Unit 17: ONLINE SHOPPING Pre-intermediate level 3 Daily English 140 – Buying on the Internet

Unit 17: ONLINE SHOPPING Pre-intermediate level 3 Daily English 140 – Buying on the Internet

Source: English as a Second Language Podcast www.eslpod.com

Daily English 140 – Buying on the Internet

Dialogue/Story

Slow Speed begins at: 0:48

Explanation begins at: 3:09

Normal Speed begins at: 16:03

COMPLETE TRANSCRIPT

Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 140: Buying on the Internet.

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 140. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

On this podcast, we’re going to talk about buying something over, or on, the Internet. Let’s get started!

[start of story]

It’s true that I don’t like shopping. When I want to buy something, I do it online. I like buying on the Internet because I can easily do some comparison shopping and find the best price. It’s easy, too.

Last week I wanted to buy some new headphones. I did a search and found a pair on sale at a store in New Jersey. I read the product description and knew that this was the right one. I added it to my shopping cart and I was ready to check out. The screen showed that I had one item in my basket and that it was in stock. I had a choice of shipping and I picked standard shipping for $5.95, rather than the expedited shipping for $12.95. I clicked the “continue” button and filled in my shipping address and my billing address. Then, it took me to the payment screen and I typed in my credit card number and expiration date. I clicked the “Purchase” button and I was done. I got a confirmation page with a tracking number. I checked the next day and it showed that my item had already been shipped.

Buying on the Internet is perfect for someone like me. Now, if only finding a girlfriend was just that easy

Category: Technology

ESL Podcast 140 – Buying on the Internet

[end of story]

We are shopping on the Internet today, buying things on the Internet. And our story begins with the narrator, the person telling the story, saying that when they buy things, they like to do it “online.” “Online” (online) means buying something on the Internet – it’s the same as being on the Internet, being online. The person likes to buy on the Internet and you can also say buy “over the Internet,” but “on” is probably now a little more common. This person likes buying on the Internet

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ESL Podcast 140 – Buying on the Internet

because they can do some comparison shopping. “Comparison shopping” (comparison) is when you can compare or look at two different stores or three different stores or ten different stores and see which store has the cheapest price. That’s comparison shopping, looking at different stores and getting their prices.

Well, last week, the narrator wanted to buy some new headphones. “Headphones” – all one word – are those things you put on your ears – that cover your ears – to listen to music or podcast or whatever you want to. We usually say “headphones” – that sometimes – word – get’s used also for the types of earphones that go into your – adjust into your ear. They don’t cover your whole ear. We often call those “ear buds” (buds). “Ear buds,” like the iPod has white ear buds. But a headphone, the old type of headphone is the one that covers your whole ear and we usually say this is a “pair” of headphones. A “pair of headphones,” because, of course, there are two and two is a pair (pair). Well, he finds a pair of headphones at a store in New Jersey. New Jersey is a state on the east coast of the United States right next to New York –the state of New York.” He reads the product description and knows that it’s the right one. The “product description” when you buy something on an Internet store, there’ll usually be some sort of sentence or paragraph that gives you more information about the product. A “product” (product) is just the thing that you are buying. So, the product is whatever you are buying. The product description will have a description of what you are interested in.

This person knew that it was the “right one” or the “correct one,” meaning it’s the one that he wants. So, the first thing he does is he “adds it to his shopping cart.” This is an electronic shopping cart. A “shopping cart” – “shopping cart” are two words – (cart) – “shopping cart” is normally, in a store like a grocery store – a supermarket – it’s what you push, that you put all of your food into this big – it’s like a big basket that has wheels on it and you can push it. But in an Internet store, the shopping cart is where you put things that you want to buy and you can put things in your shopping cart and if you change your mind, you can take them out again. So, it’s like a place where the Internet store holds the things that you are interested in buying. And normally on a website, on an Internet store, you can click on a button that says, “Shopping Cart” and that will tell you what you plan on buying, what you have decided to buy.

When you’re ready to buy, then you “check out” – two words – (check) out. “To check out” means to purchase or to buy the product, to actually now decide that you’re going to buy it and you make that decision, then you check out and again, you’ll often see a button on an Internet store that says, “check out” – that’s what you do when you want to finish and go ahead and buy what you want. Well,

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ESL Podcast 140 – Buying on the Internet

when the person looked at their shopping cart, in the story, the screen showed or the computer screen showed that they had one item – he had one time in his basket. And it was “in stock.” An “item” (item) is similar to a product. It’s the thing that you are going to buy – the individual product that you are going to buy. You can say, for example, that the product is an iPod and you could have two iPods. So, you have two of the same item or two of the same product.

