Below are a few helpful tips to help you shop like a pro.
1. Shop on-line, shop on-line, shop on-line!
If you haven’t shopped on-line yet, what are you waiting for? It is convenient (almost too convenient), safe, and shipping is faster and cheaper than ever. Many websites even offer free shipping and special discounts. When shopping on-line, you aren’t tied down by geography and availability. Go ahead, get out there!
2. Take advantage of the power of Froogle!
Froogle is powerful search engine created by Google that searches the web for the absolute best deals. It takes you to websites that you probably didn’t even know existed. It is simply the number one shopping aid on the Internet.
3. Look beyond Amazon.com and E-Bay.
Many new on-line shoppers go the big name websites, Amazon.com and E-Bay. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, and in fact they are among my favorite sites. However, novice Internet shoppers need to realize that there is so much more out there when it comes to purchasing something on-line. Those websites, as great as they are, are only the tip of the iceberg.
4. Use websites in conjunction with brick and mortar stores.
Many brick and mortar stores now offer a unique service on-line. You can purchase items from their website and then go pick up your order at the store. I know that Sears does this, but there are a lot of stores jumping on the bandwagon. If you are pressed for time, this is a great way to go. In addition, you might find yourself saving a lot of money shopping in this manner. Recently, my boyfriend’s parents were purchasing an expensive Christmas present for my boyfriend’s brother. They shopped around, and in the end, by purchasing the item on-line and picking up the item in the store, they saved well over $100. That is how much commission was being made at this particular electronics store. You never know when you’re going to come across some great deals.
5. Search for great one-of-a-kind regional stores.
This can be a challenge in this day and age when big box stores rule, but it can be done. There are always unique regional stores to explore. For instance, in this part of Michigan, a store called Northwoods Outlet in the small town of Pinconning is becoming well known. Originally designed as an outlet store for fisherman and other outdoorsmen on their way North, the store carries closeout decorative items at great prices. They carry truly unique items, and thus far, it has always been worth the trip.
Another favorite is Frank’s Bait and Tackle. Again, this started out as a store for fisherman heading north. Located in Linwood (just south of Pinconning), the owners won the lottery several years ago and invested their winnings into their business. It paid off big time. This store is huge and offers everything for the outdoor enthusiasts in your life. They offer a great selection on women’s outdoor apparel, as well as decorative items with an outdoor theme. I usually hit this store around Christmas time for my Dad, boyfriend, and neighbor. There is a lot more selection that you’d think. It has become something of a tradition.
I just gave you two examples off of the top of my head. Surely you can take the time to find some favorite unique stores in your area. The best part, the money you spend actually stays in the local economy.
These are just a few tips to get you started. If you are like me, you are always on the lookout for a good sale and are always up for a shopping trip, even if you don’t intend on purchasing anything.