Six Money Saving Tips for Shopping Online

Many consumers know that purchasing items online can be a great way to save money and time.  But consumers should be careful to use these quick money saving tips to ensure that they’re getting the best deal for the money.

First, use your favorite search engine to run a quick search for the product. Many search engines now offer a shopping tab that can be clicked on to view a list of retailers that carry products and have chosen to advertize them with the specific search engine. For instance the popular search engine Google has ‘Shopping’. This is the easiest way to comparison shop online.

Second, if you want to take it a step further than just doing a quick search, open a new browser and use their shopping section to compare the best price from each search engine’s shipping function. I prefer to use Google shopping and then compare the results with Yahoo shopping.  You may be surprised to find that the prices can be very different.

Third, look at online auction sites to see if there are any products that you’re looking for listed. Vendors on these sites are often not held to MAP (Manufacturers Advertised Price), which is a strict pricing guideline enforced by the suppliers of online merchants. Many suppliers require that prices listed by online retailers follow this pricing guide, and can stop doing business with retailers that do not follow MAP. However online auctions are typically not held to the same rules because products are bid on, thus no price is advertized and retailers can sell them at a discount. 

Fourth, do another search with your favorite search engine using a combination of searches terms to look for discounts or coupon codes. I suggest using search terms like “coupon code for ___” ,  “5% off ___”, “10% off ____”,  “best place to buy____”, “Lowest price____”, or even try using the online retailers name and the search terms above. 

Fifth, search for forums related to the object you’re considering purchasing. Let’s say you’re looking for a model airplane. Try searching using the search terms “model airplane forums”. Once you have found the name of a popular online forum, try searching for the name of the forum plus the product you’re looking for. Often, you can find sponsors of the forum that give special deals to forum members or post coupon codes in the forums.

Finally, consider this money saving tip! Send an e-mail to the retailer to ask for the best price on an item. Don’t be afraid to mention the deals you found elsewhere and ask if they can beat it. You may be pleasantly rewarded with a much lower price by simply sending a message!

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