Dorling Kindersley's Essential Computers books are slim, concise and well-diagrammed guides to basic computing tasks. The latest member of the family, Buying and Selling Online, is no exception.
If you are new to the Web, Buying and Selling Online might provide "a good base to get "you started. There are straightforward chapters on how to use search engines, how to check the security at a site, and create passwords.
The design of the DK Essential Computers books features lots of large screenshots and illustrations with labels, which helps readers quickly glean the information they need. A good example of this in Buying and Selling Online is the double page spread on sites to avoid. By using a screenshot of a site that exhibits all the hallmarks of a dodgy site, and clear labels of where you can find these signals, you can grasp the salient points very quickly.
Much of the book deals with how you can use auction sites to buy goods. There are sections on how to register at auction sites, finding specific products, and checking the goods and seller. There's also information for selling goods at auction sites.
Although there is an attempt to avoid being US-centric by using examples like eBay UK in "the registration section, a good deal of the examples are for American sites. For many, however, buying from overseas sites like Amazon presents no problems and, generally, most of the tips hold true for e-commerce sites wherever they are.
If you're looking for a basic, get-to-the-point guide to e-commerce, Buying and Selling Online is worth a look.