Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The in(s) and the out(s) of shopping online ...

As I’ve said before, I do 90% of my shopping online. The deals you get are just as good, if not better, than the deals in the stores on Black Friday or other Holidays. The best part is; you can sit on your loverly arse and shop!

Shopping for deals online requires patience. It’s kind of like coupon shopping … you save that coupon for a sale to get the best deal. You might have that coupon for a couple days or a couple weeks, but you are holding out for the best deal possible. I’m asked all the time to find certain deals and they are usually needed that same day. The thing is, it could take a month to get just that right deal. It’s not magic, its patience and days (or weeks) of watching for that deal to pop-up.

Did you know that two of the biggest, deal finding, online shopping, days are coming? Gear up for Black Friday, November 26, and CyberMonday, November 29, and shop online with no crowds!

Safety First
Many of the sites will have a security logo or a Secure Sockets Layer (AKA: SSL/Verisign) usually located at the bottom of their site, or at least at the bottom during their check-out process. If you don’t see such a ‘logo’ then you are not on a secured site and your information will not be protected.

Get a credit card just for shopping online. Use that one card only for shopping online, not others, this way, if there is a problem you will know immediately what card it was.

Get a Paypal account. Paypal is a FREE site that offers you a secure way of paying for your purchases online. The money is taken directly from your Paypal balance, your bank account, or your credit card. Not only is it secure, but it’s much quicker to check out AND your purchases are always protected. Here is what they offer you:

~$0 Liability for Eligible Unauthorized Purchases when you meet our requirements
~Refunds for incorrect orders or items that never arrive
~A convenient process for resolving problems

Shipping and Returns
Shipping on an order will make or break your deal. Around the Holidays, not just the big ones, you will see all kinds of free shipping and shipping discounts. These are the times you need to buy. Never pay too much for shipping, it is a huge rip-off. I tend to stay away from those sites when they want to charge me an arm and a leg.

Big Chain stores, such as Walmart or JCPenneys, will ship to the store for FREE! When checking out all you have to do is click ‘ship to store’ and they will send you an email to let you know when your purchases are ready for pick up.

Be sure to read the fine print. If you are purchasing an item that may need to be returned, make sure the return time period is sufficient (some online stores are only 2 weeks or no returns at all), also, be sure the site offers free return shipping or return to a local store (if one is near). Many stores have you pay the return shipping, which you can send the cheapest way, but you will still need to factor that into your ‘deal’ price which could turn your deal into a dud.

Is that price for real?
Drop dead prices (meaning, you will drop dead with how cheap it is!) do happen. If you keep in mind the 2 items above, you will be safe in trying for that ‘drop dead price’ … I’ve scored numerous free items by using a simple discount code a store has provided. If it’s too good to be true, the website will send you an email letting you know you failed, or in most cases, they failed.

Coupon Codes (Aka discount codes)
Always, always, aLwAyS search for a coupon code before checking out. How do you search for them? is my best friend. An example of what I might search for: Old Navy Coupon Codes

Best Deal
It’s hard to say if you got the best deal or not, but there is something you can do to see if that is the best deal of the day. I like to look on Amazon, they have just about anything you can imagine, and price check that way. Or, again, is willing to be your best friend, so why not search. Seriously, most of us savvy shoppers know what a good deal is, so I have confidence in saying, you know what the best deal is.

Sign up for cash back sites
There are a few sites out there that give you cash back to shop the stores online. The one that I use and am faithful to is On certain days they have double cash back opportunities or they have their own online store deals. Check them out, it doesn't hurt to earn back a few dollars.

The deals I post on Our Coupon Home are not all found by me. I sign up for everything just to get an email from them telling me when they have deals. I’m also signed up for a few deal finder sites that help me in my searches.