online mobile shopping websites

Online mobile shopping websites are all over the place. A quick search will list more than you can count, but which online stores are actually the best?

Below are our picks for some of the best online shopping websites. You can find all sorts of things between these seven, from books and clothes to movies, handmade items, jewelry, tech…you name it.

Convenience is one of the best benefits of online shopping, and that’s exactly what you’ll get with these popular stores. So sit back and click through these sites to find that thing you’ve been wanting to get but haven’t had time to leave the house for. Or, just have some fun with it and see which deals you can catch.

online mobile shopping websites

Amazon

Buy on AmazonWhat We Like

  • Dependable delivery and customer service.
  • Prime members qualify for free shipping and other perks.
  • Frequent deals.

What We Don’t Like

  • The mobile website is especially tedious to navigate.
  • No bidding system for online sellers.

With millions of offerings to choose from, Amazon has evolved from a small bookstore to a mammoth internet presence. The company not only brings you millions of items from its own warehouses but also from sellers all over the world who can upload their own wares for sale.

That makes it possible for you to compare prices at a glance from a host of stores and individual sellers. Amazon also has made it even easier to shop for things you purchase often using the Dash button.

Amazon is the giant of online shopping; more people shop here than at any other online shopping site. Don’t just go straight to Amazon to shop, though; use a rewards site to be sure you’re taking advantage of cash-back offers from Amazon. You can even get some free stuff on Amazon.

The Amazon website is accessible from a computer through the link below, but also via the Amazon app.The 8 Best Mobile Shopping Apps For Finding Deals and Saving Money 

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eBay

Buy on EBayWhat We Like

  • Find some obscure items for cheap.
  • Great avenue for getting rid of unwanted stuff.

What We Don’t Like

  • Delivery times depend on the reliability of the seller.
  • Selling items can be a time consuming process.

eBay 101: Basics of Buying and Selling 

Originally started to supplement a Pez collection, eBay has grown into the world’s largest online auction site. You can find pretty much anything here, and even you can become an eBay seller to get some cash for your unwanted items.

If you’re looking for a collectible, this is the first shopping website you should check, but you’ll also find brand-new items. eBay offers a wide variety of categories ranging from appliances to video games. They also have seasonal gift guides and a Daily Deals page.

You can use a variety of filters such as brand, price, size, color, features, and consumer ratings and reviews to sift through your search results. Plus, the advanced search capabilities on eBay make it easy to locate items with free shipping, new or used products, and Buy It Now items versus things being auctioned off.

All in all, eBay’s reputation as a great bargain-shopping destination ensures its consistently high ranking among shopping sites.

eBay can be used from a browser or with the eBay mobile app.

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Etsy

Buy on EtsyWhat We Like

  • Find figurative and literal gems not seen anywhere else.
  • Saves artists the hassle of creating their own websites.

What We Don’t Like

  • Customer service can be hard to get a hold of.
  • Takes a hefty cut of sellers’ profits.

Our Review of Etsy 

Etsy is a global marketplace that offers goods from incredibly talented artisans around the world. Anything from homemade soap to crystal necklaces and caramel apples can be found here, and often good deals, too.

You won’t find the latest blockbuster movie on Etsy, but you can certainly find innovative crafts made by people in their homes that you can purchase to express your inner geek/fan/artist.

Etsy is also a great way for people who craft marketable items to make a little money on the side; setting up your own storefront on Etsy is easy and provides a lot of potential exposure. 

Like these other shopping sites, Etsy is available from the Etsy app and the desktop website.

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Google Shopping

Buy on Google.comWhat We Like

  • Perfect for quickly comparing prices across the entire crawlable web.
  • Extensive search filters tailored to individual products.
  • Track price changes to get the best deal.

What We Don’t Like

  • Search rankings are determined by advertising dollars rather than your specific query.
  • Paying for a premium Google listing isn’t an ideal way for small retailers to make money.

