Basics of online shopping – help reduce holiday stress

The holidays are approaching, and a need to increase our shopping will follow. To help every dollar spent go as far as possible and keep our pain and stress levels from being acerbated this article was perfect timing. Carrie and I have the same views regarding shopping online. As I could not have written the article better, why try! Although I have made a couple changes to her original article, mainly made to the name of the online shopping location(chgs in italtic). I recently discovered iGive.com which is a fantastic way to shop online while donating to your favorite charity. iGive.com merchants have agreed to donate a percentage of your purchase to the nonprofit of your choice. Participating, respected SM/CM nonprofit 501C(3) within the SM/CM community are Column of Hope and ASAP, American Syringomyelia Alliance Project. If you have not enjoyed the world of online shopping before, now is the time. With the holidays approaching free shipping abounds. This also allows you to ship the purchase directly to someone as a gift. All while donating a percentage to your favorite nonprofit!
Basics of Online Shopping As someone who rarely gets out, online shopping has been a savior to reducing stress in my life when it comes to purchasing gifts or other items for my household. A few weeks ago, my husband and I had early 20-somethings over after church services, and we got to talking about Christmas shopping and how we managed it. I was surprised to see how people younger than me (and I am only 28) were shocked that the abundance of our family’s purchases came from on line shopping . And I do mean abundance!
There are advantages to online shopping: 1. Convenient! You don’t leave your house! 2. Often there are sales, discounts, or promotional codes 3. Can complete at your own pace 4. Shipping eliminates the almost insurmountable task of hunting down the items, carrying a load of goodies to the car, out of the car, and into the house!
5. By using iGive.com for your online shopping you are also donating a percentage of your purchase to your favorite nonprofit.
Obviously, there are disadvantages that can come along with online shopping: 1. Tedious: the window shopping to find a specific item may NOT be as easy as meandering through the mall 2. May seem harder to find exact options you are looking for 3. Don’t get the “in person” experience of seeing the item you are purchasing 4. Shipping can be expensive. Look for free shipping codes.
From someone who is slowly becoming an almost 100% online shopper out of necessity, I thought I’d pass along a few helpful hints. 1. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, do a search for promotional codes using your favorite search engine or a website like http://www.retailmenot.com. Promotional codes are like online’s version of in-store coupons. Finding bargains or just saving money is a huge asset. There are many stores that regularly have coupons available. The offers might vary from free shipping to a discount off of the purchase, but often a favorite store keeps these promotional codes available for their online customers. 2. Using iGive.com provides access to big online mega stores and allows you to get an idea on the probable cost, availability, reviews of items. A variety of merchants sell through iGive, and some offer free shipping on returns for most items if sent back within a specified time window. Personally, I don’t order an item online if it doesn’t qualify for the free shipping, (by amount spent or code), so that factors in on actual cost compared to another site that you might have to pay for shipping on top of the product’s cost. Some also refund money if an item’s purchase price decreases within 30 days of the time you bought it. What’s better than that? 3. If you are curious about reviews of big-ticket items or items you want to know about others’ experiences with, http://www.epinions.com is your answer! People just like you have submitted their personal reviews about an enormous range of items, stretching from baby gear to appliances. Having access to epinions allows me to purchase items without the confusion of standing in aisle jumbled with very similar items and I can get first-hand reports about the product to see if it fits my needs. 4. Keep a few websites handy to help you find deals: PriceProtectr.com allows you to submit an item you’ve purchased into their system and THEY track whether prices go down. (Yes, for free!) Many companies offer refunds if prices go down within a certain time period after a purchase, but this website does the watching for you so you’re guaranteed to know. Also, Dealnews.com and Fatwallet.com are well organized websites that let you know of substantial savings on popular items, while offering search options for your individualized needs as well. Overstock.com and Smartbargains.com are also discount sources for products. Supply or options may not be high, but the prices are usually unbeatable. 5. Keep an eye out for poor shipping deals. Sometimes it’s just not cost-effective to purchase items due to the online taxes and shipping costs. If you’re able, you can conduct your window shopping online and then go to the store to complete the actual purchase. Some stores (Sears, Best Buy, etc.) are even allowing you to purchase an item online and then you go there for a quick pick-up. At least that’s better than standing in lines after hunting for the particular item within the store. All in all, you need to weigh in your personal needs (health, finances, location of store).
As you can probably tell, I am not exactly an impulse shopper. I spend a lot of time analyzing products before making a decision, and online shopping gives me the opportunity to take my time exploring all of my options. The combination of convenience and savings keeps me hooked. One without the other probably wouldn’t help me out as much. But, it’s good to know that the virtual shopping world appears to be progressing in both areas while improving its helpfulness in comparison shopping. Hopefully these are a few very basic guidelines that can get you started in the right direction if you have a little trepidation about entering the world of online stores. Article written by Carrie Burns, © 2008 butyoudontlooksick.com

Advertisements

About AZSyringoChiari

Support Group for rare neurological disorders.
This entry was posted in Articles/Information. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s