- Online shopping allows people to from their own computer. When a person visits an online retailer, purchases an item with her credit card and has it delivered to an address, she has completed the process of online shopping. Online shopping has become more popular through the years and is becoming a more widely used way to purchase goods. Online shopping grew 33 percent in 2005 (see Resources).
- There are many benefits to online shopping. Online shopping is extremely popular during the Christmas shopping season. People would rather from home or even during breaks at work instead of waiting in long, stressful lines at retail stores. Also, people can shop online at any time of the day. Shopping online allows a person to shop at ease without being rushed. She has the chance to save a page and come back to it later to decide whether she will purchase the item.
- Double-check with shopping websites to make sure they are legit. Look them up in the Better Business Bureau database. Also, watch out for phishing websites. Always double-check the URL in your web address bar to be sure it matches with the website. When checking your items out, be sure that the URL reads “https://” to know that it is a secure website. Never give out payment information on a URL that is not. Use a credit card when shopping instead of debit or checking account information. You can always cancel transactions or turn off your service if you believe your credit card number has been misused.
- Note the shipping prices when you are buying online. Be sure that they match with prices listed by the United States Postal Office, UPS or FedEx. Do not overpay for shipping. Some online retailers often try to take advantage of customers by overcharging for shipping. Be sure to read all material regarding returns, order cancellations or customer complaints. Locate the customer contact information and be sure that it is a working number. Always double-check with a company before placing an order if you are unsure of the business.
- Individuals can buy almost anything online these days. Groceries and food products can be purchased and delivered to homes. Also, those who need medicines or herbal remedies can also buy them online. One of the most popular items purchased online are books. According to an online article in January 2008, Nielsen online reported that 41 percent of Internet users had bought books in the past three months (see Resources). Other items that are popular purchases and can be shopped for online are DVDs, electronics, games, tickets and clothing. Almost anything that is tangible can be purchased online. Another way that shoppers can buy online is through online auction houses such as the popular website eBay.
- Browse through the eBay “Want It Now” pages. This section is dedicated to postings from buyers who are looking for specific items that you can send information to about your auctions. Plus, it gives you an idea of items to keep an eye out for while searching for items to resell.
- Search recently ended auctions on eBay to see what kind of prices other sellers are getting for their stuff. This will give you an idea of the average amount you might receive for like items and lets you know how much to spend on these items and still make a good profit.
- Visit all of the local thrift stores on a regular basis. Prices at thrift stores are usually very reasonable and if you know what kind of stuff sells the best and gets the higher bids, then you know what to look for while shopping. Some unusual things you might not think about are vintage jigsaw puzzles and games, which sell well and can usually be bought for as little as a quarter or no higher than a couple of dollars.
- Go to as many garage sales as possible. These are great places to find bargains and if it’s later in the day on the last day of the sale, people are even more willing to make a deal, because they want to get rid of as much stuff as possible. This is especially true when several people come together at one location and have one large garage sale, they don’t want to load up everything that didn’t sell and take it back home.
- Shop at flea markets, swap meets and other places where people set up booths to sell their stuff in one big location. Like garage sales, these people don’t want to load up a bunch of stuff at the end of the day.
- Look for estate sales in the local newspaper. Many estate sales are run by a company on behalf of the family, who will usually hold the sale over a number of days. Generally on the last day, they will mark prices down as much as 50 percent. Estate sales are a good source to find antiques, which can also be very big sellers, if you know what to look for and get it for a good price.
- Check out antique stores. Although items in antique stores tend to be higher in price because the vendors are aware of the value of these items, if you can catch something on sale or if the store is overstocked and trying to reduce inventory, you might still find a bargain.
- Attend various types of auctions, especially consignment auctions where there’s a better chance of finding lots of different kinds of stuff. Most auctions will sell things in lots, which allows you to buy large amounts of stuff at one time for one low price. The only drawback is that you tend to only want a few of the items from the lot. However, you simply need to weed through the stuff that won’t sell well and donate it to local thrift stores or hold your own garage sale.
- Drive to other cities close to where you live once or twice a month and check out their thrift stores, flea markets and garage sales. If you live in a smaller city, you could eventually run out of good selections and may have to visit larger cities on a more frequent basis to find plenty of cheap stuff to resell on eBay.
