Wedding Gown Shopping: Watch Out for Cheap Imitations

Ever since you were a little girl you’ve dreamed of the gown you’d wear on your wedding day. Well the time has come for you to finally start the search for that perfect fairytale dream dress. But sometimes, the experience of looking for your dream gown isn’t always a dream. I’ve heard countless horror stories of brides being ripped off by cheap imitation gowns online. This alarming new trend is occurring more often, especially now during the economic hardship. So to avoid all this pain and suffering follow our basic suggestions to keep in mind when buying your wedding dress.

Many brides find the dream gown, but can’t always afford the not-so-dream price tag. So they turn to the world wide web to see if they can get the deal of a lifetime on eBay, or some other online store. Trust us when we say if it looks too good to be true…. IT IS! Rule number one: do not deal with unauthorized gown dealers. To make sure a merchant is an authorized dealer check the designers website. They generally have a “find a location” button; it is there you will find all the reputable stores that sell their gowns.

Some (not all) online eBay stores may not be authorized sellers of the designer gowns. They steal the images of very popular designer gowns and sell them for unbelievably cheap prices like $300 (yea that cheap). If you do order a gown from a site like this you will get a gown that looks sort of similar, but the quality will be terrible. The gown will come in cheaper fabric, different bead detailing, sometimes different zipper detailing (picture will show buttons, but will come with a zipper) and just overall will be a terrible cheap imitation. Many times brides make the mistake of ordering gowns like these and they arrive too late for you to notice the mistake and order another dress from a reputable salon. So please beware when purchasing a gown from online stores.

Although there are many sites trying to scam you, there are several reputable sites you can turn to, to order your dream gown online. Online retailers such as Ann Taylor and J. Crew make their gowns true to size and description and make it easy to order, return or exchange if there is a problem.

If you really dream of owning a designer gown that seems to be out of your reach financially, you may want to pay attention to our last tip. At the end of each season many salons have what they call “blow out sales” or “designer discount sales”. These sales provide huge savings on previous season designs that the stores have to get ride of in order to get new shipments of gowns in. The best way to go about this is to call around to local salons to see when the sales begin and make an appointment to go. Keep in mind gowns sold at these sales are sold as is, but if it fits and looks great you’ll be getting a designer gown at an excellent price.

Find more helpful wedding tips, ideas and advice at []

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Online Credit Card Shopping – Watch Out For Online Fraudsters!

The internet is perhaps one of the most phenomenal barrier breakers when it comes to communication and knowledge. With the internet access to information became global and today information on almost any issue is available online. Also with this came concepts of virtual shops and e-shops that exist only within the net. These websites allow you to use their online credit card payment and acceptance ability. Once they verify and approve your credit card payment, they deliver your order to your doorstep. This is truly convenience at its very best as you do not have to do much than sit at your computer to get what you want.

The number e-shops today are increasing by the dozen and usage of online credit cards is becoming more and more popular. Shopping has received an entirely new dimension with the advent of online credit card payments. Now it is not only possible to shop from home but also get discounts on a variety of products. This is truly amazing. There is no requirement to worry about bad weather and no traffic jams and other hassles. Just go online, visit an e-shop and select your product and use your online credit card payment-acceptance option. Your order will reach you in no time. Another advantage of this card processing facility is that starting an online business has become incredibly easy.

However, there are always ups and downs to everything. One disadvantage of using an online credit card is fraud of online credit card. There are two ways in which this fraud can take place. The first is regarding the company who owns the website on which you made your credit card payment. This company could be a fake company, that is, it might take your payment and not deliver your product.

They can also use the details that you fill for payment with fraudulent intentions. Fraudsters who steal online credit card details by using different devices/software cause the second fraud. These details can captured when you supply the site with these for your online payment. This software are called spyware and the fraudsters use them for online spying. The spyware either takes screenshots of what you do on your computer or capture keystrokes and then passes this information to a spy. There are, thankfully, many anti-spyware software which are available to counter such actions.

Overall, the ability to use online credit cards is a terrific advantage to us. But in doing this, strict caution must be exercised and care should be taken while disclosing details. Do not use internet cafes to make card payments and access bank accounts unless you are positively sure about the reliability of the café.

