150 mm), 7"x5" (125 x 175 mm), 10"x8" (203 x 254 mm) and uncut sheets of 4 wallet-size (2x3) prints. Or select from your digital images to create photo greeting cards, T-shirts, calendars and many other fun items. Most recently, Snapfish has added a service that allows you to post and share digital home movies.


    SpamArrest

    SpamArrest is a popular system that blocks any spam from reaching your in-box. It works with America Online, Yahoo!, Hotmail, Gmail, Incredimail, Thunderbird, Eudora, Outlook and Outlook Express. SpamArrest also offers a 30-day free trial that doesn't require a credit card so you can check it out. After the trial, the service is $5.95 per month, $29.95 for six months or $49.95 for a year, or $89.95 for two years. You can use one SpamArrest account to maintain up to five e-mail in-boxes. When you signup for SpamArrest, you receive a @spamarrest.com address that you can give out. Or you can protect existing e-mail accounts by forwarding them to your SpamArrest e-mail or by having SpamArrest periodically poll them and retrieve the messages. All non-spam mail is placed in your SpamArrest inbox, which you can access using POP3 or IMAP from your e-mail program (Outlook or Eudora) or from any web browser. You block mail by creating a list of people whose mail always gets through to you. Everyone else receives a "challenge" e-mail, which requires them to fill in a word to verify that they are a real person if they want their e-mail to reach you. Any e-mail that is "unapproved" goes into a folder that you can browse to make sure you don't miss anything. SpamArrest also offers other features such as automated vacation response and mailing list filtering.


    Stamps.com

    Since 1999, when the U.S. Postal Service first approved the sale of Internet postage through Stamps.com, the site has sold more than 100 million pieces of digital postage. Here's how it works: You create a Stamps.com account and are given $5 in credit during an initial 30-day trial. You then fund your Stamps.com account with a credit card or bank account transfer. Once that's done, you can print postage from your printer to standard-size envelopes and/or mailing labels for letters and packages that weigh five pounds or less. No special hardware is required. You can cancel at any time. Stamps.com also is licensed by the U.S. Postal Service to create and sell personalized PhotoStamps.


    Staples

    Founded in Boston in 1986, Staples is now an $11 billion retailer of office supplies, business services, furniture and technology. Its online site carries every kind of office supply, of course, but it also has computers and handhelds, furniture, fax machines, digital cameras, software, books and training manuals, printers, phones, lighting and other home office products. Brands include 3M, Avery, Brother, Canon, Epson, Georgia Pacific, Hewlett Packard/ HP, Lexmark, Logitech, Microsoft, Netgear, Palm, PNY, Rhinotek and Symantec. Don't overlook the clearance area. Staples rarely offers discount coupons, but it does have weekly online-only specials (hit refresh on your browser to see more specials in the banner below, or click on the Weekly Specials link).


    Staples UK

    Staples Direct UK is owned by Staples, Inc., which invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and today is the world's largest office-products company. Staples Direct UK carries more than 6,500 products, including office supplies, including printer cartridges, desk accessories, household products, labels, mailing supplies, paper and pads, staplers and presentation materials. It also carries office furniture, computer accessories and peripherals, digital imaging products, household electronics, office machines, desktop and notebook computers, printers, copiers and phones. Don't overlook the clearance section.


    Sunglass Hut

    Sunglass Hut is the online retail site of Sunglass Hut, which has nearly 2,000 stores throughout the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Middle East and South Africa.


    Target

    Target is much less crowded online. Target Online offers apparel, jewelry, home and garden items (including for bed and bath, pets and the holidays), kitchen products, electronics (including cameras and video games), sports and outdoors (including luggage) and gifts. Don't overlook the Target clearance store, which has items for up to 75 percent off, most notably a wide selection of clothing. The wedding registry is also popular.


    Tech for Less

    Tech for Less, founded in 2001, stocks open box and refurbished computer equipment, peripherals and electronics that cost up to 50 percent less than buying new. Tech for Less also offers a generous return policy. Don't overlook the daily and weekly specials.


    Teleflora Flowers

    Teleflora arranges for fresh flower delivery from any of more than 18,000 local florists in the U.S. and Canada. While some online flower companies pre-package their flowers in cardboard boxes shipped by UPS or FedEx, Teleflora orders are delivered in vases, usually on the same day. Search by recipient, price or occasion. To ensure same-day delivery, orders must be received before 3 p.m. weekdays and before noon on Saturdays and Sundays in the recipient's time zone.


    TextbookX

    Founded in 1999 by Brian Jacobs, then a professor of political philosophy at Cornell, TextbookX carries hundreds of thousands of new and used textbooks in business, economics, computers, current events, mathematics, medicine, education, science, art, music, drama, political science, psychology, history, law and many more subjects. You can search the site by title, author or ISBN. TextbookX also allows you to buy and sell used textbooks. Students list the books they have to sell; you purchase directly from the seller but pay TextbookX.


