Anyone who knows me is aware that I know my internet stuff and that I can find just about anything online. I even did some side work for a company where people texted in their questions while I sat waiting by my computer to find and answer those questions for a mere $0.10 per question. ----Hey it added up!
Lately a lot of friends have been asking me about buying stuff online, so I thought I would share my method for finding the best price for that GPS system your hunny bunny wants so badly. (or anything for that matter)
Tip #1 Amazon is your friend!
Even if you can't find a better price, odds are you can find it on Amazon with free shipping and no tax. AND if you do the math... (I can't believe I'm doing math this early on a monday morning) it really adds up.
Magellan RoadMate 1700
Sears: $169.00 + tax ($14.02) = $183.02
Amazon.com: $149.00 + no tax + free shipping = ARE YOU KIDDING!!!???
Are you picking up what I am putting down here? This won't always be the case but isn't it worth a try? And you would be surprised at what you can find. Most stuff on amazon ships free if your total is over $25 and let's face it, it's easy to do. I mean how dare I stay in my comfy home in my Santa slippers and have the gifts come straight to me and save money!?!?! It just doesn't seem legal!
Tip #1 Use Google Shopping!
Go to google, type in what you are looking for. Sometimes you need to do a little leg work and figure out the exact model and name of what you are looking for. Type that in and odds are within the search results you will find "google shopping" or you can always click the link at the top of the page. Google will then compare prices from different online stores (often including amazon.com) and will even calculate the tax and tell you if there is free shipping or not. Very handy!
Tip #3 Don't be scared, but don't be stupid.
I'm stingy with my credit card info and you should be too. I try to use sites that are familiar. If I have to pay two dollars more for something to buy from a reputable site, so be it.
* use sites that on the check out page the web address starts with httpS. The "S" on the end is very important and means the site is secure.
* avoid using your check card for purchases. It's probably fine, but that number is the link to all my cash and that just makes me nervous.
* use your credit card with confidence. You can contest purchases made on your credit card, and credit card companies are MUCH easier to work with on problems. Believe me you don't want to argue with a bank over something like this. Credit card companies have much more experience.
Tip #4 Search for coupon codes!
There are great websites that store coupon codes for lots of places online. For example, when I bought my Christmas Cards from Shutterfly.com this year. I googled, "shutterfly coupon codes" and got a website named retailmenot.com which had several coupon codes for what I needed. Shutterfly is great because you can use as many coupon codes as you can find and I think I ended up using three which got me free shipping, 10% off and $10 off. Yeah! I'll take that!
Tip #5 Misc. stuff...
* remember the everyday stuff. My favorite is diapers. I can buy them online from Amazon in bigger boxes, better prices, free shipping, and that big bulky box magically appears on my doorstep! Which is heaven!
* Give a handmade gift! www.etsy.com is a great website where people sell their handmade items. There is good stuff on there and it is often very reasonable. Be careful here and check reviews of sellers so you don't end up with "regretsy." It happens.
*read reviews! If you really want to know the skinny on something read everything people have to say about it. Keeping in mind that most people who want to review something often want to rant. But if your item has a flaw, you'll find out in the reviews. Whether it bothers you or not is your decision.
*If you are a coupon clipper, there are plenty of places that allow you to print coupons to take to grocery stores. This isn't exactly shopping online, but it's using the web to save money, and that's what it's all about. Try couponcabin.com or grocerycouponnetwork.com.
Ok, so this is really a dummies guide to buying stuff online, but on a daily basis I am surprised at the amount of people who don't do this! People who I KNOW sit and home and clip coupons, but have never purchased anything online. You really can save money, and nothing feels better than getting a good deal!