Online Shopping

December 4, 2011 at 12:59 pm 1 comment

With the Christmas shopping season upon us (I’m done!), I do like to support local places, but as a way to get more bang for my buck, I had to turn to some online stores, like Amazon, Lands’ End, and L.L. Bean. I like the places that offer free shipping and give me bonus dollars for dollars spent. It’s incredibly easy to do, if you haven’t already.

Some people are leery of online shopping, but there are steps you can take to help make the experience safer. Use one credit card for all online purchases. I use a card that never leaves my house, so the only purchases on the bill when it comes are the online ones. It’s easy for me to make sure I’m not getting other charges I didn’t make. Surprisingly, the card was hacked once, but the credit card company took care of it. Hmmm, who got ahold of my card number, when it never leaves my house? Could have been someone at one of the places I shopped. The credit card noticed the charges that seemed out of the ordinary for me and called me to check on it!

Another tip, create an email address that you use exclusively for online shopping receipts, special deals, etc. You can create a freebie with Gmail, Yahoo, or your Internet service provider. It’s another easy way to keep track of your purchases. I don’t print out the receipts, but I do make a screen shot of them and paste it into MS Word and save it to my computer desktop. Once the item has been received and the bill paid, I delete it or if it’s an item with a warranty, I can print it or save it to a file folder on my computer. How do you make a screen shot? While viewing the receipt, press the PrtScn or Print Screen button on your keyboard. Open MS Word or use WordPad (Start/All Programs/Accessories/WordPad), or your word-processing program and use the Ctrl+V shortcut (or Paste) to paste it into the document. Save it to your desktop. If that seems like too much effort, just print the receipt.

Amazon is rocking it this year. Most of the stuff I ordered came incredibly fast. I do have one item on backorder and I hope it comes through. The nice part about using Amazon is that you can see the regular retail price and Amazon’s price for comparison. In one case, I was looking for a toy that was $39.99 on Amazon and only $21.99 at Target. So, I went to Target to get it. And that’s another cool thing…look at the stores online site to see if the item is available at your local store! How cool is that? Saves an unnecessary trip!

The best part of online shopping that is you can comparison shop. You can check prices to see which place has the best deal and look at reviews for an item. Amazon almost always offers reviews. BEFORE you buy a DVD on Amazon, look at the reviews. I bought Father’s LIttle Dividend, the classic film, and I should have read the reviews first. All of the reviews were bad…not the movie, but the quality. Someone wrote, “It looked like it was filmed by a video camera pointed at a TV.” Lesson learned – read the reviews. I don’t just look at the 4 or 5 star reviews, I look at the 1 star. I want to know what someone didn’t like about an item. Want to see them quickly? Click on the 1 star link.

I read that online purchases were up this year over last year and it doesn’t surprise me. With the cost of gas and time spent, especially in the big stores, shopping from the comfort of home is a bonus. No, you can’t touch an item or try it on, but you can generally return items – check the return policy. For the most part, online shopping is a great experience. But…do support your local stores whenever possible, especially the little ones that are generally run by people who live in your area.

In addition to the ones mentioned, here are some other online stores I like:
Moolka for children’s toys
Cutlery and More for kitchen items
Penzey’s for the best spices. They make great gift set combinations, too!
Vermont County Store is great for some oldtime items, like penny candy, and general merchandise
American Spoon Food for jams, butters, salsas, etc. They make chocolate fruit cake, and they have gift sets that can come in a handmade birch basket.
Turner Classic Movies for that hard to find film
Reuseit for safe water bottles, shopping bags, etc.
Etsy for artsy, handmade items
Uncommon Goods for that out of the ordinary gift
Current for greeting cards, stationery, and wrapping paper deals

What are your favorite online stores?

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Bras Christmas Movies

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. jinnyus  |  December 27, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    All the items I ordered for Christmas came before Dec. 24. I was very pleased. For a change, nothing was backordered until January.

    Reply

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