    TheNerds

    The Nerds, founded in 1997, sells computers and electronics, as well as housewares and office products. Based in North Miami Beach, the company has one of the largest selections of computer parts and accessories in the country, with more than 125,000 parts in stock. Its product line includes top brands such as Creative Labs, Diamond, ATI, Hewlett-Packard and Intel.


    Things From Another World

    Founded in 1979, Things From Another World specializes in graphic novels, comics, action figures, DVDs, statues and toys for adults and kids from top brands such as Dark Horse, DC Comics, Marvel Comics and IDW Publishing. TFAW also carries apparel, cards, pop culture collectibles, posters and other science-fiction, horror, humor, manga, superhero and action-adventure products. "No matter what you're into, we have just the thing for your collection," TFAW says. Search by brand, keyword, category, publisher, manufacturer or theme. Don't overlook the "discounts and sales" section under the Quicklinks menu item, or the "nick and dent" category.


    This is True

    Every week since June 1994, Randy Cassingham has been compiling a dozen or so oddball but true news items and adding a punchline to each. His free weekly newsletter, This is True, has attracted hundreds of thousands of followers. Randy's motto: "Truth is stranger than fiction because fiction has to make sense." Cassingham also compiles the best of his columns into books and sells products such as his popular Get Out of Hell free cards. You can subscribe to his standard newsletter free or order an advertising-free and expanded premium version for $24 per year.


    Time-Life

    You've seen Time-Life offers on late-night TV, but did you know you can order the same products online and save using coupon codes? Time-Life offers a variety of exclusive music and DVD series not sold in stores. You can purchase individual volumes of most series, but it's always much less expensive to buy the entire collection at once.


    United Shades

    Founded in 1928 and online since 1997, United Shades offers thousands of eyeglasses and genuine designer sunglasses, including those by Alain Mikli, Alexander McQueen, Giorgio Armani, Emporio Armani, Bulgari, Byblos, Cartier, Chanel, Chloé, Christian Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Escada, Exté, Fendi, Ferragamo, Gianfranco Ferré, Givenchy, Jean Paul Gaultier, Gucci, Jil Sander, John Richmond, Killer Loop, Mercedes-Benz, Mikli par Mikli, Miu Miu by Prada, Moschino, Oakley, Persol, Police, Porsche Design, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Ray Ban, Revo, Roberto Cavalli, Romeo Gigli, Rudy Project, Stella McCartney, Sting, The North Face, Trussardi, Valentino, Versace, Vivienne Westwood, Vogue and Yves Saint Laurent. United Shades, which has retail stores in Rome and Tokyo, allows you to search its stock online by gender, designer or keyword. You also can translate the site to Spanish, Italian or Japanese. Don't overlook the special offers tab or United Shades' guide to choosing the right sunglasses based on your face shape and hair color.


    USA Today

    USA Today is published five days a week with news from across the United States. Your subscription or gift subscription will begin in four to seven business days or on any date you specify. Unless you cancel, it will be renewed and your credit card charged automatically. In some rural areas, USA Today is delivered by mail. On carrier-delivered routes, you should have the paper by 7 a.m. USA Today also publishes Sports Weekly.


    Veterans Advantage

    Veterans Advantage is a discount membership program for military veterans from any service, active or retired, of any rank. Founded in 2001 by Scott Higgins, who served in Vietnam as a U.S. Army lieutenant, Veterans Advantage teams up with retailers to provide vets with discounts, including more than $800 in free benefits and more than $20,000 of annual savings. The annual fee is $59.95, or about $3 per month, after a free 30-day trial. Family members can then be enrolled for half price, and you can subscribe for up to five years at a time for more savings. Members get a 60-page Benefits Directory and access to phone support. Veterans Advantage uses these fees to fund its operation, as it doesn't charge companies to participate and also doesn't take advertising or government funding. Participating retailers include Amtrak, Continental Airlines, Footlocker, Dell, Greyhound, Verizon Wireless, Dollar Rent-a-Car, Overstock.com, Apple, Wendy's, Footaction USA, Target, Champs, XM Radio, Eastbay, Orvis, Eastern Mountain Sports, HBO, History, Thrifty car rental and NorthAmerican. Benefits of membership include $55,000 in travel and accident insurance, a prescription drug plan and a complimentary financial analysis.


    VitalSource

    Founded by five college textbook publishers, VitalSource (formerly CourseSmart) is an online marketplace for digital course materials. It offers thousands of common textbooks for download or access via computer, at up to 50 percent less than printed material. (The average savings is more than $60 per book.) Digital materials are also much easier for authors to update, so the books are never out of date. Digital textbooks include features such as high-speed search and electronic note-taking. VitalSource online eTextbooks are viewed through a web browser; after you subscribe to an eTextbook, you can start reading. VitalSource downloadable eTextbooks are files you download to your computer that are viewed through a special reader. You can view these books whether you are online or not for the length of your subscription (typically 180 or 360 days).


    Vons

    Vons offers online ordering and grocery home delivery in the San Fernando Valley, South Orange County, North Orange County, Inland Empire, San Gabriel Valley, West Los Angeles, Temecula, San Diego and Las Vegas, Nevada. You receive the same prices and Vons Club specials found in your local store. If Vons doesn't yet deliver to your area, check Peapod, Safeway or our online grocer guide.