Your “basket” (basket) is the same as your shopping cart. So, If you say, “I have one item in my basket,” that’s the same as one item in my shopping cart – the place that holds the things I’m thinking of buying. And the item is “in stock.” We say something is “in stock” – two words – “stock” is (stock) – that means that the store actually has the product. So, if you’re buying an iPod and it says it’s “in stock,” that means they actually have the iPod and can send it to you. If it says it’s “out of stock” – “out of stock” means they don’t have any. So, sometimes you’ll go to a store and you’ll say, “Oh, I want to buy a certain product, a certain item.” And they say, “Oh, I’m sorry. It’s out of stock,” meaning we don’t have any left to sell.

In the story, the person buying the headphones has a choice of shipping and “shipping” (shipping) means sending the package – two ways – that they can have the package sent to them. A “package” (package) is the box or whatever it is that you are buying, they put it in something, and then they ship it or mail it – send it to you. So, there are two possibilities, one is standard shipping and another is expedited shipping. “Standard shipping” is the normal or regular shipping and here in the United States, if you buy on an Internet store, standard shipping is usually something that takes five to seven days for you to get it – that would be standard shipping. “Expedited shipping” (expedited) – “expedited” – that’s when you are going to pay more money and they will send it faster. They will use a faster way of sending it to you. So, it again, used in the United States as an example, we have a service called “priority mail.” “Priority mail” means that you’ll get it in two or three days instead of five to seven days. You can also have something sent overnight with a special service. And the service or cost, of course, more money – that is expedited shipping.

Well, the person here clicks the continue button, meaning they decide what they want for shipping and then they fill in or type in, put in, their shipping address and their billing address. The “shipping address” is, of course, where you want the company to send your product, to send your package, your item. The “billing address” (billing) – “billing address” – that’s where, if you are paying by a credit card, for example, that’s where you get your credit card bill. And when you buy something on the Internet, in the United States at least, the company that is selling you the item, they will check electronically, to make sure that you have the

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ESL Podcast 140 – Buying on the Internet

correct address for your credit card. And if you put in the wrong address, then it will reject your credit card. So, if you buy something and you live in the United States or Canada and you buy from a store in the United States or Canada, you have to put a correct billing address. If you buy internationally, for example, if you are in Japan and you want to buy something from a store here in the United States, there is, I don’t think any way that most of the companies can check your address. So, it’s a little less important but you still have to put in a billing address.

Well, the person in the story types in their billing address and they click the “purchase” button. And “to purchase” (purchase) means to buy. When they buy it, they get a confirmation page. And the “confirmation page” just says, “Yes, you bought this.” It’s proof that you bought this item on our store. And you will often get a “tracking number.” A “tracking number” (tracking) number – two words – that is a number that you can track or check your package to see where it is and the major mail services in the United States delivery services – companies that will deliver or send you a package. You can put in a number. They give you a number that you can then type into the computer – into the Internet and it will tell you where your package is and if it is going to arrive at your house or business on time, on the right day. So, it’s a way of finding out about where your package is and how long it will take to get to you – that’s a tracking number.

Well, let’s listen to the story again, this time at a native rate of speech. [start of story]

It’s true that I don’t like shopping. When I want to buy something, I do it online. I like buying on the Internet because I can easily do some comparison shopping and find the best price. It’s easy, too.

Last week I wanted to buy some new headphones. I did a search and found a pair on sale at a store in New Jersey. I read the product description and knew that this was the right one. I added it to my shopping cart and I was ready to check out. The screen showed that I had one item in my basket and that it was in stock. I had a choice of shipping and I picked standard shipping for $5.95, rather than the expedited shipping for $12.95. I clicked the “continue” button and filled in my shipping address and my billing address. Then, it took me to the payment screen and I typed in my credit card number and expiration date. I clicked the “Purchase” button and I was done. I got a confirmation page with a tracking number. I checked the next day and it showed that my item had already been shipped.

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These materials are copyrighted by the Center for Educational Development (2012). Posting of these materials on another website or distributing them in any way is prohibited.

English as a Second Language Podcast www.eslpod.com

ESL Podcast 140 – Buying on the Internet

Buying on the Internet is perfect for someone like me. Now, if only finding a girlfriend was just that easy.

[end of story]
Our script today was written by Dr. Lucy Tse. We thank her for her work.

