4 Most important Points to consider While Finding a New Auto Repair shop September 16, 2016

Whoever owns a car has always a trusted auto repair shop in his/her locality. However, when someone moves to a new city, he needs to find everything from scratch. Just like you need to find a new house, a new telephone connection, and a new doctor, you should also find a trusted auto services center that can help you in maintaining your vehicle. Looking for an auto shop near your new house right in the beginning will give you ample time to search and find out the best and will make it easier for you to deal with car problems in emergency situations. Given below are few tips that will make it easier for you to find a good and trusted automobile shop:

Visit Different Shops and Check their Equipment
You can make an online search and quickly find out the list of these shops located in your vicinity. You can then shortlist a few and visit them. Make sure that the auto technicians are using advanced equipment needed to diagnose problems with modern day vehicles. If you find it difficult to determine the quality of equipment they are using, feel free to ask. Even though you are not much knowledgeable about different types of vehicle equipment, you can still get an idea.

Inquire About their Rates and Services
While you are visiting the shop, look around to check if they are clean and organized. You can inquire about their hourly rates, prices of replacement parts, quality of repairs made, fair shop rates, etc. You can also ask customers present there about their experiences in using the services of the auto shop. Don’t forget to ask the customers about their consistent quality service and customer care department

Check their Certifications
Certifications are given to auto technicians only after they pass a rigorous review process. Therefore, a certified auto repair shop is always better than non-certified ones. Check if the shop has any certifications from car manufacturers.

Check for Complaints with BBB
You can check with the local Better business bureau to ensure that no complaints are filed against the repair shop. Whether the repair shops are part of BBB or not, they can still have complaints about the shop and their services.

It is important to take care of the above mentioned points and search for the right auto center in the new city. Even though it may take time, but a little patience and some effort will help you find the right auto repair shop much before you need it.

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Categories: Shopping

Where to Do Shopping in China

With a rich culture and deep rooted tradition, China is the third largest country in the world and the largest in terms of population. The exotic landscapes, world famous historical sites, and endless adventure make it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and every year legions of travelers flock to the city for business and leisure. Besides the various tourist attractions that make a China trip truly mesmerizing, other amazing things to do in the country include adventure sports, eating out, and shopping.

Shopping is perhaps one of the biggest attractions that pull tourists towards the various cities in China, especially Hog Kong which is home to lavish shopping malls, traditional market places, and several street shops worth exploring. China has some great shopping places that will delight your senses and leave you totally mesmerized.

When it comes to department stores, you will find them in large numbers in almost every city in China, and most of them are located in the high street. These department stores make shopping in China real fun and easy. The class and size of these stores may vary widely depending on the area and the city. These are the best places to find the items for daily use, and you will get them at much cheaper rates than any commonplace shop or boutique. So, if you want a daily use item in China don’t feel lost, just find your way to the nearest department stores. If you are good at bargaining, you may get a good deal at the department stores.

There is no dearth of large scale and lavish shopping malls in China and they are mostly situated in the main downtown area or shopping districts. These shopping malls not only house the domestic bands but they also have popular international labels. You will find everything in these shopping malls ranging from the cheap daily supplies and household appliances to the branded clothes and cosmetics. Although bargaining does not work here, tourists and locals can take advantage of the special promotions and season sales. The tourists can enjoy shopping at these malls or simply relax during their leisure.

Besides the supermarkets and shopping malls, the business districts in the various distinctive Chinese cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou, Xian, and Guangzhou also offer great shopping opportunities. You can find the local products on sale at the popular business streets situated across the country, thus making it easier for the business travelers to shop for antiques and souvenirs. The popular Hongqiao Market in Beijing is also known as the Pearl Market, and it attracts mostly female tourists looking for authentic yet cheap jewelry. There are also many other characteristic shopping arcades in the business districts that exclusively sell jade articles, handicraft, silk and embroidery, painting and calligraphy, furnishings, crockery, boutiques, musical instruments, flowers or food.

If you are planning a trip to China, you are sure to have a great time sightseeing the various historical monuments and cultural sites in the country, but besides these you will also enjoy shopping at the various traditional markets and high end shopping malls in China.

