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
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
by Gayle Wiegand