Friday, March 22, 2013

Sallee's Online Bargain Tips for Beginners

In my pre-computer days, bargain shopping consisted of scanning local sale bills, ordering from discount catalogs, and going to yard sales. Then I took an adult education class at the Belle High School for keyboarding and basic computer information. That class taught me enough about computers that I soon owned a computer and rapidly progressed into an online shopping gal. From that point on, my shopping pattern changed forever. Shopping online has changed how I shop in many ways. Today I scan sale bills online, order from online discount catalogs, and I haven't been to a yard sale in months.

What's On Sale?

My laptop is now my primary source of sales information. My favorite stores all have national websites. Each website has a link that displays the weekly sales flyer. I have the sites bookmarked or added to the Favorites Bar so that I don't even have to type in the addresses. The only part of my routine that remains the same is comparing the sales, making a shopping list and planning my trip. Online couponing is easier too because I can now print the coupons I want to use.

Comparison shopping is so easy with websites like Nextag.com and TheFind.com. I just type what I'm looking for into the onsite search and click the magnifying glass icon(Search button). A list appears with a range of prices and links to each store. These are my two favorite sites, but I'm sure there are many more that I don't know about.

Online Catalogs

  • Where do I start? I have been using discount catalogs for years and I still look at paper copies. However, most companies have sales that are ONLY available online. Clearance sale items and Online sales are two ways to save a lot of money, even with shipping cost. Here is an example.

  • In January I needed two new blouses for work. I had checked out the clothing stores when I made my monthly shopping trip, but couldn't find work appropriate blouses for less that $20-40 each. I went to the online catalog of a nationally known store. I purchased two beautiful blouses for $14 each and had them shipped to me. Total cost was $36.  This was a bargain for me because the closest store in the chain is 40 miles away and gas was at $3.89 a gallon.

  • Many national clothing stores have clearance items that are selling for under $10 each. I was ignorant of this until about a year ago. A coworker told me she had spent $50 and gotten $200 worth of clothing! After some online exploring, I found that she was absolutely correct.

Auction Sites and Pages

Be careful when buying from some auction sites!
  1.  Many auctions are priced higher than retail.
  2. Check out the sellers feedback. If a seller has less than 99% positive feedback, don't  buy from them.
However, careful buyers can find some good sales. Just make sure that you do some comparison shopping before you click on the Buy It Now or Complete This Sale button.

Facebook is becoming a source of bargains because of online sales pages. Generally these are local pages and most are closed groups. You have to ask to participate, but this is the equivalent to an online yard sale.

If your looking for electronics, tablets, cameras, or phones you can find some very good sales at Amazon.com. Many items at Amazon qualify for Super Shipper Savings - Buy $25 or more and shipping is free. I  used my savings in shipping cost to purchase the birthday wrapping service. I still saved money! My grandbabies were thrilled to get packages from Grammy!

Tip: When using Amazon, make sure you indicate that you want your packages sent as a group. Also, this is not an option for last minute buying. If you want your packages to arrive on time, make your purchases three weeks ahead of time.

Books, CD's , and movies are availble at great prices from several websites. A couple of my favorites are Half.com and of course, Amazon.com.