Hitting the Mall CompuServe

Hitting the Mall CompuServe

Hitting the Mall CompuServe

Hitting the Mall The CompuServe Electronic Mall is a virtual shopping center that housesg dozens of stores. None of these stores have real storefronts; they exist only. on your computer screen. But just as you can in real stores, you can browse around CompuServe’s stores and order a variety of merchandise. Unlike traditional malls however, CompuServe’s Electronic Mall is open 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Other advantages are that you don’t have to get all dressed up to shop the Electronic Mall, and you save time, gasoline, and money shopping directly from your personal computer.

Of course, to shop from home via the CompuServe Mall, you have to use a credit card (just as you would to order from a traditional catalog merchant). In fact, using the Electronic Mall is a lot like shopping by catalog-but you use your modem instead of your phone, and you don’t have to throw away the catalog (or live with the catalogs stacking up) when you’re done!

To access the Mall, GO MALL. Fig. 18.1 shows the CompuServe Mall’s opening screen. Once you’re in, you can search by merchant or by type of goods.

Because new merchants are added to the Mall monthly, you need access to the latest Mall news and events. GO EMN to find out the latest news about new merchants, special sales, and promotions from the Elec tronic Mall News.

Shopping by merchant

If you know the name of the online store you want, the fastest way to shop is by merchant. Select Quicksearch By Merchant from the main Mall menu and select Shop by Merchant in the next screen. In the dialog box that appears next, enter the store’s name. If you don’t know the full name, you can type a partial entry, and CompuServe will supply a list of candidates. In that list, double-click the merchant you want.

When you enter the store, you’re usually presented with a menu that includes such choices as browsing the store, searching for merchandise, ordering a catalog, talking to customer service, or placing an order. I say that you’re Usually presented with a menu because the merchants all run their own shops. Some merchants only offer catalogs; some don’t have online cus- tomer service; some offer additional services. In addition, some stores are completely text-based, whereas others let you see the merchandise before you buy. They’re all different (just like the stores in a real mall). The thing to remember is that when you enter a store, you should look for and follow the on-screen directions.

Shopping by department

Even if you don’t have a specific merchant in mind, it’s still easy to use the Electronic Mall. Just pick the department you want, and then select from the group of merchants in the directory. You’re taken to a specific store where you can follow the on-screen directions to complete your shopping.

CompuServe’s other shopping services

In addition to the Electronic Mall, CompuServe offers a variety of other shopping-related services. Let’s take a look at some of the major ones.

  • Directory of Catalogs (GO DTC): You can order a variety of catalogs from CompuServe merchants.
  • Shopper’s Advantage (GO SAC): A discount shopping club that offers discounts of up to 50% off suggested retail prices.
  • AutoNet New Car Showroom (GO NEWCAR): A great place to view and compare features and specifications on more than a thousand vehicles.
  • SOFTEX (GO SOFTEX): A great place to purchase software online by downloading it from CompuServe.
  • CompuServe Store (GO ORDER): The place to buy all sorts of
    CompuServe merchandise—from software to coffee mugs.
  • Consumer Reports (GO CONSUMER): Chock full of product reviews and comparisons, this is definitely the place to stop before you shop.

Shopping on the Internet

There are many places to shop on the Internet because companies think they’ll make a fortune setting up “virtual shopping malls” on the Net. Take a

look at these Web sites to get an idea of what’s available:

  • AutoSite (http://www.autosite.com/): A great place to compare new car features and prices.
  • Branch Mall (http://branch.com:1080/): A mass of Internet retailers with catalog entries ranging from art to vacations.
  • CDNow! (http://www.cdnow.com/): My favorite place to order music CDs and tapes.
  • Commercial Services on the Net (littp://www.directory.net/): Open Markets’ searchable directory of commercial services, products, and information on the Net.
  • EUROMALL (http://www.internet-eireannie/Euromall/): An online mall for European merchants.
  • Hall of Malls (http://nsns.com/Mouse’Fracks/HallofMalls.html): A list of dozens of online malls.
  • Internet Mall (http://wwvv.internet-mall.com/). Dozens of online retailers in one place.
  • Internet Shopping Network (https://vvww.internet.net/): Another good Net place to shop.
  • marketplaceMCl (httpi/www2.pcy.mci.net/marketplace/ index.html): A good collection of online merchants, hosted by MCI.
  • Ticketmaster Online (http://www.ticketmaster.com/): Order tickets for concerts online.
  • Yahoo’s List of Products and Services (http://www.yahoo.com/ Business/Products_and_Services/): A comprehensive list of merchants accessible on the Net.

So, with all these retailers literally at your fingertips, why leave your house to shop? Just make sure your mouse is working and that there’s room on your credit card, and you’ll be able to shop online until your fingers are sore!

Use CompuServe to place classified ads

If you think of the interconnected community on CompuServe as a small town, you’ll understand why it offers newspaper-style classified ads. CompuServe has classified ads in hundreds of different categories—just like traditional classifieds. To see these ads, all you have to do is GO CLASSIFIEDS and select Browse/Submit Classified Ads. Then you’re presented with thousands of classified advertisements, as well as the opportunity to place your own classified ads.

To browse through the ads, just scroll through the category list and highlight the category you’re interested in. Click the Browse button, select a subcat­egory (if necessary), and browse through the list of ads displayed.

When you find an ad you want to read, highlight it and click the Read button. If you want to respond to the ad, click the Reply button; otherwise, click Cancel to return to the ad list.

Placing an ad is also simple. Just follow these steps:

1 From the Classified Ads window, click the Submit button.

2 When the Select Category list appears, choose a category for your ad and click OK.

3 When the Submit Ad dialog box appears (see Fig. 18.2), enter your name, your location (a two-letter state abbreviation), the subject, and the duration the ad should run. Then enter your text, and click the Post button to send the ad.

Hitting the Mall CompuServe

Searching for a job via CompuServe

You can also rely on CompuServe to aid your job search. CompuServe gives you access to E-SPAN JobSearch, an online employment resource for job seekers and employers across America. Every week E-SPAN lists more than 1,000 positions.

Job seekers can browse E-SPAN listings via the classified ads (GO CLASSIFIEDS and select the Job Search category) or directly from E-SPAN (GO ESPAN). When you’re in E-SPAN, you select a job category and the area of the United States that you’re targeting. Then you’re presented with

a list of potential jobs in your category and region.

When you select a listing and click Read, the full ad appears in a separate window. If you want to answer the ad, click the Reply button; otherwise, click the Cancel button.

If you’re an employer, you can place ads for prospective employees through E-SPAN. Contact E-SPAN via CompuServe Mail (76702,1771) or at their toll-free number (1-800-682-2901).