- Anyone can create a website to sell products and accept online payments. Avoid buying stuff online when the website is not secure so that you can try to prevent fraud and identity theft. To buy stuff online, you must disclose personal information. Make sure that the website is safe by searching for an unbroken key or closed padlock located at the corner of the internet browser. Another signal involves checking the URL for a ‘s’ after the http, (e.g., https://…). If a scam artist lures you into buying stuff online, then you are at risk of being a victim of theft because the scam artist can make multiple purchases using your checking information.
- If you buy items online, be aware that merchants can track your spending habits. Cookies allow merchants to identify the websites that you access. There are short-term cookies that expire after you close a browser, while persistent, long-term cookies remain until you delete or empty your computer’s cache. You can recognize persistent cookies because upon accessing a website, your information (e.g., user name) is readily available.
Have you ever wanted a Coach handbag, or wanted to give one as a gift to someone you love? Are you in “Sticker Shock” when you look at the retail price of Coach handbags in the Coach store or the high end retail stores? I understand! Me too!
But did you know that you can find Authentic Designer Coach handbags for way, way below retail online? The best place I have found to shop for them is on eBay. The variety is endless and the prices are truly amazing.
- Log onto eBay and you will see the main home page. Once you are here, you can begin your shopping adventure. If you type in Coach in the search field and select “Clothing, Shoes & Accessories” from the drop down Categories box, you will be engulfed by nearly 50,000 results. Yipes! But at this point, start to filter down to find what you are looking for.
Click “Women’s Handbags & Bags” in the Categories left hand column. This will reduce your results by over 45%. (You don’t want to see Coach shoes, Coach clothing, Coach scarves, etc in your search for the perfect handbag!).
- Once here, you can filter down even further by the bag type. You can pick “Handbags & Purses” (the most populated filter), or you can look for specific items like briefcases, diaper bags, eyeglass cases, etc. You’ll probably want to pick Handbags & Purses.
- Up will come all the handbags & purses, with more filter options on the left. You can then choose to search by style (bucket bag, hobo bag, tote, shoulder bag, satchel, etc.). You can also search by color, by material, by price or by condition. Searching by price may be very useful to you because if you are buying a gift, you may have a certain budget to stick to. You can plug in your minimum and maximum dollar values and eBay will return those handbags that fall within your budget. Very useful tool!
You can also filter by condition, which may be important when purchasing a Coach bag as a gift. Most of the Coach bags sold on eBay are “New with Tags”, but filtering by that condition helps to de-clutter the search. You can do both; filter by condition and then by price. This makes it much easier to pinpoint what you are after.
- Another way to shop for a designer Coach bag on eBay is more specific. Say for example you know the name of the bag you desire (or your daughter mentioned it to you and you want to buy it as a gift…). You can search for it in the main search box. For example, Coach Madison or Coach Julianne. Then, filter by price or condition as mentioned in the previous step if you wish.
- This also works great if you happen to visit the Coach retail store and can remember the style number of the handbag you lusted after. Coach items have a 5 digit style number assigned to them. It appears in the upper left corner on the top portion of the Coach tag. This style number is helpful to search for a specific bag on eBay. Simply plug in Coach #13245 (for example) and up will come only that style!
- Once you find what you are after, either bid on it (if it is an auction format listing) or Buy It Now. Many eBay sellers are offering Free Shipping so be sure and watch the shipping costs. You can filter by Free Shipping too, which can end up saving you a fair amount of money. But, be aware that many sellers offering Free Shipping simply add in that cost ahead of time to the price of their item. You need to compare “apples to apples” as they say to be sure you are really saving.
- Understand that these sales are called sample sales, but in many cases, you actually aren’t buying samples. You’re buying clothing from the lines that your favorite designers create. Online sample sales are attractive to designers because they gets their brand name out there and let them sell out when there is a surplus of certain items. Or, a designer can use these sample sales to get rid of last season’s merchandise.
- Get invitation codes. To participate in these designer clothing sales, you’ll need to be invited. The benefit to needing an invitation code to join is that only a limited number of people are users of the sites.
- Sign up for daily designer sale reminders. Each site allows you to sign up for daily reminders so you know which sales will be starting each day. This is great for fashionistas who want to grab their items immediately when designer sales begin. Don’t be alarmed by your inbox filling up with email; each site has an email address that clearly identifies what site it is (One Kings Lane, Row Nine, One Kings Lane, etc. will show up in your from line) and what the daily sales are. You won’t even have to click in to most emails to know what’s on sale that day.
