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Top 10 Shopping Websites of the Decade

I bought this online for 8cents with my Gilt rewards. Thank you magical internet.

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Hey! Remember stores? The other day I was getting ready for all the holiday parties and I needed a new purse (I didn’t have a simple black clutch! Shame on me). So I spent some time perusing the interwebs and kept thinking… sheesh, it’s Tuesday how am I ever in a million years going to get a purse by Friday? Super prime shipping for me! Then a co-worker said something I hadn’t heard in a while… “why don’t you go to the store and just buy one?” woah, woah, like outside? The idea was intriguing, and felt new. Several hours of window shopping later I had my purse (and a few other accessories), but my feet were cold and I hadn’ t been watching NCIS the entire time… so who really is the winner here? If you have to shop this century brothers and sisters, shop online.

10. Kozmo.com
New York, do you remember? You used to be able to buy anything, anything, online and they would bring it to you in a few hours. Technically this was started in 1998, but closed it’s doors in 2001. If it was raining and you really wanted to watch a movie and smoke cigarettes and eat matzo ball soup, all this was possible. The inevitable downside was that it was impossible to return anything (they had cardboard kiosks in Starbucks’ for the DVDs), plus the overhead on something like that is clearly ridiculous, but it was a start, a grand beginning to a “get whatever you want at your door asap” mentality that leaves us either incredibly spoiled, or incredibly lucky.

9. Walmart.com
I love free things, and I love samples. Unless you’re lucky enough to end up on a corner where a promoter is handing out free Hilshire Farm Deli Salads (true story, btw they’re just meat and cheese in a container and you have to add your own lettuce! Ridiculous.) Walmart.com is a haven for free samples. Want to try a Kashi bar? Need a free tampon or a teeny deodorant? Walmart can offer it all and the selection changes often! As angry as people get about Walmart, a very urban-chic new mama recently confessed to me in shame that she bought a rug for her living room on walmart.com. It was cute and it was cheap and she has a 1 year old, so it made the most sense. People that don’t live near a W-mart like to pretend that they wouldn’t go if they did, but you know that’s a lie.

8. Gilt.com
Sample Sales!!! New York ladies will wait in rain sleet and snow for hours to get their hands on a designer bargain. All of a sudden that same funniness of running and fighting for low-price-designer duds is available on line! Seriously, you try buying a pair of size 37 Christian Louboutins when Gilt puts them on sale ($300 down from $600!) you can’t get them in your cart to save your life and will spend hours refreshing because you HAVE to have them. I have bought wayyyy too much designer stuff since becoming a member, but it’s at a DISCOUNT! 80% off of something that was $1,000? Yes please.

7. Paypal.com
You’re thinking… paypal isn’t really shopping… but, my friends, please tell me something that you can’t buy via-paypal! You can instantly send cash to anyone, anywhere on the same internet platform that millions of websites (including etsy) use for payment. Your cc info is stored and you just have to click yes and you’re good to go. I purchased a birth chart star reading for a friend via pay pal, it’s something that doesn’t physically exist and I was still able to pay for it, not bad.

6. Netflix.com
I’m about a month away from tossing out every DVD case I ever owned. Epic compared to the day that I tossed out my CD cases and realized that nobody needs liner notes. I’ve also recently made the decision never to buy a DVD again! It’s empowering! Try it with me “I pledge to never waste plastic and paper and whatever material they make DVDs out of, instead I’ll store them in the internet, and borrow late-fee-less whenever I see fit.” (There’s a chance that if you’re someone who makes movies you might be upset by this…) Get yourself a tv-internet connector and find out what it’s like to visit a movie store that’s 75 million times bigger than the one next to your house that you used to rent “The Last Unicorn” from over and over.

5. Etsy.com
Everything handmade! There comes a time when you just get over buying regular consumer stuff… the same boring old ish that everyone has. In the not-so-distant past you may be able to hit up a garage sale or a craft fair if weather permitted, or you may find yourself walking down the main street of a quaint town and pick up something wooden with the American flag painted on it. With the crafting revelation that is Etsy, all that down home hand made goodness is at your fingertips! I bought 85% of my Christmas gifts on Etsy, I got tshirts, headbands, earrings, personalized necklaces, screen prints, and gloves! Not only do I get joy out of supporting independent businesses, I get some pretty kick-butt gifts for not a lot of money.

4. Fandango.com
I often look at the people standing in line for the movies and I think, what the heck are you doing!? Like waiting in line at the bank to cash a check, the idea of waiting in line at the theater to get a movie ticket is archaic. I’m picturing a time when going to the movies was new and exciting, in this historically accurate imagining I’m doing, I bet that you went to the Box Office and literally bought a ticket in advance like you do for the stage. Fandango, and their cute little paper-bag puppets, is the exact same thing. Movies can sell out in advance again! Over 75% of last week’s movie ticket sales can go to “Avatar” before “Avatar” even comes out. That’s pretty romantic if I do say so myself.

3. Cheaptickets.com
Before I made the commitment to solely fly Jet Blue (Bahamas, Yes, Europe, see you around) cheaptickets.com was my favorite airfare shopping site of all time. But really, add Orbitz, Expedia and SideStep to this and you’ve got a virtual travel agent that is a million times easier to deal with than an actual travel agent. Whilst in Italy in 2001 I needed to get home, so I dragged my bottom to an AMEX travel agent and got a $500 flight from Florence to Amsterdam to Detroit, to Rhode Island where I caught a ride back to NYC. How is it even possible that something like that was an option?! Was there a time where the travel agent got your verbal commitment that you wanted a flight, called the airline, had someone make a note in a ledger that you were going to be there and hoped you sent your personal check on time? Booking travel any other way seems ludicrous.

2. Itunes.com

Oh CDs! Oh the Single CD that was like $3 and had two of the same song, just one without words! Forget music, if you ever wanted to feel like you needed to own a movie that you could just as easily rent on The Flix you can get it on itunes too! No driving to stores, no annoying stickers (seriously, ALL THREE SIDES OF THIS CD CASE? Why are you doing this to meeee Sony?). This month I bought Willie Nelson’s Christmas and 2 albums of the Glee Soundtrack INSTANTLY. Any time of day any time of night! Sure, it sits in your itunes and can’t really be moved around, but where the heck do you want to take it? You have your ipod for that!

1. Amazon.com
I almost don’t even have to write anything here. Amazon.com you are a miracle. Straight from humanities mouth to God’s ear and here we have it! We get the Prime shipping… you pay $75ish and can always have free shipping! My vacuum broke the other day and I thought, holy crap are there vacuum repair shops? Do those exist?? Instead I asked a burly friend to look it and he found a missing part. Some sites offered it for $3 or $4 and Amazon had it for $8. With the prime 2 day shipping there was no contest. At first I thought of Amazon for music and movies, but the possibilities really are endless! If you can’t find it on Amazon, it probably doesn’t exist.

There you have it kiddos! Looking back at actual in-store shopping is like when you’re doing “Oregon Train” and you think to yourself, thank Jesus I live in a time with air conditioning and no practical implications for all that freaking twine! Life is so much better now!!

Any that I missed? Hit me up.

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