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Why I love tinterwebs
Top Ten Websites
Member Name: dawnmarywhite
Top Ten Websites
Advantages: You might discover a site worth bookmarking
Disadvantages: You might not be interested, and it has turned out rather long!
Well, I read the Foxy one's Top Ten review yesterday and I though "I want to do that!" So here we are. Plus, I'm waiting for 11 (yes, 11!) product suggestions to come through (or not) and I don't feel like doing any of the food reviews I have lined up just now. I spend a lot of each day online, I actually get the laptop on and connected to the internet before I sit down to my morning coffee, though I do it while feeding Dogface and letting him out so I'm not completely sad, and generally stay connected all day until bedtime! It's just easier to leave it all on so it's always ready when I want to use it.
Anyway, here's my top 10 websites, starting with 1 being my absolute favourite (yes I probably will get around to reviewing each of these sites too!)
~~~~~~~~ 1. Google ~~~~~~~~
I use Google so many times each day. My email is googlemail and it's open all day as any new mail comes through in real time. It's very easy to use email, extremely good at filtering out spam and phishing emails and even has importance markers now, where googlemail decides which emails are most important based on keywords and frequency of those keywords appearing in your inbox. Pretty cool, right? I have multiple email address, all with googlemail (or gmail as it is now) which means that I can be really organised - for instance I have my original email which I use for my online banking, eBay, PayPal, any other online shopping and one of my other favourite sites, RFUK. I have a dedicated email address for Dooyoo, Ciao and surveys, and a couple of others for other things.
As a search engine, I never go anywhere other than Google, though that is obviously because I'm used to going there for my email. Someone told me 'Google' and 'Googling' are in the dictionary now as verbs, as so many people say it instead of 'searching'. I'm not sure if it's true though!
~~~~~~~~ 2. Dooyoo ~~~~~~~~
Could the number 2 spot be anything other? I was brought here by Money Saving Expert, and since I started I have quickly become hooked! I made the mistake of not reading reviews before bashing on and writing some (which are a bit shameful to me now!), but I very quickly learned my mistake and I think I got it remedied reasonably fast. I just wish I could catch up on the return ratings I missed at the very start but I don't think I'll ever manage to catch up now!
I like pretty much everything about Dooyoo - it's friendly, the rewards system I think is a good balance as it's a 'regular' little money maker, if you know what I mean? Also the site itself is very user friendly. My product suggestions have always been accepted, except 2 because they were already in the catalogue (they weren't the last time I looked!) Plus, I love talking about things I know and I hope that translates well enough into my reviews. I have had and spent my first cheque since joining and am getting pretty close to my second one. I always hold out for the cheque, rather than Amazon vouchers as I never buy anything on Amazon, believe it or not! Most of the things I want to buy are far cheaper elsewhere.
~~~~~~~~ 3. eBay / PayPal ~~~~~~~~
Before I joined review sites, eBay probably would have got the number 2 spot. I have been a member on eBay for almost 8 years I think and only recently have I been getting rubbish from people (one seller, many buyers!) I sell more than I buy these days, but that's due to circumstances and wanting to make some extra pennies really. I was a buyer-only for years before attempting to sell anything, which I think has made me the good seller that I am (until a couple of days ago where I got a rule-breaking negative from someone I opened a non-paying bidder case against - I think they have no clue it'll be automatically removed tomorrow when I issue a strike against their account for messing me about! Bless them, awwww, tiny violin time....).
I still buy very regularly though. I've lost count of the cash I've made on eBay over the years and I love it! It's got me through uncomfortable times with bells on. Which brings me nicely to PayPal - I have lumped eBay and PayPal together as they go hand in hand really. However, I use PayPal regularly for other things, one of which is private selling through online forums and the like. PayPal does have its faults, and I've read some horror stories but I reckon if you do everything (and I mean everything) by the book and know the rules, then you can take care of yourself best you can - I have had no troubles (touch wood). I love that people I trade with know only my email address and home address (if I am buying). Transferring money to my bank account has also got a lot faster in recent times, going from an average of 5 working days to just 2.
~~~~~~~~ 4. Ciao ~~~~~~~~
Of course, Ciao has to be on here too, I made a fabulous sum taking advantage of the House & Garden campaign and I've had a small slice of the Premium fund each month which has boosted the earnings to something worth withdrawing when I've not made use of the monthly campaign. If I write a review here there's no point in NOT copying it over really. But it doesn't compare to Dooyoo for me. It's far less user friendly, it takes ages to load for me, and every time I rate someone an E and start to leave my comment, the cursor flicks back into the search box at the top when the page finally finishes loading, which is just frankly ridiculous. Why would it do that when you HAVE to leave an E-accompanying comment?!