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Categories: Shopping

Virgin Islands Shopping – St Thomas

Aside from pristine beaches, best beach bars and the laidback tropical vibe, St. Thomas in the united states Virgin Islands is also known for great shopping opportunities. Duty free shops, souvenir stores and name-brand boutiques; you name it, you got it. If you ever get around St. Thomas on your next Virgin Islands trip, these are definitely the places to do best buy shopping.

Charlotte Amalie Main Streets

Charlotte Amalie has the greatest density of stores in all of the USVI, which means more opportunities to find yourself something nice – and maybe more. Main streets like, Dronningens Gade (aptly named as Main Street), Backstreet, and Waterfront are all crowded with shops, so does the alleys that connect them. Most establishments are settled in historical buildings, which allow you to save time by condensing shopping and site-seeing in one trip.

In between shopping, you can dine in small restaurants and bars located along this bustling shopping district. Shops and stores open at 9am and closes at 5pm, from Mondays to Saturday. While most of them close at 1pm on Sundays, some might stay open up until 3 pm, depending on ships docking at port.

Vendor’s Plaza

Vendor’s Plaza, located across the Emancipation Park and Fort Christian in Charlotte Amalie, is a venue for small booths, tables and tents selling a variety of souvenir items. If you’re looking for silver jewelry, skirts, dresses, t-shirts, imitation bags and watches, this is the place to hit up. Pate and ice cream stands are also available to provide refreshments for shoppers famished and thirsty from a day of souvenir hunting. The shops are open from 7: 30am to 5: 00pm; Mondays to Saturdays. The number of vendors setting up shop on Sundays depends on the number of ships at dock.

Havensight

Made primarily for cruise ship travellers, Havensight is conveniently located right next to St. Thomas’ premier marina complex. The shopping area is the second largest cluster of stores in all of St. Thomas, which consists of Havensight shopping center, Buccanneer Mall and the Port of Sale. If you have your eyes set on cheap jewelry, clothes, perfumes, electronics, local and imported rum, this place is indeed a haven. When ships are in port, the mall opens at 9am to 5pm every day, including holidays. Shopping hours are from 10am-3pm otherwise.

With the myriad of stores, items and great savings, the shopping options at St. Thomas in the USVI are endless. One of the best things about shopping in the Virgin Islands is haggling. Most family run stores would love to let you haggle your way to a bargain, so always have your shopping savvy on the ready.

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Categories: Shopping

Five Easy to Follow Online Shopping Tips

While earlier the internet only connected people, today it has created a boom by connecting businesses. The internet today has come out as a new medium for shopping. Online shopping has grown enormously popular and is one of the fastest growing businesses across the globe. Shopping today has surpassed the boundaries of visiting malls, shopping outlets and stores. Online shopping has changed the old-fashioned ways of shopping. Everyone, be it the men or the women, younger generation or the older, all are going online and shopping. Today a lot of companies are creating online stores and hence creating their social presence. There are stores to cater both to the needs of sellers and buyers.

No matter, what kind of products you are looking for, you can find almost everything on the internet. Online shopping provides you with the convenience of shopping 24/7 without actually moving around. It provides you with the ease of having all the products under one roof. The product range in online shopping is mind boggling. There are huge bargain offers and the shipping of the product is really fast. You can have the product at your doorstep without actually moving out of your home.

Online shopping today has become more of a routine rather than a hobby. Billions of people today shop online. The combination of speed, convenience, diverse range of products, good deals on the product and the option of sending the product back if unsatisfied has made us addicted to online shopping. It has become so rampant also because people are saved from the pain of standing in long queues at the cash counter. But we must also remember to be careful while shopping online. You not only need your credit card but also a little awareness while shopping online. Here are five easy to follow online shopping tips:

Tip 1: Always shop from trusted websites
Always look for trusted, well known and respectable online retailers. With many E-shopping portals coming up, you need to be extra careful while shopping. Websites that are certified by Internet Trust Organizations such as ‘BB online’, must be preferred since they protect your privacy. Beware of misspellings and resist the temptation of the enticing sales.

