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The Virtual Shopping Mall

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The shopping mall is no longer limited to the physical realm. Through the capabilities of the Internet, online shopping malls are spring up everywhere, and the range of products they offer in one location is almost mind numbing.

We are all familiar with the traditional shopping mall experience: schlepping to its location, hoping there is parking within a reasonable distance to and entrance, and then going from shop to shop looking for what you want. While this has great social advantages, as well as economic (during major sales periods), there are two serious drawbacks: first, you are limited to the stores that are at the shopping mall and, second, you can only carry so many items with you (unless you bring along a mule train).

The virtual mall

The limitation of available product that is an unavoidable component of a physical location, can be quite frustrating – especially if you have a general idea of what you are seeking, but cannot find the exact item at the location you are visiting. In this instance, you have to either give up on the item, or go to another location – expending additional time and energy. As long as it is a nice sunny day, that may not be too trying and ordeal. But if the weather is inclement, it can become a burden.

Enter the virtual shopping mall. With just a laptop and the internet, you can visit an online shopping mall that has access to everything imaginable, all of them with easy to navigate websites. From nationally known sellers like Cabella’s, Neiman Marcus, Sears, and Eddie Bauer to specialty sellers such as James Avery or Wines from the Vines, you can shop for everything from the comfort of your home. Or, for added irony, from the food court at your local mall.

Finding an online shopping mall

Locating these gold mines is as simple as typing – and it does not matter if you type hundreds of word per minute, or if you use the Columbus method (search and land). The phrase “online shopping mall” entered into a search engine will returns page upon page of sites specifically designed to function as shopping malls. At this point, click on one of the offerings and enter the retail realm. Just as at a physical mall, you will find a “you are here” map and a list of stores; you can wander from store to store, or make a beeline for your favorites or those that sound intriguing and exotic.

No matter which shopping method you choose, you will be able to find out if what you want is available at the site or not. If it is not, you do not have to trudge back to your trusty auto and drive to another location, you can simply use the back button to return to the results page and click on another shopping mall – all while enjoying the comforts of your dwelling.

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