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Garage Insurance – Used Car Dealers and Repair Shops Watch Those Symbols

Garage insurance is a much misunderstood policy form. Many professional insurance agents are confused about exactly when to use it and more importantly exactly how. You can use a garage liability policy to protect a used car dealer, often referred to as dealer’s insurance, or you can use this same form to protect an automotive repair shop or to set up body shop insurance. The trick is to know the symbols. If you own a car dealership or an automotive repair shop and are purchasing insurance for your business, it is advisable that you find an agent who specializes in the garage insurance form to help you with this purchase so you don’t end up with the wrong form and perhaps find yourself without coverage after a large loss.

As I mentioned earlier, both types of businesses, auto repair and or body shops and used car dealers both need the garage policy. But exactly what kind of operations are covered in these policies is driven by the symbols shown on the policy. This is very important. If your business is automotive repair or body work but your policy is set up with symbols that would apply to a car dealership, you could find yourself without coverage in the event of a liability loss.

So how do you know if you have the correct symbols and thus the correct form? Pull out your garage policy and look at the first page. Beside each type of coverage, usually to the left, there will be a least one two digit number between 21 and 31. These symbols will describe what is protected by the coverage shown beside that symbol. Here is a list of the most common symbols and what each one protects:

Symbol 21 Any auto
Symbol 22 All owned autos
Symbol 23 Owned private passenger autos only
Symbol 24 Owned autos other than private passenger
Symbol 25 Owned autos subject to no fault laws
Symbol 26 Owned autos subject to Uninsured Motorists law
Symbol 27 Specifically described autos
Symbol 28 Hired autos only
Symbol 29 Non-Owned autos used in the Garage Business
Symbol 30 Autos Left for Service/Repair/Storage
Symbol 31 Autos on Consignment

As you have probably figured out, if you are an automobile dealer and you have symbol 30 on your policy, you would find yourself without coverage. So why not just put symbol 21 on all coverages? Well, since code 21 is the broadest coverage, you would have to pay more for this insurance policy and in some cases you might be purchasing insurance protection that you didn’t really need.

Take some time to look at your policy carefully and review the symbols for each line of coverage to make sure that they are appropriate for the work you do. If you need help with this process, consult your agent. If you agent doesn’t specialize in businesses needing garage policy, ie dealers insurance and auto repair shop insurance, then find one who does. This protection is just too important to leave up to an agent who is practicing on the job learning on your policies.

Wake Clinard is the President of Clinard Insurance Group, a full service insurance agency located in Winston Salem, NC. Wake is dedicated to helping businesses involved in the automobile industry from used car dealers to repair and body shops to auto parts stores. Clinard Insurance is the go to market for used car dealers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia.

You can read Wake’s blogs and access help with your Garage Insurance by visiting his Used Car Dealer site at http: or by visiting him on the web at You can also get help with your Garage Insurance policy by calling, toll free, to 877-687-7557.

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Shop Watch – The Benefits of Good Radio Communications

The introduction of a radio communications system to aid local shopkeepers in the fight against crime has proven to be an invaluable asset in many towns and cities throughout the UK. When shopkeepers have an instant and effective means of alerting each other and the Police to convicted and potential shoplifters, suddenly crime ceases to be rewarding for those involved. Even cheque and credit card fraud become less inviting in a town where local shops can inform each other of a suspect transaction.

Leek Shopwatch was taken over by The Communications Company in December 2002. A new Motorola Eurobase was installed with a UHF 4 stack antenna. All the users were issued with Motorola professional range of Motorola GP340s.

24 shops in Leek benefit from the system, co-ordinated by WPC Sarah Wilkinson and Chris Brown on their own Shopwatch radios. Leek Shopwatch is also monitored by Leek Police Station using a Motorola GM349 local base ensuring immediate response to any urgent calls and the latest Photofit files of known convicted local offenders are distributed to all shops on the scheme.

Leek Town Centre Co-ordinator Mike Cozens has said, “At the moment there are 24 retailers engaged in the scheme and I have been encouraging the town to develop it further. It’s an important scheme to have in terms of crime and deterrent and it does work and has had many successes in aiding the arrest of shoplifters”. See blog, “Shopwatch score a major success”.

In any industry Radio Communications are vital to the efficiency of an operation. It doesn’t matter if you are running a local town event, or helping to organise and run an Olympic ceremony. When you only have seconds to communicate a decision a good communication infrastructure is vital.

Ian has been working on a web site for The Communications company, a Motorola recognised reseller, who provide Radio Hire, sales and repair services. With offices based in London and Staffordshire they can easily provide you with radio equipment on short or long term hire at very competitive rates.

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