Tip 2: Identify a secure web transaction
Never, ever buy anything from a website that doesn’t have SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption installed. One way to know whether the site has SSL is to confirm that the site starts from HTTPS://, instead of just an HTTP. Also a padlock symbol appears on the URL in the address bar.

Tip 3: keep it a secret
Always keep your personal details a secret. Never shell out details about your credit card or any other bank details unless absolute necessary. Be careful when it comes to entering personal information. Giving away too much information can give the hackers the required edge.

Tip 4: Be careful while using network
If you are thinking of using a public terminal to shop online, think again. If you still want to go ahead with the public terminals, remember to log out every time. Even if you are doing something as simple as checking a mail, be attentive. Also always use trusted Wi-Fi connection or better a privatized one. Also inoculate your computer with antivirus software.

Tip 5: keep checking statements
Never wait for the month end to go and check your bank statements. Go regularly to check your statements i. e. your credit, debit statements. Keep checking your online shopping receipts via mail. Keep a check for any sort of changes in the statement. If you find anything inappropriate address the issue immediately.

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Categories: Shopping

Top 5 Duty-Free Shopping Destinations in the Caribbean

A Caribbean vacation is not complete without shopping, particularly Duty-free shopping. While tax-exempt shops are found virtually at any airports and ports in the region, certain stations have more shops and boutiques that offer more discounts — up to 40 percent! These island destinations even allow tourists to take advantage of bringing limited quantity of goods back home from their Caribbean trip tax-free.

St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands

St. Thomas’ capital city, Charlotte Amalie, is the top hub for tax-free shopping in the Caribbean. It houses literally hundreds of tax exempt shops along its primary streets; Main Street, Back Street, and Waterfront Street, as well as their connecting alleys. Here you’ll find anything from jewelry, clothing, cameras, rum and other kinds of alcohol. The Havensight Mall fronting St. Thomas harbor is another popular destination for non-taxed shopping. US visitors enjoy a special exemption at St. Thomas, wherein they are allowed to bring up to $1, 600 worth of goods free of tax.

Philipsburg, St. Maarten

Front Street on Philipsburg is a mile long stretch of duty-free shopping, with more than two dozen shops! Popular goods include jewelry, tobacco products, leather goods, local liquor, as well as a wide selection of flavored rums. Most designer products are offered at discount rates that often reach up to 40% — lower than US retail prices. Some of the name-brand boutiques available here are Tiffany, Tommy Hilfiger, Faconnable, Cartier, and Lalique.

Nassau, Bahamas

Bay Street in Nassau has the most concentration of non-taxed shops in the Bahamas, which offers anything from liquor, crystals, china, photography equipment, watches and perfumes. If you’re looking for handicrafts and other souvenir items, head over to Nassau’s famous Straw Market. Most shops entertain haggling, so bring along any shopping savvy you might possess.

George Town, Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman is among the world’s heavyweight when it comes to tax-free shopping. Shops in the capital, George Town, are conveniently located within walking distances of the cruise terminal. Tourists are treated with designer watches, china, jewelry, perfume, crystals, rare coins, and many more goods at bargain prices.

Broad Street and Sunset Crest, Barbados

Broad Street in Bridgetown, Barbados is the center for duty-free shops and department stores with big name brands. Check out discounted luxury items like jewelry, name-brand clothing, cosmetics and appliances. Sunset Crest’s Madison Duty Free Inc., located at the West Coast Mall is famous for carrying designer clothes and garments; linen outfits, cocktail dresses, shoes and other accessories.

Along with snorkeling, beach bar crawling, duty-free shopping has been associated with a Caribbean vacation. Should you find yourself in the vibrant tropical region of the Caribbean, you know where to do your shopping.

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Categories: Shopping

Useful Security Tips for Safe Online Shopping

If you are hesitant to do online shopping or payments, this article will give you the best security tips so that you may go ahead and shop online without worry about safety and security of using personal information online. I have a few tips for those who do want to enjoy the benefits of shopping from home and those who want to get a break from running around to pay bills. This is also for all my friends who want to, but are afraid to transact online for fear of sharing financial information.