From Los Angeles, California, I’m Jeff McQuillan. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next time on ESL Podcast.

English as a Second Language podcast is written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan. This podcast is copyright 2006.

GLOSSARY

online – using the Internet or the World Wide Web; using a system of computers that communicate or “talk” to each other from different parts the world
* Carly spent most of her time on the computer because she enjoyed writing to her friends online.

comparison shopping – reading or learning about two or more products to pick the best product or to get the best price
* When Ferdinand wanted to buy a new television, he did some comparison shopping to find the best television at the lowest price.

product description – a written statement that explains the features of a product; information about something that someone wants to buy or sell
* The picture of the camera looked good, but the product description did not give any helpful information about its features.

shopping cart – the part of an online store where customers place items they have decided to buy; a group of products one wants to buy when using the computer to shop
* Meri only wanted to buy one blouse, but she added one dress and two skirts to her shopping cart because she liked the way they looked together.

to check out – the process of buying a product and paying for it
* Philip quickly found what he wanted to buy at the hardware store and checked out.

item – one thing; something one buys
* This store is popular because it sells many electronic items at very low prices.

basket – the holding place for the group of products one plans to buy, especially on an online store
* Shirley thought she added the radio to her basket, but when she looked, her basket did not have anything in it.

in stock – able to be bought; in the store and ready for a customer to buy
* Frank needed new tires for his car, but the mechanic did not have the right size tires in stock.

standard shipping – the normal speed a product will arrive when buying from an online store
* Standard shipping would take seven to 10 days, but it only costs $2.99.

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ESL Podcast 140 – Buying on the Internet

expedited shipping – something sent at a higher cost that reaches the customer earlier, when buying at an online store
* Expedited shipping only took two to three days, but it cost $8.99.

shipping address – the place a product or other package is sent to; the address to which one is sending a package
* Julia typed the wrong shipping address on package and it was lost.

billing address – the place a bill (paper that says how much money one owes) or receipt (paper that says how much money one paid) is sent to; the address to which a bill or receipt is sent to
* Marco’s billing address was the same as his home address because he got all his bills at home.

confirmation page – a page on a store’s website showing what one bought and how much one paid; a page on a website stating the actions that one has just taken
* Gabriella was upset when the confirmation page showed that she bought two lamps instead of one.

tracking number – a number one uses to get information about a package while it is moved from the place it was sent to the place it is going
* Tomas used the tracking number to learn that his package was in Idaho and would arrive Friday.

to be shipped – to be sent; to be mailed
* The bottle of perfume was bought on Monday and was shipped on Tuesday.

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ESL Podcast 140 – Buying on the Internet

CULTURE NOTE

Boycotts Versus Carotmobs

When a company does something wrong or something that customers don’t like, people may boycott that company. “To boycott” is to refuse to buy from and to use products from that company as a way to punish or “protest” (show disapproval for) what the company is doing. For instance, when gas prices went up quickly and to an “unprecedented” (never before seen) level, people wanted to boycott buying gasoline. This was not a very effective use of boycotting, unfortunately, but other boycotting efforts have worked to show the public’s disapproval or “outrage” (strong anger).

“Activists” (people who work to make social or political change) are always trying to find new ways to change business behaviors. With one recent “strategy” (plan), Instead of punishing companies that are doing things they don’t like, these activists are rewarding those for good behavior. Instead of boycotts, they create carrotmobs.

The idea of a “carrotmob” is based on the well-known phrase, “the carrot and the stick.” The idea is to give people both rewards and punishment “to bring about” (cause) good behavior. This is based on the idea that a horse, or another animal, will work harder or move faster if there is a carrot waiting as a reward; at the same time, there is also a stick ready to “strike” (hit) the animal as punishment if it doesn’t do what you ask. The carrot is the “inducement,” the reward, that will result in good behavior. A mob is a large crowd or group of people.

Creating a carrotmob, then, is to get a lot of people to buy from a business or company that a group approves of. One of the first carrotmobs took place in San Francisco, California. An activist contacted 23 “convenience stores” (small stores that sell soft drinks, candy, lottery tickets, newspapers, etc.) to see which one would spend the most money putting in “energy-efficient” (energy saving) lights in their store. The activists “got the word out” (informed a lot of people) about “the winner” and urged people to visit the store on a “given” (specific) day. That store got hundreds of customers in that one day, and in turn, the store spent 23% of those “profits” (earnings) on putting in energy-efficient lights.

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