- Shop as soon as each sale begins. Popular items, especially Juicy Couture, Gucci, Coach and Fendi, sell out fast. As soon as a sale starts, log on. If you want an item, put it in your cart. You can always put it back if you don’t want it. You just need to claim your items before anyone else does.
- Understand the differences between each sample sale site. Gilt features women’s clothing, men’s clothing, travel destinations and more. Beyond the Rack features a lot of accessories such as bags and sunglasses. One King’s Lane features only home decor. Ideeli allows you to pay a yearly fee and receive early access to sample sales.
- Invite friends to join the sample sale websites. When each person you invite makes a purchase, you get a credit between $10 and $50 — depending on the site — toward a future purchase of your own. You will receive $25 when each referral to Ideeli makes her first purchase and $50 with Row Nine.
- Check woot.com every day and as early as possible. Woot.com updates at midnight. Check the site early to ensure that you have the best possibility of buying the product. If you don’t check the site daily, you may miss something you may have purchased.
- RSS. Sign up for woot’s RSS feed at http://www.woot.com/blog/rss.aspx. Getting the feed will help you to remember to check the site daily, thus providing you with the best opportunity to purchase the extremely discounted items.
- Woot-Off. Sometimes woot.com will change their format a bit and offer a “woot-off”. A woot-off lasts anywhere from 24-72 hours and is unannounced by woot.com. A woot-off means that when a product sells out, a new one becomes available so several products may be available during the term of the woot-off.
- Random Crap. Instead of a legitimate product, woot.com will offer Random Crap, a grab bag of miscellaneous products kicking around the warehouse, however don’t be deceived into thinking it is garbage. The BOC, “Bag O’ Crap” is can contain several dollar store type items or significantly more expensive items, making the one dollar investment worth that much more.
- Product launches. Woot occationally partners up with various companies in order to launch new products. An animated rocket ship on the page identifies a product launch and that the product, for that day, is only available through woot.com.
- 2-for-Tuesday. Every Tuesday woot offers a two-pack product, doubling your savings! Sometimes the packs will even be more than two.
- Woot Wine. If you are looking to purchase luxurious wines at discount prices, keep your eye on wine.woot.com for great deals.
- Woot Shirt. Check out shirt.woot.com for great prices on shirts. Watch for random shirt day, where you can receive a random t-shirt at an extremely discounted price.
- Compare prices online. Using a search engine, compare the prices of roses that a few different suppliers charge for the amount that you need. Most sites have a price estimator, even down to the shipping costs. Comparison shopping online is just as important as in person because everyone wants the best (meaning cheapest) deal possible; this is especially important if you’re buying a significant number of roses.
- Consider finding a supplier near you so the shipping charge doesn’t overshadow your quantity bargain, if you are buying real roses. If you are buying artificial flowers, the location of the supplier probably won’t matter, as time does not have such an effect on the look of the flowers.
- Consider skipping the shipping bill altogether and just picking up your purchase if you own the means to do so and the supplier isn’t far. Some suppliers of bulk flowers allow buyers to pick up their merchandise.
- Enter the proper information on your order form. This information includes the receiver’s name, address, phone number, and payment information. Including the correct shipping information is especially important if you need the flowers delivered somewhere other than where you live or your place of business.
- Click “Commit,” “Send,” or “Order” on the final page of your process. This is, of course, the most important step because it finalizes your order and gets the ball rolling on your bulk roses. At this point your screen may or may not tell you if you’ve left out or mistyped some crucial information on your order form. Be sure to print your confirmation page in case of a mix-up.
- Be at the place of delivery when the roses are to be dropped off. It is impossible for the delivery person to wait around with a truck full of flowers, so it is important to be ready for the delivery. You could risk wilted or ruined real roses over this step or a delay in your delivery in the case of artificial roses.
Online Auction Sites
- Online auction sites offer the flexibly of online shopping with the opportunity to pick up inexpensive fashion pieces. Both new and used clothes are sold on online auction sites, with many items starting at around $1. Auction sites are useful places to clear out your closet and make some cash back on items of clothing you no longer like. Make sure you know your measurements before bidding, because not all sellers offer refunds. Check shipping costs before placing a bid.
