Things to look for when shopping online:

FREE SHIPPING (ONE OR BOTH WAYS)

Nowadays, most online retailers offer free shipping (at least one way if not both) to remain competitive.  Some online retailers don’t directly offer free shipping, but may offer coupon codes.  Others may only offering free shipping for certain dollar amount purchases.

COUPON CODES

Online retailers realize that the competition can be fierce.  Getting the sale might mean putting out a coupon code to entice the buyer.  All other things equal (free shipping, no tax, competitive price, product availability), a coupon code is going to be the deal maker!  Once you determine the retailer that meets the best price criteria, google the “store name coupon code”.  www.retailmenot.com is a great resource for finding legitimate, current deals and coupon codes.  Beware of websites that inflate their prices and then offer coupon codes to make it seem like you are getting a good deal.

BEST PRICE/SALES

 

SALES TAX

If the online retailer does not have a physical presence in the state where you are shipping the merchandise, then you do not pay sales tax.

RETURN POLICIES

BUYER BEWARE.  Pay attention to return policies.  Some websites only offer limited returns, store credit returns, etc.  Read the small print!

LEGITIMATE ONLINE RETAILERS

The beauty of online shopping is that you can find some small boutique on the other side of the country that you would never have otherwise discovered without the internet.  The flipside is that you may encounter a fake website that is looking to scam.  I have found that googling the name of the online retailer helps determine the retailers legitimacy.  You’d be surprised to find blogs that warn you about certain websites that people have had issues with.  There are also online merchant programs that link up with legitimate online retailers.   These website offer cash back incentives to people who sign up on their website and make purchases through their website.  One great one is rewards.luckymag.com.  Lucky Magazine Rewards Program literally has hundreds of legitimate online retailers that participate in the program.  Even if you don’t sign up (but you’d be crazy not to), you can use it as a resource/search engine for endless online retailers and merchandise.

CONSUMER REVIEWS

Many websites have consumer reviews of the merchandise they are selling.  Reading reviews will save you time and money in the long run.  Consumer reviews cover issues like quality, fit, style, etc.  For example, you may normally wear a size 10 shoe, but reviewers my state that a shoe runs large or small for size.

CASH BACK PROGRAMS

There are free programs out there that offer cash back incentives to people who sign up on their website and make purchases through their website.  One great one is rewards.luckymag.com.  Lucky Magazine Rewards Program literally has hundreds of online retailers that participate in the program.  Check it out!

PRODUCT AVAILABILITY

The beauty of online shopping is that if you find something you want to buy, but they don’t have your size, more then likely, another online retailer will.  All you do is google the name of the item.  Be sure to include the brand name, the item name or description and color if applicable.