Online shopping's best benefit is price comparison
Q: I keep hearing all about the holiday bargains available over the Internet. What's your advice on how to find?those bargains?
A: Here's the thing about holiday shopping online. What you don't get is the sensory and enticing experience of walking through a store and being "struck" by the "perfect gift." What you do get is a disciplined way to shop for the best price on something you already have decided should be the perfect gift.
And since you're likely not to pay local sales taxes when you order online (unless the merchant has a retail presence in your location), there is a huge incentive to avoid the crowds and order online. Online holiday shopping is expected to increase 17 percent from $46.63 billion in 2011 to $54.47 billion in 2012.
But the real benefit of online shopping is instant price comparison. Many websites scurry around the Internet finding all the best bargains on the products you are most likely to want. When you click through from their website, you get the low price guarantee — and they get a small fee per click-through from the store.
PriceGrabber.com is one of the top shopping comparison websites. You can ?go to the site and compare prices of more than 80 million different products and read merchant reviews. Shoppers can also download the PriceGrabber App which gives them the ability to compare prices on the go by browsing or using the barcode scanner.
It's instant information. You can compare by product category — i.e., top three 40-inch LCD televisions, or find the lowest price sellers of the product you decide upon.
PriceBlink.com is another free tool that saves you money by doing all the searching for you for coupons, free shipping and more.
If you can purchase that very same product on another site for less or if the site you're on offers any coupon codes, free shipping or any other deals, PriceBlink will let you know.
Priceblink also just released a free companion iPhone App, called BuyorNot, which helps shoppers when they're in the store to quickly see how an item is rated by other shoppers simply by scanning the barcode of any product to search more than 45 million reviews.
News Photo Galleriesview all
- 101218Oklahoma tornadoes: The 'Big Dog,' the little boy and the hug that triumphs over tragedy
- 15357OKC Thunder: Kevin Durant tours Moore, meets with residents
- 13402Oklahoma tornadoes: ‘All I could do was sit there and hold her'
- 8724Line of storms brings flash floods to Oklahoma City area
- 8110How to help tornado victims
- 8098Oklahoma tornadoes: Love for Oklahoma generates big donation
- 8041Oklahoma tornadoes: Rams quarterback Sam Bradford leading aid effort