My Online Shopping Tip: Try Half.com
By Marisa, age 19, Indiana
Half.com is a great way to get music, movies, and more at unbeatable prices. This past July I paid $15 for my gently used Spanish 105 textbook that lists new at $107.60. Sure, my Spanish book was used, but I only need it for a semester, and I will probably be able to sell it to the bookstore for more than what I initially paid. Unbelievable!
My music collection has also grown significantly since I started shopping on Half.com. I've purchased CDs for less than $5 with shipping. It may cost money, but buying used CDs at low prices from Half.com is a great alternative to downloading illegally. My friend saved $20 on her favorite television series on DVD.
Half.com is a subsidiary of Ebay, but unlike its auction-based counterpart, Half.com allows you to select an item and purchase it at a preset price, rather than bidding and competing to win the item you need. You can buy books, music, movies, video games, and even game systems and accessories.
Half.com offers a rating system for the quality of a particular item. Sellers can rate the condition of an item anywhere between "Brand New" and "Acceptable." This system allows buyers to compare the price of an item with the quality and find exactly what they need. If you are looking for a new book from your favorite author or a CD from a band you like, I would highly recommend searching for it on Half.com.
Items for sale on Half.com come from individual sellers in worldwide locations. You can see where a product is located before purchasing it, allowing you to consider distance as a factor in the shipping process. Half.com has a great shipping policy. The rates for each type of item are predetermined by Half.com, so the individual seller does not have control over the shipping price you pay. Since they sell music, books, and movies, almost everything is eligible for media rate shipping, saving you even more money. Most of the sellers on Half.com list multiple items, and if you purchase more than one item from the same seller in the same transaction you receive a shipping discount. Many sellers also offer shipping upgrades for an additional charge, just in case you need to get something right away.
If you know someone who has a Half.com account, they can invite you to join and send you a code that allows you to save $5 on a $10 purchase. If you join, they get a code for their next purchase, so they'll be more than willing to invite you! Once you start an account, you can invite your friends and send them the same code through their "Take Five" promotion.
You must link either a credit or debit card to your Half.com account, so you may need to talk to your parents before creating an account. I'm sure they will be supportive of the idea once they see how much money they or you can save by choosing Half.com.