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Billeater: 6 Online Shopping Tips to Save Money and Time

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by savingtools.com)
at 8:58AM Wednesday October 19, 2011
under Money Saving Tips

If you're anything like me, you can't stand to pay too much for anything. That leads to a constant search for new ways to save money. That's why I've fallen in love with shopping online. It saves you money and time. Anything that saves me money and time is a dream come true. But I know what I'm doing: I've been deal hunting online for as long as online existed.

Let me share some tips that help me save money every time I shop online.
Aside from the initial savings--such as gasoline getting you to and from several stores looking for the best price--you can also save money online by being strategic with your shopping. It does take time, but a lot less time than door-to-door shopping. After a while, it becomes second nature and takes a lot less time. You learn to spot a good deal from the get go and then just double check one or two places to be sure it's the right deal for you.

Look for Coupon Codes

You're in a great place to find deals and coupon codes already. If you are at the checkout screen and see a box for coupon codes, check back here to see if there are any codes that might work for your purchase.

Stay On Top of New Developments

Just a few years ago, Savings.com didn't exist. The Web changes so fast, you should check around periodically for new deal sites. You can't get the deal if you don't know about it.

Sign Up for Notifications

You can usually sign up for a site's coupon list. Because it's too easy to ignore special offers in your inbox, set up a separate email address specifically for such deals. They you can sign in to check the deals when you have time.

Understand When Free Shipping Makes Sense

Some sites offer free shipping, usually with a minimum checkout balance. This is sometimes a good deal, sometimes not. For instance, you can get free shipping both ways at Zappos, but you'll pay a lot for their footwear. I must admit, Zappos is one of the few places I don't mind payment more, because I know they will let me return a product for a full year without paying for return shipping. I look at it as a mini warranty for anything I buy there.

I learned this lesson the hard way this spring. I couldn't stand paying $60 for sports sandals and ended up going to Payless and got what looked like a great pair for $30. They broke within two weeks, I lost the receipt and couldn't return them. If I had shopped online, I'd have multiple ways to prove my purchase (email, packing slip, credit card statement). I had to the spend $60 to get a decent pair, making my total cost $90, when it would have only cost me $60 if I went to Zappos in the first place.

Compare Prices

You should never take the first price you receive. There is a good chance that other sites have the same product for less money. Amazon searches are great. Just sort first by best rating and then by best price. You'll always get a quality product for a great price.

Double Check with a Google Search

Amazon can usually give you a great deal, but before you buy anything, do a Google search for the product you want to buy. Google Shopping will usually bring up a box that lists the picture of the product on the left and a few sites that have that product and how much they are selling it for. You can gauge a seller's reputation by the stars listed next to the retailer's name.

Hopefully these tips will help you become a better online shopper. Start saving time along with your money.

Jessica Bosari writes for the money-saving site, Billeater.com. The site is devoted to helping people reduce expenses, save money and find great deals. Pay Billeater a visit for more money-saving tips!