I like Ciao best when there's a campaign on that I can really use - I love online communities and I'm not heartless; I do return rates (maybe not super fast on there though) now I've found the easiest way to do it on Ciao, but I do want to make some money!
~~~~~~~~ 5. RFUK (Reptile Forums UK ~~~~~~~~
I've been a member of this site since April 2009, and I love it. I haven't been using it so much since I got caught up in reviewing, but I have made some fab friends there, one of which we traveled to Daventry and back in one day to meet (and of course I came home with 4 new turtles!) This online community is of course, all about exotic pets. Though they do have a lively section for domestic pets too. Here you can just chat about them, share pictures and of course seek/give advice. I have sought advice a few times but I generally like to give advice where I can, particularly for turtles. It makes my heart sing when there's a new user who has found the forum BEFORE getting turtles and soon has their mind changed on the suitability of large breeds they were told by the pet shop would only grow to a few inches!
The people are largely friendly, though it gets a bit heated sometimes when people are doing potentially harmful things to their pets and not listening to advice. It's all about passion but it does go overboard sometimes. There's also an excellent classifieds section and a fun off topic section, along with the rather more fun (and usually filthy) off topic 18+ section.
Aside from the forums, there is also a community blog, and comparison shopping/reviews elements to the site.
~~~~~~~~ 6. Valued Opinions ~~~~~~~~
This has turned out to be pretty much the only survey site I use. I am registered with loads, and recently registered with some I will use faithfully unless I discover it's really not worth it. Valued Opinions surveys are generally good, the rewards are usually fair compensation, and I get surveys very regularly. If I am going to get screened out it happens fast, never have I given more than demographics and maybe 1 qualifying question on the subject matter before being screened out. Saying that though, I hardly get screened out of their surveys at all. Since joining (end of June I think it was) I have had a £10 Tesco voucher, £10 Boots voucher and have £10.25 currently cleared in my account, I just can't decide which voucher to get for this one! That may not be as much as some people have had in a similar time (I didn't qualify for a week long, 45 minutes daily, study that would have given me about £40, darn!) but I think it's great! I love that the threshold for payout is only £10 and vouchers usually arrive pretty quick.
Everything I've said above about Valued Opinions, I've found the opposite to be true of the others I joined at the same time!
~~~~~~~~ 7. Money Saving expert ~~~~~~~~
Ah yes, there's a theme here, you're thinking. This is such a useful website. I've never used the forum though and my partner is better versed with this site than I am, but it does have so much information on it in easy to understand terms. Many's the time my partner and I have sat looking at stuff that applies, and the advice given is brilliant. I also of course love it for bringing me to reviewing and paid surveys, as well as the newsletter which often has handy applicable things in it. I've had my eyes opened on ways to make the internet work for me, which is great for my current circumstances. I can safely say though that regardless of changing circumstances I think I'll be a regular Dooyooer forever now! So you're stuck with me I'm afraid.
~~~~~~~~ 8. Gumtree ~~~~~~~~
This is a handy site, I have sold a few things through here, and also got some great stuff. Of course, it's full of scammers and I really don't rate it for job hunting or employee-seeking. But it's good for offloading stuff, looking for accommodation and even some services if you've patience to wade through it!
~~~~~~~~ 9. Freecycle ~~~~~~~~
Another good one. The best haul I had from Freecycle was a John Allen fish tank rack (like in pet shops with the blue flaps) that was 4ft wide and 7ft tall. I plan to use it at some point! But also included in this haul were lots of tanks, light controllers/starters, decor, small filters, air pumps, heaters, gravel, water treatments and accessories such as nets, gravel cleaners, air line tubing and air stones. Even a bag full of extension sockets! I have of course given away a lot on there too, including a sofa (to a lovely family in a new house who couldn't afford to buy one), display wall unit, gravel, coat hangers (they went to a lovely lady starting her own boutique), and a huge rabbit hutch (to someone whose rehomer Guinea pigs gave birth shortly after she acquired them!).
When you're giving away stuff, I would recommend you don't just give it to the first person who gets in touch. Unless of course you desperately need it gone. But so many people comb Freecycle for things they can sell on, so you're not really helping people in need by letting these people have it. When you're asking for something, be friendly, polite and give a little story as to why you want it. Also, tell people when you could collect, give a phone number and don't just say "I'll have it".
~~~~~~~~ 10. Zooplus / Surrey Pet Supplies ~~~~~~~~
My favourite online shopping websites. Both have excellent prices and a great range of products. There's not much more to really say about them (I have reviewed Zooplus though), but if you have pets then I definitely recommend you check them out!
So that's it. Looking back over this, I can see that my recent usage of the internet to make me some extra money is rather apparent! There are a few that I'm not completely sure about the positions I have given them, but I'm going to leave them as is, because I could spend hours swapping them about! Suffice to say they are all in the top 10.
Summary: My online life
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