Shop with a credit card, not a debit card – Credit cards always have better protection and support from the card companies, so just in case something goes wrong, the have the authority to stop/cancel the transaction within some time period. On debit cards however, the money goes as you pay. So, even if you have protection, the money is already gone.

Use one card for all your online shopping – It is easier to keep track of transactions on one card and you will be able to check your statement easily.

Use one computer (preferably password locked) for online shopping – When you shop online frequently, use same computer and have a login password enabled on it. It is not just for security from unwary users, but also a protection from some viruses (namely trojans).

Use newly opened browser for all online shopping or payments – Always close all windows of the browser and open afresh for online shopping. Also do not open multiple tabs for shopping and surfing. For surfing, use another different browser. For example if you use Google chrome for shopping, then for surfing at same time, use Internet explorer or Firefox or Opera.

Always close browser window after completing purchase – Even if you have to surf net afterwards, close the browser windows once and then open again. This is very important as you may have noticed that even banks ask you to close window after you log out (it is important to close not just tab but all the browser windows). The explanation for the and previous point lies in the fact that browsers store information on your computers in “cookies”. Reliable sites delete important security information on closing of browser though unimportant personal info may be retained.

Never click on links in emails – Even if the mail is from someone you know, do not click on links in emails. It can be a potential source of viruses and hence security compromise on your pc. Who can be sure if your known contact’s computer isn’t security compromised.

Check the site name and URL in the browser address bar – When proceeding to pay for a purchase, always keep an eye on the site name and URL in the address bar of the browser(that is where you type the site URL for going to the site). It will either be starting with same site name of will be the third party site like PayPal, CCAvenue, etc. Check the third party site (if you are not sure) to be a payment gateway before you make payment.

Look for SSL sign/padlock in browser address bar – Before making payment, check for https:// in the address bar URL and for the SSL sign. SSL means data is sent encrypted over the net and only target site can decode it. (When a SSL Digital Certificate is installed on a web site, users can see a padlock icon at the bottom area of the navigator)

Use a latest and updated browser – You may use any operating system like Windows, Linux (Ubuntu, Fedora etc) or mac but use the newer browsers for online shopping. A new and updated browser will have less security loopholes and better viewer experience too. Avoid using older browsers like IE6/IE7.

General Precautions as for any shopping – Last advice, but not the least, as for all shopping, do get a gist of the fine print on the site like shipping details and time, warranty info, replacement policy, money back guarantee terms etc. For this I would suggest you shop online only on reputed sites which are well established and used. These sites invest in infrastructure and security and hence are more suitable for a good shopping experience online.

Use price comparison sites for faster and foolproof shopping – This is not exactly a safety tip, but is a smart shopping guideline. Price comparison sites usually present prices from various reputed online shopping stores in one place and you may try them for getting a good deal.

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Categories: General

Local Flower Shop Vs Florist Online

With almost every home having a computer and the convenience of the internet, it has made buying and getting flower arrangements delivered to friends and family so much easier and less time consuming than ever before. Is this actually all correct information or is the public being fooled?

It appears that now-a-days Florist shops are fighting to keep businesses alive, mostly because internet companies are pretending to be local live flower shops. While these internet florists have the revenue to pay internet sites to increase their ratings as “local florists”, the actual local Florist is pushed down lower on the search engine receiving less business. The majority of people don’t even know they’re not talking to a local Florist and are fooled from the beginning.

In reality this is costing the local Florists tons of business and essentially putting some out of business. The “middle man” flower shop individuals are ordering from creates several problems with ordering issues and even delivery issues. Most cases the customer is paying much more money than what the “filling local florist” is receiving because of unnecessary fees the customer is paying.

In order to battle this issue with trying to cut out and be aware of who the middle man is, there are a few things to look at.

First, when you go to the florists website make sure you see that they have local information (such as phone number and address located where the flowers are being sent).

Make sure the site has information about their shop, such as a section of the site that shows who they are and about the local flower shop. All local shops will have sections on their site that explains their business in more detail.

Check on the Flower Shops site for a ‘Facebook’ link or ‘blog’. This is a way to see the shops individual photographs and also the information from customers who have used them in the past.

Another good way to see if a business is local and accredited is to research a major search engine for the shops name and city. See if they have reviews from previous customers and what they say.

