Online shopping tips and tricks
Who Doesn't Love Free Shipping?
If your online retailer also has a store near you, check for free shipping to the store. By picking up your items rather than having them delivered to you, the savings will add up.
Buy online for best prices and selection. Because stock space is limited at stores, you can often find items online that you won't see when you visit a store in person. And many merchants offer special Internet pricing to encourage online shopping. If an item is carried both in-store and online, you can see the product up close but you may find a lower price online.
Search for coupons. Search for the retailer's name and "coupon" to find additional discounts on products or shipping. Searching the term "coupon code" will bring up a list of companies that offer coupons for a variety of products.
Get the Best Prices
Compare prices. Use the Internet to save money. Enter the product name as a search term and you'll see a list of sites that sell it, including their prices.
Look for free shipping. Many stores offer free or reduced-cost shipping. And by buying multiple items from one merchant you can take advantage of free-shipping offers that require minimum purchase amounts of $50 or $100.
Sign up for special offers. Many online retailers have mailing lists, and you'll be alerted to sales, promotions and special deals that aren't available to the general public.
Shop Safely Online
Know your retailer. Protect your credit and your money by buying only from reputable online retailers. Look for retailer reviews to see what other shoppers are saying about their buying experiences. Check with the Better Business Bureau for complaints. And share your online shopping experiences to help others avoid mistakes.
Use a credit card. If there's a problem with an online purchase, your credit card company can help you find a solution. If you use one low-interest card for all of your purchases, you'll have an easier time tracking purchases if there is a problem.
Avoid using an ATM card. Using an ATM card gives retailers a direct line to your checking account. Credit cards are much safer.
Look for the letters "https." The "s" in a company's web address shows that the company is using secure servers.
Look for product reviews. Before buying a product you're not familiar with, search online for product reviews. Online shopping can be very convenient, but returning products you bought online can be a hassle.
Gift Ideas for Kids: Monster Bowling
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Gift Ideas for Pets: Pet Toys
For playful pets, how about holiday-themed plush toys, such as gingerbread houses and Hanukkah bears for dogs, or a catnip-filled deer for cats? These colorful toys from the ASPCA benefit homeless animals.
Gift Ideas for Kids: Color & Co. Young Artist Sets
From $27.79 at Jerry's Artarama (www.jerrysartarama.com)