One of the most overlooked and quite powerful ways to shop at multiple popular stores at once is with Google Shopping. Just type whatever you’re wanting to order online, and Google will show results from dozens of stores.

You can filter the results by category, store, price, brand, type, features, and delivery estimate, and depending on the product, other options like screen size might be another filterable criteria.

Google Shopping is also helpful if you want to see only the products that are available near your location. Some items can be bought directly from Google, too, and might support Quick checkout for speedy purchases.

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Overstock.com

Buy on OverstockWhat We Like

  • Runs regular promotions and sales around holidays.
  • Unique ways to browse for products.
  • Club O members are entitled to price match guarantees and other deals.

What We Don’t Like

  • Customer service receives mixed reviews.
  • Extend warranties come with lots of exceptions.

Ever wondered what stores do with the stuff they over-order? Overstock.com is one answer to that question.

This shopping website holds tons of items in categories like furniture, home improvement, outdoor, rugs, apparel, kitchen, and many other departments. Visit the home page to see featured sales, top deals, and unique ways to shop, such as by room or style.

Once you’re viewing all the items from a search or other section of the site, there are tons of relevant filtering options. For example, if you’re looking for kitchen and dining room tables, you can filter them by price, shape, seating number, materials, color, base type, brand, finish, features, discount percentage, rating, and more.

The Overstock.com app lets you shop online from your phone or tablet, but it’s equally usable from their website.

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Zappos

Buy on ZapposWhat We Like

  • Customer service responds rapidly and reliably.
  • Free returns on items you decide you don’t want.

What We Don’t Like

  • Sometimes products arrive in generic boxes rather than their original packages.
  • Selection is mostly limited to apparel.

Zappos originally started with just shoes but has since expanded to offer all sorts of items, everything from women’s apparel to kids’ clothing, accessories for men, and handbags.

The website is organized well with WomenMenKidsBrandsDepartmentsBrands, and Sale being the major menu items. Within each of those sections are relevant subsections to drill down to what you want.

There’s also a page dedicated to Zappos Adaptive, which includes shoes, clothes, and other items built with a specific function in mind to make using them easier. There are easy on/off shoes, slip-ons, pull-on pants, magnetic jackets, medical wear, and more.

The Zappos online store is known in the shopping industry for its exemplary customer service, with many customer-submitted stories of Zappos’ employees going above and beyond to make sure their experiences are good.

You can access Zappos from their mobile app or the website link below.

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Wish

Buy on Wish.comWhat We Like

  • Direct shipping from China allows for unbelievably low prices.
  • Set up custom notifications for certain products and deals.

What We Don’t Like

  • Deliveries don’t always arrive promptly.
  • Has been known to deliver the wrong item.

Our Review of Wish 

Known by many as a cheap online shopping website, Wish is the place to go if you’re looking for extraordinary deals and interesting finds. If you can deal with the occasional long waits to get your item, the deals might be worth it.

Some of the categories you can browse through include hobbies, toys, gadgets, home decor, fashion, bottoms, shoes, and phone upgrades.

Blitz Buy is a section of this online shopping website where you can spin a wheel to get money off your purchase. Also, be sure to see the Express page for items that ship faster than the rest.

Due to its cheap prices, you’ll quickly find that Wish is an online shopping website that’s easy to spend loads of time on. Grab the Wish app for an even easier time shopping.

How to choose a smartphone by brand, carrier, or features

Choosing a smartphone for yourself or a loved one is no easy task. Smartphones are generally high-ticket but critically needed items, and there are ways to narrow down your choices so that you spend your money wisely for the most important features for you. Hundreds of available options can make your selection process overwhelming, especially if you’re not clear on your priorities. We can help you narrow down your choices by analyzing all considerations you need to confidently choose the best phone. Below are the major questions you need to answer.

For an in-depth look at what the current smartphone market has to offer, see our guides to the best smartphonesbest Android phones, and best cheap smartphones.

What’s your price range?