If you decide to call the local flower shop, you can find they probably have more than just flowers. They may have fun and corky gifts as well. That can be fun to send with the arrangements that you have chosen. Also, when talking to the designer personally, you can usually get a better idea of what exactly will be sent (since not always will the flowers you choose be in stock).

If you want to send out a flower arrangement and are out of the area, it is always a better idea to deal with a live and local flower shop. When dealing with a personal florist, most of the time you can talk to the designer creating your arrangement. You receive more for the money that you spend and you can create a relationship with a local business for future transactions.

With all his information, the next time you decide to order flowers to a loved one, try to find a true local flower shop. If you plan on going to visit the person you are sending flower to, stop by the local florist shops location and introduce yourself. Everyone likes to see a face to a voice and name.

If you are having a hard time finding a local florist, go directly to Google. Type in the City, State and “local florist” in the search box. After the paid advertisements you will find a list of florist shops that have A, B, C etc in front of them. Along the right side of your monitor you will find a map that corresponds to where those flower shops are located. Those are local florists.

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Categories: General

How to Use Networking to market Your Tattoo Shop and Bring in Customers

Networking is a great way to share the customer pool in a specific location. The true definition of networking is a group of people who exchange information or contacts. The best ways to bring in new customers, or market your shop when it comes to networking is networking directly with customers, with other shops, and with local businesses.

Networking with Customers

A great way to network directly with customers, and potential customers, is to hold an event. Having an event at your shop can bring in people who previously hadn’t thought of looking at your shop, or perhaps are on the fence about getting a tattoo, or didn’t know where to get one. Check out your local event websites for your area to see what type of events are popular. Having refreshments of some sort also will draw in potential customers. (Think cookies, fruit plates, crackers, drinks, etc. )#)

Some events include:

Meet the artists/information session
Art openings/displaying art in the shop
Welcoming a new or guest artist
Drawing/art class taught by artists
Piercing and tattoo care workshop
Networking with Other Tattoo Shops

A huge advantage a shop can have is networking with other shops. Although these are technically your competition, you can start a mutually beneficial relationship in order to share customers. Making an arrangement with another shop can involve sending over traffic when you are overbooked, especially if you have a walk-in client that you can’t fit in. They will then agree to send their overflow in your direction. This system can work the same way for piercings or jewelry.

Another great way to network is to find out the skills of the artists in your area, and inform them of yours. This way if someone goes in for a specific genre of tattoo, the customer can get the best work. If someone at another shop specializes in traditional Japanese, and you specialize in traditional Sailor Jerry, you can recommend where the customer should go.

Some shops may also network based on the types of placement they allow in their shop, or age range. Some shops allow tattoos under 18 with guardian permission, and others don’t. This also is the same for places on the body. A shop may not allow hand or neck tattoos, but they can send the work over to a shop that does.

Networking with Other Businesses

Networking with other businesses is really where a lot of marketing and promotion comes into play. A great way to network with a local business is to sponsor an event that goes on. For example, a shop may sponsor a local weekly bar event. This will allow them logo placement on marketing materials.

Also, when you network with business owners, they may be able to send over someone they know who is looking to get a tattoo or piercing. The more people you can network with, the better your chances are of gaining customers.

Donating to a charity, especially a local one will also build good will with your customers. Usually you can place the name of your shop somewhere on a donator list, or you may be able to display your logo somewhere as well. It’s a good idea to start donating to charities that are similar to tattoo shops, such as art classes or scholarships.

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Categories: General

Why and How to Shop Online Safely

The internet screams! On the advent of social networking, online shopping, MMORPG, outsourcing and other stuff we conventionally do in real life: physically-allowed remotely by the internet, the process of road testing credibility and quality becomes different.

Everything became so accessible nowadays and we cannot be expected to be at pace with it all. Provided the schedules we have are fast-paced, online shopping has been so effective for several reasons and here are but a few:

1. Online Shopping is Convenient

Come on, we do it at the comfort of our homes or practically anywhere! As long as there’s an available internet connection, you can shop. The shops are about like Amazon.com and eBay-not to mention the ongoing and emerging Facebook shops. You would not have to deal with crowds, gas-up or commute just to get to the store.

