Our dear friend Karen gave us some great advice on how to save while internet shopping!
A few things I’ve learned over many years of Internet shopping…
I began exploring the Internet and comparison shopping online many years ago. It continues to fascinate me. The resources that are available can be overwhelming. I have become loyal to a few companies in particular that I have consistently found to be reliable, competitive and professional.
I shop regularly at Amazon.com. I am a huge fan. A benefit they offer is a year of 2 day shipping on (most) items bought from Amazon; (Amazon Prime Membership for $79 per year). In addition you can send an invitation to 3 family members to enable them to share in your savings, (great for your college kids!). I happen to love music. When I look at a particular artist on the site other artists with a similar sound or that other people are interested in also appears, which has lead me to discover many new favorites. As you make purchases, your list of personal recommendations is created and you can edit it as you go along. Many items also list reviews or ratings. It’s good to check them out, but, not to solely rely on ratings to make a decision. It would be nice if only people that actually purchased the product were able to leave a review, but, that’s not necessarily the case.
I like to place items my “shopping cart” then click “save for later” so I can watch for prices decrease. Next time you log into your account there will be a message letting you know of price changes for items in your “shopping cart”, so now you can decide if the price is right! I believe the items stay in your cart until you purchase them or delete them.
Another site I like for a variety of reasons is Overstock.com. They generally have $2.95 shipping site wide. I ordered a sofa for my college daughter’s house and the shipping was….$2.95. You can’t beat that. They offer a variety of products, pricing is very competitive and I have been happy with their customer service.
Keep your eyes open for “membership” deals. Sometimes they make sense, sometimes they don’t. For example, I order running shoes for myself and my daughters from RoadRunnersports.com. With their VIP membership you will earn 1 free (up to $100-see their exact description) pair of shoes for every 5 you purchase within a year, they ship free with your membership, you get 10% off purchases, and they allow you to try the shoes out for 60 days. Currently they have the membership advertised at a crazy $1.99, the normal price is $39.99.
I am truly not an expert in this field. I have just been using the Internet for comparison shopping for many years. It is a terrific resource. Sometimes it boils down to the price difference being one site you’ll pay tax and the other you won’t…but…that’s still a savings. Also, always read the fine print, check for “restocking fees” etc. Most likely you can find the same item somewhere else that will not have those restrictions. Don’t get caught up in the comparisons between “MSRP” and the “our price” marketing tool. If you feel an item is worth the price, that’s one thing. Don’t fall victim to a huge discount if the discounted price is still too high. Have fun…shop smart.