A Straight Talk on Debt

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Internet Shopping...My Latest Money Saver

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There's a very old saying, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks."  Well, I'm telling you that saying is not true when it comes to Internet shopping.  I have discovered, time and time again, that searching the Internet for things you are looking to purchase most generally yields big savings.  Sure, you are spending time doing the search, but I feel the monetary savings far outweigh the time spent.

My husband, who is also an "old dog," has even come around to my way of thinking.  I am constantly searching for parts for his antique tractor, repair parts for our vehicles, motor home, lawn mowers, and even new "stuff" he needs.  Once we find whatever it is he's looking for, he checks prices with local companies and NEVER has he been quoted a lesser price than the one found online. 

Surprisingly, I have also found that sometimes it is cheaper to purchase something from a company's website than to go into the store for it.  How much sense does that make?  Plus, oftentimes you get free shipping.  

It is much faster and easier to comparison shop via the Internet, as well. 

You can go to as many sites as you want, checking for the best price right from the comfort of your home.  That sure saves time and gasoline.  It's even faster than making price check phone calls from home!

Entirely new to me, and sealing the deal for me to do online shopping, are the websites where you can look up coupon codes for particular stores.  You find the coupon code and go back to the website where you were about to make a purchase, add the coupon code to the order, and INSTANT SAVINGS appear in the form of free shipping, a percentage off your purchase, buy one get one free offers, or actual money taken off your purchase at check out (I recently got a $20 reduction). 

What's not to like about that savings?!  

My favorite website is retailmenot.com where you can enter the name of a store to search for the coupon codes being offered.  They also give you the percentage of success for each coupon code brought up for the store.  My searches usually brought up the store of choice.  I remember only two times when the store I wanted did not come up through the search.  One of my daughters used this website for her Christmas shopping and, according to her calculations, saved her over $200 with coupon codes.  WOW!

I have two elderly aunts who are both in their late eighties.  They have everything they need and they really don't want anything.  My gifts to them are usually food items.  I recently sent each of them a gift from Harry and David's.  Both gifts were already marked down $10 each which was great.  However, I did a search on retailmenot.com and found a coupon good for free shipping.  In order to get free shipping on each gift, I made separate orders using the same coupon code.  That coupon code saved me $12.95 in shipping charges for each order.  My total savings for both gift purchases was $45.90 and that is bargain shopping at its best, as far as I'm concerned. 

Even my husband was impressed!

I have also discovered e-mail gift certificates.  You purchase your e-mail gift certificate from the store in the amount of your choice, fill in an order form that includes the recipient's e-mail address, give the date you want the gift certificate delivered via e-mail, and that's all it takes.  This is truly a wonderful way to give gifts-especially if a birthday has crept up on you and there's no time to send a gift the traditional way for it to arrive in time for the birthday.  I did this recently for one of our teenage granddaughters.  I ordered the e-mail gift certificate on her actual birthday and she received it later in the afternoon.  What a wonderful shopping convenience this is.  Since this type of transaction is still new, not all stores offer the service.  Her e-mail gift certificate came from The Buckle, which is a large chain store found in most of the larger shopping malls.  The Buckle even sent me an e-mail notification that the e-mail gift certificate had been received. 

I have been asked if I'm afraid to use my banking information online and my answer is "no."  I prefer websites where I can use PayPal and tend to make my purchases from those sites.  However, I have ordered through companies who do not use PayPal if I couldn't get the item anywhere else and I have not encountered any problems.   I feel comfortable purchasing online and really like the convenience.

The next time you are considering a purchase, especially an expensive one, do some online research. 

You may be pleasantly surprised at what you find and how much you save.  When you shop online, you are truly shopping in "the mall of America."  There is unlimited shelf space (which means a wider variety) in stores located all across America.  My favorite advantage to online shopping is no pressure from a sales person.  You can take as long as you like to consider the purchase with no unwanted interruptions.  

Buying and selling online can be very convenient and rewarding but you always have to protect yourself. If a deal looks too good to be true, it usually is. If you don't feel 100% secure on a particular site, leave it and find something else. Also make sure that your computer is well protected before you begin any transaction that involves sensitive information. There are a lot of scams on the Internet that can negatively affect your credit score and cost you money, so be proactive in your research to get the most out of shopping online

Until next time, happy shopping!

Kimberly Johns, Debt Management Plan Customer with Leading Provider of Debt Relief, CareOne Services, Inc.

Kimberly Johns

Kimberly is enrolled on the CareOne Debt Management Plan (DMP). Kimberly is very active in the Community Forums, some of you may recognize her Community user name; Tiquie. Recently retired, Kim shares how she and her husband manage the financial challenges of living on a fixed income in their home state of Illinois. The John's have found some really creative and fun ways to offset the limitations of a retirement income. Kimberly generously shares smart and tested tips in her My Journey out of Debt and A Straight Talk on Debt blogs! Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services.


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  • Another great post! I agree completely! In fact, my 15 year old daughter (and the family spendthrift) was looking to spend some of her hard earned and long saved money on a wireless headset. She has a laptop and needed new headphones... again. The wires are always getting damaged. She decided to go wireless - a much bigger investment. She was able to do a lot of investigating on what works. The reviews on line helped guide her decision making. The less expensive pair were actually getting better reviews in the areas she cared about. Then she searched for a coupon and even though she ended up buying them in the store she saved a lot of money and was much better prepared for the investment. She is thrilled with her purchase. I think she was really proud of the whole process - much better than going to a store and just choosing one based on what they advertise or what the sales people say. Our saying is - The internet is a tool! Use IT!

  • Hi kimmer5000 (I think we share the same first name)!

    The internet is so amazing if you use it correctly.  Remember when we had to use encyclopedias for research?  I don't even think they make them anymore.  There's a saying, "time is money and money is time" and, while we spend quite a bit of time researching and looking for bargains on-line, my experience is that the time always turns into money saved for me.  It's great to hear your daughter, at 15, is beginning to learn how to use her head and her hard earned money.  Thanks for checking out the blog!

  • I tend to fall into the "guy stereotype" of shopping - it's like a military mission.  Get in, find what you need, get out.  The faster the better.  Sometimes I can buy things online, but if nothing else the internet lets me do all the comparison shopping, and quality investigation ahead of time in the comfort of my own home.  Thus, by the time I leave the house I know what I want, where it is, and am assured it's in stock.  :)

  • Hi t_pizel!  True, most guys don't enjoy shopping at all.  My husband, however, likes to shop.  I think with him, it's the hunt he loves because he's a ruthless bargain shopper and a haggler.  Anyway, using the internet for any kind of shopping or researching is so great.  I love sitting in my PJ's at home shopping.  Just last week, I ordered Easter Bunnies for 2 of my far away grandchildren while sipping on a cup of my favorite tea.  To me, the internet is the greatest!

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  • Internet shopping is now trending. like in india  500 rs and 1000 rs notes are not valid now so it is hard to buy things by cash. How to exchange currency.

  • sometimes a money saver and many times a robber...!!! a deal that is being visible on your computer screen as a disount offers is something which is being available at a price more than the market..!! my suggestion would be shop smart

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