How to Get the Best Price When Shopping Online
The internet has completely changed bargain hunting and finding the best price couldn’t be any easier.
I like to use Google products (formerly known as “Froogle”). It compares prices at thousands of retailers and show you the best deals along with ratings for each retailer.
Google products also searches sites like ebay. Although, it’s worthwhile checking ebay independently, there are lots of auctions for new products or if you’re willing to take a used one then you’ll get a great deal. If you’ve looking for something that doesn’t ship well, such as appliances, be sure to check craigslist.org or kijiji.com (owned by ebay). They let you search for products in your area so shipping is not necessary.
Sometimes the best price is at a website you’ve never heard of. This is when customer ratings and common sense are really helpful. If you’ve never heard of the retailer and can’t find a phone number for the office on the site, then I probably wouldn’t order from them. Amazon might be the only exception to this and in fact they’re one of my favorite online retailers, they frequently have the best price and their shipping and customer service are great.
If you’re searching for cameras, be weary of small companies based in New York City. They usually have the best price on camera equipment, but there are lots of online horror stories about some of these companies.
If you’re searching for travel products (hotels, flights, car rentals) then I suggest an aggregator such as kayak.com. It goes out to all of the other travel sites and pulls in the best options from each, then it provides tools to filter those results.
If you’re specifically looking for a hotel, I like hotels.com. Every ten nights you stay, you get one free. It’s similar to having a hotel loyalty program but this gives you the freedom to stay at any brand of hotel. Another tool I like for hotel searching, is Map Channels. Just type in an address and it will plot nearby hotels with vacancy on a map — hover over the hotels to see the price. This really helps if you’re trying to get a hotel in a very specific part of a city or near an event or address. Also, be sure to read my previous post, “You Can Request a Mini Fridge in Your Hotel Room.”
After you’ve found the best price, swing by a coupon sharing site to see if you can save even more, or at least get free shipping. RetailMeNot.com or CouponCabin.com (and others) will let you search by retailer and provide you with coupon codes you can enter at those sites. I tried entering a few popular retailers (Amazon, Home depot, Sears, American Eagle, Target) and they all had coupon codes. DO NOT make an online purchase without checking these sites first, otherwise you’re just giving away your money.
Written By: Chad Upton