Thursday, July 17, 2008

My Best Tips for Online Shopping

I have returned from the Windy City! Maybe I will do a trip recap in a later post. But for now let’s get back to business. The business of shopping that is! Last summer I took a communications course and we were asked to do a brief 3 minute presentation on something we enjoyed that would interest the class. After much consideration, I settled on the topic of online shopping. After my presentation, the class was asked for a comment. One classmate said “She really knew her material!”

I admit I don’t shop as much as I used to but I am still a believer in online shopping deals. Here are some of my best tips:

Create a “junk mail” email account. When you shop online, you are required to have an email address for confirmations and such. You will also be forever more inundated with advertisements from the company you are buying from. No one wants their primary email inbox filled with advertisements so create an address for shopping only through a free email provider like Yahoo or Gmail. I have such an address and I only check it a few times a week to scan the deals that have been sent to me. My primary email address stays clutter free and when I’m in the shopping mode I just check my junk mail for hot deals that I might want to pursue. If you love Disney, the Disney Store emails almost daily with deals and they can be pretty good.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, find a good site that offers cash back on purchases like Rebateshare . Such sites will also often have coupon codes for extra savings.

Learn how to work the shipping deals. I do not pay for shipping unless I absolutely have to and then I only pay if the company offers a flat rate. This is yet another area where Rebateshare can come in so beneficial because you can often find free shipping coupons or source codes. Many sites offer free shipping over a certain total dollar amount purchased and others might offer a reasonable flat rate. I recently ordered from Ann Taylor Loft because 1) I had coupon codes from one of their emailed promotions and 2) They offered flat $6 shipping. My nearest ATL store is probably fifty miles round trip so I couldn’t drive up there and back for $6 right now. It was a good deal. I very rarely order from Victoria’s Secret because they never offer any shipping deals unless you spend over $100 which I don’t do. During the holidays which are peak online shopping season, many sites offer free shipping. Take advantage of it.

Look for the words “clearance” and “outlet” on your favorite store sites. Disney has a good outlet selection and Eddie Bauer has its own website for its outlet stores. Look for special reductions on already discounted items to maximize your savings.

Be open minded about your online purchases. A friend introduced me to drugstore.com which is another favorite of mine. I thought it was bizarre to order drugstore items online but they have TONS of stuff and they have good sales from time to time. They also offer 5% rebates that you can cash in quarterly. At one time, rebateshare also offered 5% rebates on drugstore.com purchases so I got a 10% rebate when I combined the two offers. Sadly, drugstore.com does not participate with rebateshare anymore but their partner site beauty.com still does. Both drugstore.com and beauty.com usually have some deal going for free shipping.

Shopping online does not replace the actual "sport" of shopping, I know. It’s not like you can walk into your living room for Dippin’ Dots. But it can be a time and money saver particularly when gas prices keep going up.

1 comment:

Alianinna said...

Good..! Thanks for the useful online shopping tips.