5 Online Shopping Tips for the Holidays
It’s convenient, it’s easy, and you don’t even have to get dressed up. Online shopping is the easiest way to do your holiday shopping. And you actually have more rights to protect you than if you bought in a store. You can return the item purchased within fourteen days, even with no fault, such as damaged merchandise. You often have to pay for return shipping but you are entitled to a refund of the price and the cost of shipping to you. Stores often don’t allow this.
Here are our top 5 shopping tips:
1. Use a “shopbot”
When you shop online, you can use a shopbot, or shopping robot. These are special websites that check the Internet for the best price on the item for which you are shopping. The shopbot does the hard work for you, letting you know which website gives you the best bargain. You can access a shopbot by typing “best price ______” into the search bar and filling in the space with what you are looking for. It could be “best price French press coffee pot,” or “best price women’s red capris, size 8.”
2. Check major sites
Amazon.com is the mega store of online shopping, but Ebay and others are also good. If you stick with websites for well-known names you won’t get ripped off. However, you must allow time for shipping, so shopping early is important. I like to compare prices online before any large purchase. Sometimes Walmart.com has a better price on the same computer that OfficeDepot.com has. Target.com and HomeDepot.com are also good to compare for home decor. Sometimes the online price is cheaper than the store price. Sometimes there are items available online that are not in the store.
3. Use the in-store pickup option
When I am in a hurry, buying online from a company that has a local store can make it possible for me to pick up my merchandise at the store. They usually give me free shipping for this service, too.
4. Browse unique gifts
You can find some really unique items for gifting online, things that you would never see in your local stores unless you live in Los Angeles or New York (and even then, maybe not). So if you want to find something special for your friend who loves cats, the Internet is your best bet. You could get her a pair of Mary Janes with a cat face on the toe. Or a T-shirt with a snarling rottweiler painted on the front. You can even buy gift cards for your grandchildren if they are at that age where you have no idea what they want. These can be delivered by US mail or emailed in the form of a voucher. Some even come with a customizable ecard.
5. Sign up for coupons
If you are an online shopaholic, you will want to search for coupons online before making a purchase. You can also sign up for retailer’s email newsletters for early notice of sales. When you “like” a store on a social networking site like Facebook, they will also notify you of specials. To make sure your online bargain is really a bargain, check shipping prices. Many merchants offer free shipping when you purchase a certain amount; others offer free return shipping if you decide to return anything. Bookmark these sites with good shipping policies and free in-store pickup. High shipping prices can negate all the savings.
Online shopping is the new way to let your fingers do the walking. Happy shopping!