Online shoppers avoid lines and hassles

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    By Jacob Crosby

    No long lines, no wrapping hassles, no trips to the mall – just a few of the benefits of online shopping.

    More and more Americans are turning to their computers rather than their neighborhood department store for holiday gifts.

    In fact, online companies are expected to make over $28 billion during this year’s holiday season alone – a significant jump from last year.

    Are college students buying into this Internet-shopping spree?

    Dan Cramer is.

    Cramer, a senior from Salt Lake City, majoring in computer science, said shopping online is infinitely better than battling crowds at the mall.

    “Shopping on the Web offers better selection, better prices and more convenience,” Cramer said.

    He also said online shopping makes it easier to be secretive around Christmas time.

    “There are no shopping bags for me to bring home and to try and hide,” Cramer said.

    Don Carruth, a senior from Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., majoring in finance, said online shopping takes away a fun holiday tradition.

    “Half the fun of Christmas shopping is going to the mall and listening to Christmas music as you stroll past stores and look at window displays,” he said.

    Erik Templin, a junior from Denver, Colo., majoring in marketing communications, said he is hesitant to try online shopping after a bad experience he had in November.

    Templin bought a car through eBay, an online auction site, and only drove it 50 miles before the transmission went out.

    “I did my homework before I bought the car and could not find anything wrong. It was a great deal on a great car,” Templin said.

    Online shoppers should make sure everything they buy has some kind of return policy or warranty, he said.

    “Unless something dramatic happens, my online-shopping experience is over,” Templin said.

    Regardless of potential problems, shopping on the Web will continue to increase with popular stores like Target, K-Mart and Wal-Mart bringing their marketing muscle online this holiday season.

    “Online shopping is only going to get better. If I want the holiday spirit while I shop, I’ll turn up the Christmas music on my computer,” Cramer said.

    Virtual eggnog anyone?

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