2. Online Shopping is practical

Forget the hassle of having to allot ample time for shopping. Sites provide photos, virtual tours and lower rates. You pay via a number of options (debit/credit card, online shopping accounts like PayPal) and get your order shipped.

3. Online Shopping is Discreet.

Admit it, there’s stuff you want to buy but are quite embarrassed to do face-to-face. Think sexy lingerie, adult toys and films, etc-these are things that are part of our nature and if you have projected a “conservative personality, ” you couldn’t just walk into a store letting such items dangle in your hand to the cashier. Through the power of online shopping, you can just click-click-fill-out-click-click then voila, wait for your item.

Now, the question that lingers on some physical-store shoppers that are looking into online shopping is “how do i know that I’m buying a product as projected virtually? ”

The answer is simple: Since online shopping has been about for quite some time and fraudsters have been inevitable, methods of verifying whether you are dealing with a legitimate seller have also arisen. Here are a few tips to help you succeed in your online buying:

Check out client testimonies – Online shopping sites have portions for client/customer feedback. By checking this portion of the website/page, you get to know what fellow buyers think of their purchase (satisfaction rate). It is also known as “user reviews. ” This can be faked-use your best judgment.

Scan the website/page quality – Just like physical store shopping, online shop qualities vary. Here, the site represents the boutique/store you walk in. It does not necessarily have to be top-grade, full-blown designed. So long as it’s organized, user-friendly (as in easy to navigate), you’re good. Fraud sites are usually messy, in poor format, ad-heavy, and etc.

Look for “security seals” – These are emblems you’ll usually see in the site’s homepage. Like the “BBB Reliability Program, ” and/or “Hacker Safe” seals (to mention a few) that the online store boasts of.

Know the seller’s profile – This is usually an “about us” section where you read about the online store. Verified sellers usually have the founder’s personal profile-with full name and background or the store’s founding story, location, years in business, etc.

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Categories: General

Shopping Baskets for Shop Owners

If you are looking to increase your store’s profit margin, the most obvious way to do this, is to sell more of your store’s products. The best way to do this is to encourage your shoppers to buy more of your products, whilst they are in your store. Statistics show that more shoppers are making smaller, but more regular purchases due to their busy lifestyles and the more convenient locations of shops.

People no longer feel the need to plan ahead regarding what the family will want to eat for the rest of the week and do a single large, ‘weekly shop’ This means, that instead of reaching for the large shopping trolley as they walk into the store, they prefer to reach for the smaller, lightweight shopping basket. Larger supermarkets have realised this and have introduced into their stores, more convenient shopping baskets, placing them around the store to target the shoppers who find themselves buying more than first expected and not being able to carry everything with just their hands.

Studies show that shops which do not offer complimentary carrying devices such as Grocery Baskets suffer lower sales in comparison with retailers who do supply them.

The modern, plastic shopping baskets are light, durable and easy to use. There are many plusses of the plastic baskets over the old metal baskets. For example, metal shopping baskets are likely to become bent and damage displays if accidentally knocked against something. Plastic shopping baskets are strong and sturdy, and they are lighter than metal ones so there is less likelihood of them causing any damage. The handles of the metal shopping baskets can also dig into the customer if the basket becomes too heavy, which discourages the customer from purchasing heavier groceries and they may put them back, or head straight to the checkout without purchasing anything else from your store. These days, the modern plastic shopping baskets have two thicker, more comfortable handles to increase durability and comfort for your customers.

There are many varieties of baskets to choose from that will be suitable for your store such as the choice of Blue, Red, Green or Black shopping baskets. Baskets with or without wheels and the standard size or a larger size. Actually, the baskets with wheels are becoming more popular in stores such as Big W and K-Mart because of the types of items available for sale in these stores.

Some retailers have their logo printed on the sides of the baskets to provide another way to get their branding noticed – and of course, help to facilitate the return of a lost basket.

Another option is to purchase the baskets in a kit form, where normally about 20 baskets are supplied with a stand and a sign that says “Shopping Baskets for your Convenience”.

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Categories: General