Best & worst online shopping sites

Don't Waste Your Money

Flowers make beautiful gifts, but ordering online can be unpleasant, according to a new survey of online shoppers.

Our partners at Consumer Reports Magazine surveyed thousands of subscribers about their experiences shopping at the 52 largest retail websites.

Low Rated Sites

Online florists 1-800-Flowers and FTD rated near the bottom.

"They had low marks for value, and there were lots of complaints about high shipping charges and customers having to wait longer than expected," said Consumer Reports' Tony Giorgianni.

Ticketmaster didn't have a lot to cheer about either. It was at the bottom of Consumer Reports' ratings and got the lowest marks of all for customer support.

Consumers said the Ticketmaster website took too long and was too expensive.

"A good online retailer should offer great value, have good products and services, and deliver them on time. It also should have great customer support," said Giorgianni.

And the Winners Are...

The highest-rated sites include:

        B&H Photo

        Zappos

        Costco

        Nordstrom

        L.L.Bean

        NewEgg(for electronics)

        REI

"Zappos also has a good return policy. You have a year to return something, and Zappos picks up the cost," said Giorgianni.

REI, which carries outdoor gear and clothing, and is opening its first Cincinnati store next week in Norwood, also received a high rating. REI stands out with its guarantee that shoppers can return or replace items any time at the store or online. There is no expiration date.

To save on shipping, Giorgianni suggests shopping at sites like Walmart, which provide the option of having the item delivered to the store for pick up.

And while shopping online can be convenient, getting a lot of spam email is not. Consumer Reports suggests creating a separate email address for online purchases.

That way you don't get spammed, and you don't waste your money.

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Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.

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