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Have I got a deal for you!

Shopping the Online Deals!

Shopping online offers many positives: convenience – you shop in the comfort of your own home at any time of the day or night you choose; selection- thousands of stores at your fingertips; security- contrary to what many believe, online transactions with secure sites can be the more secure than handing your credit card to a sales associate,

       
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

or walking through a mall and subjecting yourself to possible theft; and perhaps most inviting, the opportunity for substantial savings!

I have to admit to being a devoted online shopper. But, I am even more devoted to finding the best deal possible. There are dozens of ways to save online. First, of course, the stores themselves often offer online discounts not available in brick and mortar (B&M) stores.

Plus, the online stores that do not operate B&M stores, like Amazon.com not only discount most items on their sites, but regularly offer additional savings in the form of discounts, free shipping, or both. For the novice, try the Amazon.com Friday only sale!

Next are the “deals” sites. Most of these sites provide two or three services. First, they alert you to special savings on virtually any product daily. Next, they catalogue all of the discount codes that can be used in ordering to reap greater savings. And, third, some will even hunt down a bargain on a specific item for you. There’s even a site that posts the “Black Friday” sales at major B&M stores like Best Buy and Kmart weeks in advance, and one that posts on Saturday the grocery coupons that will appear in your Sunday newspaper supplements. It doesn’t take long to do your homework, investigate the best sites for your needs and bookmark them for use when you are ready to shop.

There are also member sites (free membership) that provide monetary rebates, or the opportunity to accumulate points for discount redemption. All these sites ask is that you click through them to reach the store site you plan to shop with. The actual rebates are usually small – 1% to 6% of your purchase. But they add up, and how exciting when that forgotten about $15 or $20 check comes in the mail every few months!

Here’s an example. I needed a new pair of black pants. I found what I wanted – style and size - at an online store. They were onsale - marked down from $29.00 to $24.00. I went to one of my bookmarked deals sites and found a discount code for 40% off any item. Then, I opened my member rebate site, clicked to open the store site, located my pants and put them in my “shopping cart. I went to checkout, entered my discount code, bringing the cost of the pants to $14.40. Shipping was $4.99 – bringing the total to $19.39. I paid no tax; I didn’t drive my car, so spent nothing on gas or parking; and the entire effort lasted about 15 minutes and I did it in my robe and slippers. Then I received a credit from my rebate site for an additional $1.54.

Sometimes you can find “stackable” codes that allow both a percentage discount and free shipping. Many of the major retailers offer consistent free shipping – some with a purchase minimum, some with no minimum.

If you haven’t shopped online, but are looking at the shrinking power of your dollars, I strongly suggest hopping on the online shopping train!

by Gayle Wiegand