First, determine how much you’re willing to spend and how you want to spend it. If you’re an Apple customer, you already know that iPhones tend to be more costly than Android phones. However, a cheaper iPhone SE (2020) for around $400 may be the ideal budget phone for the iOS platform. Samsung is another relatively high-priced brand with models across the price range. On the lower end of the price scale, you’ll find brands like Nokia, Honor, and Motorola. You can save upfront costs with phones that are subsidized via a carrier that you can pay for in monthly installments over a year or two. While these financial arrangements won’t save money in the long run, they will make a more expensive phone with more features more affordable. Have a look at our roundup of the best cheap phones to get an idea of what’s out there. If you’re really on a tight budget, you can still buy a smartphone for $100 or less.

What features do you need?

Various new smartphones
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Start by drafting a list of the most critical features you need your smartphone to have. Use the list to compare devices. Ask yourself: Do you need a phone with a large screen? Do you prefer one that you can use one-handed? Are you looking for extended battery life or the best camera phone available? Do you need a lot of storage for your music or photo collection? Maybe you’re a frequent traveler and need a dual-SIM phone. Is 5G going to be part of the landscape in your area?

Which operating system do you prefer?

iPhone 11 Pro
Corey Gaskin / Digital Trends

There are only two smartphone operating systems worth considering: Android and iOS. Both are easy to use and support a wide variety of apps and games. While you can change from Android to iOS, or from iPhone to Android, there are learning curves in both directions. For familiarity, try to stick to whatever platform you’re used to — unless you really don’t like it and want to switch.

Android offers a wider choice of devices at different prices, more customization options, and Google’s excellent suite of services and apps built-in. If you already use Google Maps, Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Assistant, then Android may be the better choice for you, though you can download iOS versions of all of those tools from the App Store.

Apple’s iOS offers a more uniform, accessible experience, and operations are more secure alongside proprietary features like Siri, fingerprint scanning, FaceTime, and iCloud. The App Store and app quality are slightly better than Android due to Apple’s oversight of the app process. If you already have a MacBook or an iPad, an iPhone is probably going to make the most sense for you. You’ll also find an enormous choice of accessories for iPhones, something that can be limited for lesser-known Android devices.

For a more in-depth breakdown of the top two smartphone platforms, check out our guide to Android vs. iOS, where we compare them in various categories.

What are the most important specs?

Google Pixel 4
Corey Gaskin/Digital Trends

Listen critically to the salesperson at the store and then shop around to get hands-on experiences with different smartphones before buying one. If you don’t know much about specs, bring along a knowledgeable friend or family member. With more people shopping at home, you can still use chat apps and check forums and reviews for advice. Here are a few things to think about:

  • Design: If you want something you can use one-handed, try to pick it up and try it out. A lot of phones these days have glass on the front and back, which makes them fragile and prone to smudges. Check that the fingerprint sensor position suits you as well — on many phones, the sensor is on the back rather than the front. The right design for you should look and feel good.
  • Screen: You’re going to spend many hours gazing at the screen, so make sure it’s a good size for you and that it has a high resolution. We recommend a minimum of full HD, which is 1920 x 1080 pixels, or perhaps 2160 x 1080 pixels if the phone has a modern 18:9 aspect ratio. Anything that’s 1080p or higher will be sharp enough. In terms of the underlying technology, OLED screens have better contrast, with deeper blacks than LCD screens, and we prefer them overall. Some of Samsung’s Galaxy range and Apple’s iPhones feature AMOLED screens, but they can be pricey.
  • Performance: This will be determined by two main things: The processor and the RAM. The processor is the more important consideration, and newer is generally better in terms of both speed and power efficiency. Apple’s A-series chipset tends to outperform the competition. For an Android phone, Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus is the current cream of the crop. It’s debatable how much RAM you need in a smartphone, but we recommend looking for at least 4GB, at least for Android models. This doesn’t apply to iPhones, however, because they handle memory management differently and don’t require as much RAM. If in doubt, read reviews or play with your prospective smartphone in a store to test it.
  • Operating system: If you buy a new iPhone, then you’ll get the latest version of iOS, but this isn’t always the case with Android phones. Because the manufacturers often apply their own user interfaces on top of Android, it can take a while to get the latest updates. You may not get future versions of Android upon their releases, or even at all if the manufacturer decides not to update. Only stock Android phones from Google, such as the Pixel 5, are guaranteed to get immediate and consistent Android updates. The current version to look for is Android 11. Always try to get the latest version you can.
  • Camera: Smartphone cameras have greatly improved over the last few years. The choice can be bewildering, but note that good camera performance is about a lot more than just a high megapixel count. If you’re able to test the phone out for yourself, you certainly should, but you’ll also find useful information in reviews. We do numerous camera shootouts here at Digital Trends.
  • Bloatware: Be aware of bloatware or hobbled features, especially with Android. Sometimes carriers block specific features or change defaults. Carriers and manufacturers often add a lot of superfluous apps, and you may not be able to uninstall them.
  • Battery life: Removable batteries are rare these days, so you want a phone that can keep up with you. Check the consensus on battery life in reviews. The mAh rating will give you some indication, but the capacity is also impacted by the screen size, resolution, and software, so you need to look beyond the number.
  • Storage: The latest smartphones generally come with enough storage built-in. When 16GB phones were common, which already had used up 10GB out of the box, you could run out of space alarmingly fast. A minimum of 32GB is good, but 64GB is better. Much depends on how you use your phone. You’ll obviously need more space if you like to load your music or photo collection. Having a MicroSD card slot allows you to expand your storage space relatively cheaply. However, Apple never includes MicroSD card slots, so this is something you’ll find only in some Android devices.
  • Durability: If you buy a predominantly glass phone, and you’ve got butterfingers, make sure to buy a protective case. You should also get a phone with some water-resistance. The top flagships tend to have IP67 or IP68 ratings nowadays, which means they can be submerged in water without damage. Many budget phones also come with some water-resistance.

Choose a wireless carrier

AT&T Store

It’s important to choose a carrier that offers good coverage in your area so you’ll have a strong signal. We recommend doing a little research at Open Signal, where you’ll find comprehensive coverage maps for different areas and carriers. Simply enter your location and pick a carrier to see what the coverage is like where you live and work. If you want to be able to do data-intensive things without Wi-Fi — like stream video or play multiplayer games — make sure that 4G coverage is good in your area. Newer phones, like the iPhone 12 range, are now also incorporating 5G, but that protocol is still in the early stages in most places, so it’s likely not a huge priority as yet. If you intend to hold on to your phone for several years, however, 5G will become a factor in your buying decision.

The main network choices are Verizon, AT&T, and the recently merged T-Mobile/Sprint, but there are other carriers, too, such as MetroPCS, Boost, Cricket, and Virgin, that may be worth considering. If you plan to buy your smartphone from your carrier along with your service, make sure that they offer the phone you want. We recommend buying an unlocked phone when possible because it will work out to be cheaper in the long run and give you the freedom to change carriers in the future.

Pick a service plan

There are hundreds of different cell phone service plans on the market today, and market competition can mean lower prices for consumers. However, you’ll need to shop around a bit to find the best deal. These days, choosing the best and cheapest plan is easier than ever. We’ve done some of the legwork for you already by looking for the best family plansbest unlimited data plans, and best cheap phone plans.

If you aren’t ready to jump plans right now but still want to save some cash on your monthly bill, you can always try to negotiate a better deal with your carrier. Check out offers from competing providers. If you find one with a lower price, it could be worth the call to your current provider. Ask to speak with the customer retention department because they have the authority and time to work with you, apply discounts, and share incentives to keep you with the company. 

Service providers will try to sell you the most expensive plan they can manage most of the time. Do your due diligence and consider the features you actually need before talking to your carrier. If you have a reliable Wi-Fi setup at home and work, you may not need unlimited data plans. Data is where you’ll be able to negotiate the bulk of your savings because domestic texts and calls are pretty cheap

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