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The Internet has changed many aspects of our lives, including the way we communicate with each other, how we keep track of our finances, how we do research, and even where and how we buy things. E-Commerce has been revolutionizing the business world, growing steadily every year in breadth and depth. The Census Bureau reported that 2003 first quarter U.S. e-commerce sales totaled $11.9 billion, a 25.9% increase from last year's first quarter.

There are a variety of ways to purchase things online, and many traditional methods of purchasing things are becoming obsolete because of the convenience and speed of online transactions. Online Auctions offer sellers the ability to reach a worldwide marketplace from their own home, and offers buyers an immense amount of products along with the flexibility of naming their own price. Travelers now have the opportunity to bargain shop for airline tickets, a luxury that was unheard of before travel sites and airlines sold airline tickets online. Even established retailers that have sold their products in the same way for decades have had to offer their products online to compete with emerging retail sites such as Amazon.com.

Buying and selling online is quickly becoming a major source of business in America and throughout the world. As the Internet continues to grow and influence our lives even more, there is no telling how far e-commerce will develop. The following are just some of the aspects of e-commerce that have flourished in recent years and promise to continue to change the way we make purchases.

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