    Walgreens

    Walgreens is the namesake of a neighborhood drugstore founded in 1901 in Dixon, Illinois by Charles Walgreen Sr. It measured 50 feet by 20 feet. He began working in a pharmacy as a teenager after an injury to his finger prevented him from playing sports. In 1893 he moved to Chicago and, as the story goes, threw his last remaining pennies into the Chicago River so he would essentially start from nothing. By 1929, there were 525 Walgreens around the country and today there are 7,000, with another 400 or so opening each year.


    Walmart

    What can't you find at Walmart? Founded by Sam Walton in Bentonville, Arkansas in 1950 as Walton's Five and Dime, Walmart today accounts for 2 percent of the U.S. gross national product (no kidding). Its online store carries more than 600,000 products, more than twice what you will find in any Walmart mega retail store.


    Waterstones UK

    Waterstones UK opened its doors in 1982 in London and currently has more than 300 stores. The average location has around 30,000 books; its flagship on Piccadilly (as well as its online site) stocks more than 200,000.


    West Marine

    West Marine was founded in 1968 in a garage in Sunnyvale, California by Randy Repass, who had grown dissatisfied with his Silicon Valley tech job. He began by selling nylon rope under the name West Coast Ropes. Today West Marine has more than 300 stores in 38 states, Puerto Rico and Canada, and a much-expanded inventory with more than 50,000 products for boats (including rope).


    Where's George

    Where's George? is a site with a database that contains the serial numbers of more than 40 million dollar bills. Type in the number on your bills to see if they've been entered, and then add your own data. The idea is to track the bills as they travel the country. Many people write wheresgeorge.com on the bills they enter so that others will be directed to the site. You also can ask to be alerted by email whenever one of "your" bills is entered. So far, more than 2 million people have registered. Canadian residents can track their dollar bills at Where's Willy?.


    Where's My Refund

    Where's My Refund? is a database maintained by the IRS that allows taxpayers to check the status of their refunds. It includes records of nearly 100,000 people who are due refunds but haven't gotten them. Typically these checks came back to the agency as undeliverable. Enter your name and Social Security number to see if you have money coming to you, then update your address with the agency. Alternatively you can phone 800-829-1954. The site is not available for most of December as the IRS prepares for the next year's filing season.


    WildTangent Games

    WildTangent Games offers hundreds of games for Windows XP or better or Android that you can play free, rent or own. Purchase WildCoins for unlimited game play (you don't need to spend more until you exit the game or stop playing). Or you can join the WildClub and receive a stack of coins each month at up to 44 percent off. Games can also be purchased; most cost 50 WildCoins each, and each WildCoin you spend playing the game earns you 25 cents towards purchasing it.


    Wine.com

    Wine.com, founded in 1998, will deliver any of more than 14,000 wines and champagnes to your door or as gifts to others -- state law permitting. It also stocks gift baskets and gourmet foods and wine accessories and offers several subscription wine clubs. You can search by keyword, type of wine, price, region or winery name. The site includes a tutorial on the art and science of wine.


    Zinio Digital

    Founded in 2000, Zinio sells a wide variety of magazines in digital format, including Car and Driver, Macworld, Computer Shopper, Home Theater, Sound & Vision, Electronic Gaming Monthly, Architectural Record, Alternative Medicine, Spa Magazine, Metropolitan Home, Country Living, eWeek, Macleans, Black Enterprise, Harvard Business Review, Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Foreign Policy, Premiere, FHM, Playboy, Flying, Boating, U.S. News & World Report, BusinessWeek, Science, Sporting News, Golfweek, Seventeen, Cosmo Girl, Islands, Saveur, Elle, Redbook, Woman's Day and National Geographic. It offers free sample issues of a number of titles so you can see the amazing reproduction (you must first download the free Zinio reader). You can purchase single copies or subscribe as you would with a print magazine. One advantage of digital, besides not missing any issues that are lost in the mail, is that you usually receive the new issue a few days before you would by post. Past issues are also kept in a folder in your account so you can browse or do full-text searches at any time. Zinio also sells digital versions of many college textbooks.


    ZoneAlarm

    ZoneAlarm is the pride and joy of Zone Labs, a leading creator of security software that protects PCs from hackers, spyware and data theft. ZoneAlarm comes in a variety of flavors, and you can buy its products individually or as part of a suite. You can purchase any of its products online and download them immediately. Or download the free trial versions and try before you buy. The basic ZoneAlarm firewall is free to individuals and charities.


    Zoobooks

    Zoobooks is a popular children's magazine that focuses on an appreciation for wild animals. Each series contains 58 titles on animals from A to Z, with facts about a specific animal or group of animals and interactive pullout activity pages. It comes in three versions: Zoobooks, for children age 6 to 12, Zootles, for children ages 2 to 6, and Zoobies, for children up to age 2. Subscriptions are $19.95 per year plus $7.95 shipping and handling and include a animal poster and stickers. Zoobooks also sells books and book sets focused on animals. You can search the site by category or age.


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