By Dirk Zeller

With all the options for acquiring the merchandise you need or want, you may never have to shop at the mall again — unless, of course, you crave the slow crawl of parking lot traffic, the challenge of finding a parking space, and the thrill of dodging the crowds as you search from store to store for the item you’re seeking.

Online shopping makes it easy to find and buy almost anything. Whether you head for eBay or click on the website of your favorite designer boutique, chances are you can order and pay for whatever you want — and have it delivered the next day — all in the time it’d take to get your car out of the driveway.

Even many grocery stores offer scheduled ordering and delivery services, which means you can skip all the steps between making out your list and putting the items in the pantry. Order your groceries online, and they’re delivered to your door on the day you choose.

Another possibility is to leave the shopping to the pros — the personal shoppers, that is. Yes, some people are experts in these matters: They know where, when, and how to find just what you need. They can sniff out a sale before it’s advertised, and they also offer a valued second opinion on matters of style and taste.

Although you can hire personal shoppers to help you hunt for just about any item (from the perfect wedding gift to office furniture), they tend to specialize in wardrobe issues. Some come to your home and provide image consultation, review the contents of your closet, take your measurements, and itemize your needs. Then, based on the budget you agree on, they go to work. Many department and clothing stores also offer in-house shopping services.

Check out your local Yellow Pages listings for the “Personal Shopping Services” category.