About ShopWithTrust.com


This web site is focused on helping people develop comfort, confidence, and trust with online shopping. More specifically, I want to reach out to Baby Boomers and Retirees who, in growing numbers, may face health challenges that limit their level of activity. I want to teach them that the internet can compensate for many of these challenges.

Life Changing Experience Creates Seed for ShopWithTrust.com

Founder of Shop With Trust

In 2004, I was 31 and newly married. I kept busy by building my professional career, participating on a community planning board, working out at the gym, going out with friends, and enjoying marriage. Just as all seemed to be going well, I suddenly fell ill with fever and pneumonia. For someone who was used to running around at 100 mph, even competing in a triathlon, being laid up in bed was quite a change in pace. What I thought would be temporary slow down, turned into a life changing crawl as the random virus caused a collapsed lung and congestive heart failure.

I became acutely aware of the challenges facing those who lack mobility. For a few months, the only times I left home were to make doctors visits. When my energy began to return with the help of medications and operations, I became determined to become self-sufficient once again. I would venture out to the store for necessities only to find myself too tired once I finally found a parking spot. The handicapped spots were usually all filled up while all of the other close spots were filled by those in a hurry. (I used to be someone who competed for the best parking spot but this experience has taught me to leave the precious spots for those who have greater challenges than me.)

Finding the energy to make it into one store was a victory. Now consider how much energy it would take to stroll through a shopping mall. I eventually made it into a shopping mall over a year later. However, the experience created the first seed of an idea to create a web site where people who are limited in their mobility can quickly access the stores they are used to seeing at the local shopping mall.

A Seed Grows As the Internet Takes Me Everywhere I Want to Be

After spending most of my first six months in bed, I was still quite limited in my mobility but I had enough energy to put in a few hours a day on the internet. The power of the internet allowed me to work from home and start making some money once again and it put me in touch by video with family members. Teaching my dad how to use the internet from 3,000 miles away was not easy. Once he finally got the video going, he would accidentally hit the mouse and a new screen would pop up in front of our video conversation. I would spend minutes helping him figure out how to bring the video back to the front where he could see it. Things that I took for granted were a new world for him. Each time we met online, he would forget how we did something the last time or he would run into a new stumbling block. We would spend 45 minutes getting him acclimated to using the internet for a 15 minute video conversation. When I shared this story with friends, I was surprised to learn most could relate as they were having the same experiences in teaching their parents to use the internet.

Going Online is Becoming a Requirement

My dad finally got up-to-speed. One day, he called to make an airport parking reservation in Philadelphia, only to find out parking reservations would no longer be taken over the phone. He was required to go online.

Nowadays, many services that used to be handled for free over the phone, such as booking airline tickets or obtaining bank account information, now incur a fee. To get it free, you have to go online. As you can see, going online is becoming less of an option and more of a requirement. Those who think they are too old to learn the internet or don't think they need to learn the internet, may need to think again. As a family member of someone who avoids the internet, you may want to teach them to get comfortable online. Otherwise, they will end up depending on you more than any previous generation of aging parents because of the added dynamic of needing to obtain things from the internet.

Scary Headlines Solidifies the Idea Behind ShopWithTrust.com

To turn my idea into reality, I bought books on web programming and scoured the internet for helpful advice on building a web site. I created basic internet lessons based on the help I gave to my dad. I added links to retailers I recognized from my local mall. It was coming together. I proudly presented the web site to my parents and asked them to try shopping online using ShopWithTrust.com. That's when my mom asked, "Do I have to use my credit card online?".

My parents love to watch the news and were swept up in the attention grabbing headlines - 'Credit Card Theft is Thriving Online', 'Computer Hackers Steal Sensitive Information'. After all the work I had put in to reach this point, this potential show stopper made my heart skip a beat. My heart already had enough challenges. Even if I could convince the internet hold-outs that some of life's challenges could be become overcome by going online, how could I convince them that it was safe.

I never had a problem in the 10 years I had been shopping online. However, my experience alone was not going to be enough to convince my parents, nor anyone else's. So, it was time to research whether I was just lucky not to have any problems shopping online or are the news headlines taking issues out of context and creating unnecessary fear. Fortunately, it was the latter. I found ample resources, including the Better Business Bureau and Visa, to back up my personal online shopping experience, which I've documented in my lesson on Shopping Safely Online.

In Summary

ShopWithTrust.com has come to symbolize:

  • The need to help everyone learn the basics to navigate the internet starting with our Internet for Beginners Tutorial. Also, note we have placed a quick link reference to each lesson near the top of the right column of each page of the web site. As I learned teaching my dad, sometimes you need a quick reminder. Although we might take basic movements on the computer for granted, it is a whole world for newbies to absorb.
  • Providing accessibility to as many users as possible, no matter what handicap for computers they may have. Read more in our Lesson on Web Accessibility. Also, note the ability to easily increase the size of text on this page using a feature at the top of the right column.
  • Teaching how to shop online. Learn how to find what you want, how to place it in your shopping cart, how to check out, how to avoid shipping costs, how to track delivery, and more.
  • Keeping as much familiarity as possible. I get a lot of recommendations for good online-only stores to add to the web site. However, the online beginner is already absorbing a lot of new information as they get comfortable online. ShopWithTrust.com will stick with names people have come to trust in their offline world. The only online-only store we have included so far is Amazon, because of its longevity and thus publicity in the offline world. See all of our retailers by visiting All Retail Stores, Groceries and Other Favorites, and Travel Providers. We have also provided helpful links to information regarding each retailer.
  • Overcoming fear of using a credit card online by learning how to Shop Safely Online.
  • Expanding on the newfound experience of surfing the internet by taking Advanced Lessons, such as using online video to chat with distant friends and family to using time-saving toolbars and shortcuts.


Although ShopWithTrust.com has evolved around the idea of making sure all baby boomers and retirees become comfortable online, we realize there are experienced users who will find this web site useful. It is the only online shopping web site that limits its listing of stores to those we are most familiar with in our simpler, offline world. It is one of the very few web sites that is built with the goal of maximum accessibility no matter what handicap or disability one may endure. It is also one of the few that provides its own RSS feed and the RSS feeds for popular retailers.

Think of someone you know who could benefit from this web site and email it to them today. To get ideas on who may benefit, read our article on who to email. Thank you for reading our story.

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