Ten Websites to Make Your Life Easier
Believe it or not, the Internet can be more than just a way to kill time.
ShopItToMe.com would like to apply to be your personal online shopper. And it's got solid credentials, including the ability to get you apparel from brands like Prada, Armani, and DKNY, which it does by scouring the websites of leading retailers like Nordstrom (JWN), Bloomingdale's (M), Banana Republic (GAP), Zappos (AMZN), and Bluefly (BFLY) so you don't have to. Just create a wish list, select your brand, your size, and other preferences, and then wait for a Salemail -- a weekly email summary of bargains and relevant sales -- so you can shop till it hurts.
Buy airline ticket from Delta (DAL). Book room at Las Vegas Sands (LVS). Rent car from Avis (CAR). Gather directions from Google Maps. Make reservations at Joël Robuchon. Visit TripIt.com so as not to have nervous breakdown before fun begins. Why? Because TripIt's job is to turn chaos into order by making it easy to organize all those trip details into one master itinerary -- even if you made arrangements on multiple travel sites. You can include maps, directions, and weather in your itinerary; book restaurants and activities; check in for your flight; and organize your receipts. Then you can access it all online or from a mobile device, or share it safely with a friend -- and you won't end up needing a vacation from your vacation.
If you're not using that squash racquet you purchased, yet are certain you'll start your exercise regime soon, why not make some cash on it while you're waiting for tomorrow to come? Zilok is a centralized online marketplace that allows anyone to rent, or offer for rent just about anything -- from Coach handbags to Playstations, to Ford pick-up trucks. Owners who want to rent out their stuff can recoup money they spent on an item in just a few rentals; renters can save money by renting instead of buying items they rarely use. With categories that include Autos, Tools, Luxury, Leisure, and more, you can get just about anything you need from someone near you. Just make sure you give it back.
Online stores like Staples (SPLS), Barnes & Noble (BKS), and 1-800-Flowers.com (FLWS) try to give consumers a fair shot at saving by offering a "coupon code" field at checkout. But the challenge for shoppers is to not let that deal get canceled out by the amount of time they spent searching for said code. Enter CurrentCodes -- a no-nonsense, no-clutter coupons and discount-codes database with no complicated navigation, no image-heavy graphics, no hype, no ads, and no useless or expired deals. The only job of its staff is to comb the web for all available coupons and codes and verify their accuracy. When you start saving big, you'll learn to love the site's boring design.
Here, "Everyone Helps." A virtual help desk, CrossLoop is a remote desktop application and marketplace that allows anyone to help fix computer problems for other people, anywhere in the world. If you can't get rid of that pesky error message that keeps popping up on your PC, you can give a helper a single-use code so he or she can control your computer remotely and figure out the problem. If you're the geeky one, make some extra money by helping a technology-challenged dad find his way out of an Excel spreadsheet. Just hit the marketplace to set your own rates and determine your services. Computer crisis averted!
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