Spring To-Do's

It's Tax Time!

Discount Shopping Part I

How to Save Money and Get Freebies Using the Internet

There's nothing that gets my attention faster than a great deal. E-commerce is a hot ticket right now. Busy people with little time to travel from store to store can hop online, and with a few clicks, have the merchandise delivered to their front door. Raising teenagers isn't cheap, and with college looming just around the corner, finding the right discounts online can be a great way to save a little cash. But what about the price and shipping costs?

It seems more and more "dot com" commercials are popping up everywhere each day. Online retailers are anxious to get you to their sites and that makes for a highly competitive market. This competition means better deals for consumers. Retailers are willing to give awesome discounts to lure you to their sites and hopefully keep you coming back. I was able to take advantage of these great deals and did most of my Christmas shopping online. My total was just less than $600. However, because I took advantage of discount codes and rebates found on the Internet, my final total was just more than $300. I saved almost 50 percent on my shopping bill!

Where are the Discounts?

When I'm in the market for a birthday present, novel, gourmet food or even a new coffee maker, I check the discount boards and coupon sites first. Discount shopping boards and coupon sites are filled with offers from online retailers. The retailer will publish a special discount code. These codes are used to save you money off your total bill. Sometimes the discounts will be for free shipping as well.

One of the easier sites to navigate I've found so far is found at mycoupons.com. Here, you will find numerous posts from other members about discounts, freebies, rebates and other special offers. Although you don't have to be a member to read the posts, you do need to be one to make a post. Becoming a member is fast and free. The advantage of membership is that it gives you the opportunity to post questions you may have about a deal that has been posted. I am continually surprised at how many positive and friendly responses I get to my posts when I ask a question about a particular deal. Another benefit to using a shopping board is you will get the opinions of other shoppers. Their experiences, good and bad, can give you some extra information before you buy from an online retailer. I once stayed away from a potential good discount after reading numerous posts on the company's history of over-charging and not delivering the merchandise promised.

Other sites just offer the discount codes and special offers without the posts. The deals are listed by date or you can click on a specified category, depending on your shopping need.

How Do the Discounts Work?

Shopping boards and coupon sites will post the specific information about the discount. Jot down the discount code. (Discount codes are case-sensitive, so make sure you write down the code as given.) Once you finish shopping, type in the code at the "check out" area of the site. Most sites have an area that clearly states "discount offer" or "coupon" for you to type in your code. Your savings should appear before you confirm your order. If you have a problem using a code, call the customer service number or e-mail the retailer.

What Kinds of Deals Can I Get?

Some of the best discounts I received were from being a first-time customer. For instance, a past deal I received from a herb/health food online store was for $20 off the first purchase. A minimum purchase of $20 was required to get the discount. I found products for about $22 and payed about $3 for shipping. I received $22 worth of merchandise for $5.

Another great find was through an online toy store. I was able to use a 50 percent instant coupon and a shipping rebate, both found on a shopping board. I ordered $119.56 worth of toys and games. With the 50 percent instant coupon and snail mail rebate, my final bill was $79.28. I saved $40.28! Not a bad deal for doing a little bit of homework first.

Be a Smart Shopper

My experience with online shopping has been quite good. However, I have had some canceled orders and my credit card was over-charged once. These situations were resolved quickly because I kept records of my transactions. Some tips I have learned along the way are:

  1. Make sure the site you are shopping on is secure. A secured site encrypts your personal information, including credit card numbers. Check out the security/privacy statement at the site. My browser has a feature that displays a padlock on my tool bar to signify I'm on a secured site.
  2. Print out your online receipt. This is your record of your transaction. Every online retailer I have purchased from also sent an e-mail confirmation of the sale.
  3. Jot down the customer service number on your printout. In the event you have a problem, the number will be handy to correct the error.
  4. Read your credit card statement when it arrives. Compare the amount charged on your statement with the amount from your online receipt. Report any errors to the online retailer immediately. Many credit card companies are online as well. You can track your transaction history and catch any errors right away.
  5. To keep all my passwords and login names organized, I keep an index card file. Online retailers are alphabetized and my passwords and login names are easy to access.

Do Your Homework

The next time you're in the market for a gift, an item for the home or just a little something for yourself, check out the discount shopping code sites first. A little bit of "homework" can yield substantial savings for you.

Do Your Homework

The next time you're in the market for a gift, an item for the home or just a little something for yourself, check out the discount shopping code sites first. A little bit of "homework" can yield substantial savings for you.

empty star empty star empty star empty star empty star Rate This Article
Print
null data...
promoObjectId (null)
promoObject.title ()
promoObject.contentType ()
promoWidth ()
promoHeight ()
promoContainerId (editorialPromo1)
promoCSS (on_travelTips_aggregate)
this displays when the floating stack report is on
null data...
promoObjectId (null)
promoObject.title ()
promoObject.contentType ()
promoWidth ()
promoHeight ()
promoContainerId (editorialPromo2)
promoCSS (on_travelTips_aggregate)
this displays when the floating stack report is on
null data...
promoObjectId (null)
promoObject.title ()
promoObject.contentType ()
promoWidth ()
promoHeight ()
promoContainerId (editorialPromo3)
promoCSS (on_travelTips_aggregate)
this displays when the floating stack report is on
Please log in ...
Close
You must be logged in to use this feature.

Thank You!

Thank you for helping us maintain a friendly, high quality community at Family.com. This comment will be reviewed by a community moderator.

Flag as Not Acceptable?

We review flagged content and enforce our Terms of Use, in which content must never be:

See full Terms of Use.