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The majority of my frugal shopping adventures take place online. I love not having to fight crowds and wait in a long line to pay for my merchandise. But do you know what I love most about shopping via the internet? The deals! Yes, folks, there really are many great sales in the cyber marketplace for the frugal shopper! In fact, many times I've discovered that I save more money shopping online than I do shopping at brick and mortar stores in Southern Illinois.
Back when the internet was still new, shipping prices were inflated so much that most of the time it was still cheaper to shop offline. Nowadays, though, shipping and return policies are more consumer friendly, and when I factor in the high price of gas to drive into town, I discover I usually get better bargains shopping online.
Shopping online for deals will take time to get the best bargains, but the time that you'll spend researching to find the best online deals will be worth it.
How a Frugal Shopper Scores the Best Online Deals
When shopping online for the best deals, you'll want to compare prices. Thankfully, you don't have to spend hours comparing prices yourself, because price comparison sites have done it for you. However, it will take a little time to examine the price comparison websites to find the merchandise you're looking for at the lowest price. Once you get use to the sites' layouts, though, it won't take as long next time you decide to go on a shopping spree.
As I get ready to compare prices, I ensure I have a notebook and pen handy to write down the name of the merchandise I plan to buy. Next, I explore each of the sites, and when I come across the product I'm interested in, I see which merchant sells that item for the lowest price. Finally, I write down the name of the merchant with the lowest price. I also write down the price that online store sells the product for, because later I'll search for current deals from that merchant.
Confused? Here's an example, which I hope makes it easier for you to understand… Let's say I'm looking to buy a Nintendo Wii U 32 GB Deluxe Game Console. First, I head to Google Shopping and type "Nintendo Wii U" (with quotes) into the search box at the top of their page. After clicking to search, I see what I'm looking for, so I click the "compare prices" button. Now I scroll to the bottom of the store listings and see there are 40 stores with this product, so I click "view all 40 online stores."
Upon viewing all the stores, I see (at the time of this writing) Walmart has the cheapest price at $299.96 (with free shipping, if you have it shipped to your local Walmart).
Although Google Shopping shows that Walmart has the lowest price, I want to check with the other comparison sites to see if they list different online stores with an even lower price (including shipping). That being said, I open a new tab and head to Price Grabber. I do the same at Price Grabber as I did at Google Shopping. Walmart still has the lowest price (including shipping), so I'll continue doing the same aforementioned steps with each comparison shopping site.
Once I finished looking at all four of my favorite comparison shopping sites, I discovered Walmart had the lowest price. So, being the frugal shopper that I am, here's what I wrote in my notebook: "Nintendo Wii 32 GB Deluxe Game Console, Walmart, $299.96 with free shipping if I have it shipped to my local Walmart store."
Now that you know the online retailer you want to buy from head over and read my tips on how a frugal shopper goes about finding the best sales.