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Day by day, the Internet is becoming more consumer-friendly. A plethora of sites is making it easier for today’s shopper to make wise buying decisions on a variety of items, including vacation packages and home accessories. Here are three outstanding sites that can jump-start your Net browsing and simplify your life.
Product-ReviewNet is a free online consumer resource that indexes and provides links to product reviews from the likes of Car and Driver, Consumer’s Digest and 400 other reputable publications. If you’re undecided about a purchase, this is the site for you. Tap into more than 7,300 review abstracts on your selection of products, including cameras, cars, computers, sports equipment, music, electronics, home appliances and more.
A planned feature, Consumer ProductReviews, will allow visitors to share their product experiences with other consumers. PRN has also partnered with CompareNet, another online service, to help consumers link product brands with the specific features they’re looking for.
The federal government has established the U.S. Consumer Gateway, a Web site that categorizes a broad range of information by subject instead of by federal agency, as it was previously done. Subjects include food, health, home, transportation, children, buying smart, product safety, money and education. A ScamAlert! tips off consumers to deceptive practices–such as investment fraud–and also provides the latest in consumer news. The site maintained by the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, links to the following charter partners: the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
World travelers will love this site, a reference point for unique festivals, carnivals, arts and major sporting events. The information is available in five languages; so take your pick from English, French, German, Italian or Spanish. Get ticket information and contact numbers for worldwide events screened and reviewed by an editor. Key in a destination, such as Paris, and you’ll view vital info, such as population, language, religion, currency, climate, weather, public holidays and events. You’ll find out if a major festival is going on at your time of travel, giving you time to ensure that flights and rooms are not overbooked. You can also select a topic from the database or enter the name of an event for ticket information. Look for two new sites in 1999: kidseventsworldwide.com for children’s activities around the globe and eventsworldwide2000.com to help you celebrate the new millennium.