The following is a guest post about how to save money shopping online from Glen at How to Save Money. If you’re interested in guest posting, please contact me.
Shopping on the internet is a great way to save money. Think about it for a minute. There are millions and millions of stores, blogs and websites, all selling something. They all have to compete against each other and you can see competitor prices in a nanosecond. Unless stores are engaging in price collusion, which does not seem likely given the number of places selling goods, prices on most items are at excellent levels.
Furthermore, there are all sorts of sites that are devoted entirely to specials and coupons. This brings you discounts and the best value over a broad array of goods and services. Everything you could ever want to buy is available for sale on the internet. With just a little research, it is more than likely that you can find what you want on sale, or at a discounted price.
Shopping at Amazon & eBay
Everybody knows about Amazon, right? Amazon is a huge online shopping mall. It seems to be the objective of Amazon to sell everything that exists and, eventually, to have monopoly power over the market.
Yet in spite of this goal, or perhaps because of it, Amazon has constant sales and discounts on great, new, trending items. With just a little patience, there is a good chance that you can find the item you are looking for on sale on Amazon.
eBay is another great place online to find bargains. Especially in the auction style listings. It does not happen often, but it is still possible that you could get a $1,000 item for a bid of $10. Not frequent, but certainly possible.
There are a whole host of web sites competing to bring you savings on items that you are purchasing from other stores (both on and offline).
Editor’s note: If you’re shopping on eBay, you could benefit from coupons for eBay shipping as a further way to save.
Coupon and Best Deal Sites
There is a class of website whose sole reason for existing is to find and bring to you the best deals on anything and everything. It almost doesn’t matter what you are looking for, there are websites that are continuously getting the latest information to make your life as a shopper easy.
There are even plenty of websites that deal only in coupons. It might be coupons for your local store, or coupons that you can use online to reduce the cost of an item or service. The main thing I want to drive home when it comes to coupons, is that there is almost always a coupon that you can use to reduce the cost of an item, it normally just involves a bit of searching around.
Here’s one handy tip you can use the next time you are searching for a coupon, which I finds saves me heaps of time – Go to Google, type in your search criteria like say “coupon for pizza”, then select “Search tools” and change the time to “Past Week” and hit search, like this:
This saves you heaps of time and ensures that you are only getting recent coupons that should be still valid.
Remember to Consult with your Budget
Now I know that getting a great deal can be difficult to pass up, but please remember that the best way to save money is to not buy anything. Obviously that is going to be difficult to do – you do need to eat and live after all!
So just make sure that you are buying items that you need, or that you can fit within your budget. There is no point splashing out on something that you don’t really need just because it is on special – it just doesn’t make sense.
If you do decide that the item is right for you and that you can afford it within your budget, then try to see if you can find it on sale. If you can’t, try waiting a week or so as chances are good that somewhere on the net you will find a site that is having a sale on the item you want to buy.
Author Bio: Glen is the owner of How to Save Money, a personal finance website dedicated to helping people save money and find financial freedom. Glen recently paid off over $300,000 in mortgage debt within 7 years, so why not visit his site and connect with him via Twitter or Facebook to see if he can help you too.
*Image courtesy of Flickr.