You can buy just about anything online from groceries and prescription drugs to kayaks and televisions. Shopping online has a lot of advantages over going to the store. When you shop online you can easily to see where the best deal is to be found, buy from multiple retailers when item prices differ and quickly access a whole host of products – all from the comfort of your own home.
While shopping online is not without its pitfalls and security problems, many of these problems can be solved by shopping only with retailers that offer secured checkout, and most do.
With a few easy steps, you can potentially save a lot more money when doing your online shopping. Here are a few quick tips:
1. Check for coupons.
Your inbox is probably flooded with emails announcing special offers and discounts on a regular basis. If you don’t already, consider signing up for a few of your favorite retailers’ email lists to be kept up to date on their specials. If you prefer to avoid the constant bombardment, consider bookmarking one of several online coupon listing sites. The most popular of these is RetailMeNot.com, but search around to see if other sites listing online offers exist in your area.
2. Be aware of shipping fees.
While a lot of online retailers offer free shipping if you spend a certain amount of money, shipping fees can often make the products we buy online more expensive than those we buy in the store. Some companies offer a flat fee for shipping, so that whether you buy one item or twenty, you pay the same price. If this is the case, it may be better to make larger purchases to spread those fees over more than one item.
3. Comparison shop.
There are a lot of tools out there to make it quick and easy to compare the same or similar products over several retailers. Oftentimes, the well known and highest volume retailers will offer worse deals than a perfectly reputable, but lesser-known counterpart. Do your homework on sites you don’t recognize before you give them your credit card information. Google offers one of the best free comparison shopping sites, but there are also applications for your smart phone that work well for comparison shopping. Some even offering comparisons between retail stores and online stores.
Do you have other tips to save online? Share them here.