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Save Money Online Shopping


by Angela Heidt

Many of us are still wary of the whole online shopping phenomenon. After all, who knows what happens to our credit card number after you put it into cyberspace? I was the same way, but once I realized how much money I could save I quickly caved, and I've never looked back. There are some serious deals that can be found online, if you have the time to look.

There are of course some tips and tricks that you should know to save you from some of the pitfalls that I fell into. The biggest one is shipping costs. While you may think that buying books online at Amazon.com is a great idea and saves you tons of cash, unless you are getting a deal on shipping you can probably go to your local bookstore and pay the same. I've made it a habit to not buy anything online unless I'm getting free shipping.

Here are a few other pointers to save some extra money:

Finding Deals
Most online shopping websites have a newsletter you can sign up for. If you are planning to regularly shop at this site then sign up for their flyers, that way you will be the first to know of specials and sales.

Comparison Shop
Just because you find a good deal at one website doesn't mean you won't find a better deal somewhere else. Case in point: my son's birthday was last week and I decided to buy a kitchen so he and my daughter could keep themselves busy. The first store I found it at was $349, the second was $319, and the third place I looked was $289 delivered to my door. If I had just gone with my first choice I would have paid $69 dollars more! I also decided that my kids are getting reduced Christmas presents this year...

Coupon Codes
This is one of the most underused ways to save money online. Most online shopping websites on occasion offer coupon codes to entice their customers to buy certain items. This is another advantage of signing up for the online flyers as you will get these deals as well. Whenever you are buying an item online, go to Google first and search for the name of the store plus "coupon code". Not all of the coupon codes will work, but sometimes you will luck out and find a 20% off all items coupon, or a deal for the specific item you are buying.

I can't emphasize this enough: eBay is one of the best places to find deals on new and used items. While bidding on an item may be unappealing to some, the great part about it is you never have to spend more than you want to. Decide how much you want to spend on an item and enter that as your maximum bid, if someone bids more than you, well you've saved yourself some money. Again, be aware of shipping costs before you bid.

That's it for this week - I'm off to Walmart today to pick up next year's Halloween costumes at 50% off. I usually end up buying a few more than I need so the kids can have dress up clothes.

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