- Thrift and vintage stores offer some quirky, retro pieces, and many items are cheap. Vintage sizing often is smaller than today’s sizing, so try clothes on before purchasing. Don’t dismiss bargain items that are a little too big. A friend who likes to sew or local seamstress may be able to take in a dress or shorten a hem for a small charge.
Savvy Sales Shopping
- Pick up end-of-season clothing during the sales. Don’t fall into the common shopping trap of buying tons of items that you’ll never wear just because they are cheap. Shop smartly if you want to get real value for money. Look out for classic cuts and colors that will last season after season. Leave the fad, trend-led pieces behind. Make a list of items you need before entering the store, and shop only for items from your list.
- Cheap clothes may be your goal, but it’s also possible to get clothes for free. Hold a clothes swap party with friends or family members if you want accumulate new clothes and get rid of your old ones. Ask friend to bring four or five items that she is prepared to swap. That way, you can shop from each other’s closets without spending a dime.
Online sample sale websites, Zappos.com, eBay, Craigslist and a few ritzy off-price retailers sell cheap designer handbags everyday to bargain fashionistas from Miami to Maine. In addition, savvy shoppers are looking for cheap Chanel handbags and cheap Louis Vuitton handbags online, quick and fast. If you love authentic designer handbags, you’re just a mouse click away from finding your own buying cheap designer purses online.
- Look for deals on cheap designer handbags at Overstock.com, Zappos.com and Bluefly.com. There are a multitude of internet sites that sell fake designer handbags. To be sure that you are buying a real designer purse, only shop at retailers that purchase authentic bags as overstock items from luxury department stores and boutiques.
- Head over to eBay or Craigslist to score sweet designer handbag deals for less. Celebrity shopping divas like the Kardashians have eBay boutiques where they unload their designer duds and purses for handbag lovers on a budget. If you are lucky, you can find a cheap designer purse on at online swapping and selling site like Craigslist for a steal.
- Sign up for cheap designer handbag deals at online sample sale and designer deal websites. Hautelook, Gilt Group and Ideeli all sell cheap Coach handbags and deeply discounted designer purse deals each week. Become a member of these shopping sites to get a daily email advertising their online purse deals and shopping bonanzas.
- Shop at online designer consignment stores. Most ritzy designer consignment stores have a fresh selection of Prada, Burberry, Balenciaga and Coach handbags from fashionistas who cannot wear the same item twice. Take advantage of the cheap designer handbag selections found at online consignment boutiques.
- If you’ve yet to discover the world of online sample sales, you’re sure to be surprised by how low designer prices can go. Designers often create more merchandise than they’re able to sell. In order to get rid of the excess merchandise, they host sample sales, selling their wares at deeply discounted prices. More often than not, designers will agree to have an outside organization produce the sample sale on their behalf. If you live in a fashion mecca like New York City, it’s easy to visit these sales and browse all the beautiful clothing and accessories in person. However, Web-based companies like Hautelook.com and Gilt Groupe feature online sample sales in which anyone can participate.
- It’s free and easy to sign up to shop at www.hautelook.com. The dynamic, user-friendly website showcases designer clothing, shoes and accessories by premium designers such as Cynthia Vincent and Elizabeth and James at up to 75 percent off. New sales occur daily and last for approximately 24 hours. Hautelook sends sale announcements to its members via email, but won’t litter your inbox with spam. An added bonus is the ability to watch informative videos about the featured designers.
- Like Hautelook, Gilt Groupe uses email to alert its members to its daily sample sales for men, women and children. Found at www.gilt.com, the site hosts sales by top-tier designers like Oscar De La Renta and Kate Spade. Access to the site is by invitation only, but browsing fashion blogs and magazines, asking around or even performing some savvy Googling will easily score you entrance to this “exclusive” club. Members who invite their friends receive an extra $25 off any purchase, so you’ll be doing others a favor by asking them to send you an invitation.
- Not only does www.ideeli.com host sample sales, it also provides frequent giveaways featuring new merchandise from designers like Marc Jacobs and Bill Blass. The site is, like gilt.com, accessible only to members, but asking around on fashion forums like www.retailmenot.com will quickly get you the inside scoop.
- While not an online sample sale, Shopittome is a great way to locate designer clothing at discount prices. Sign up for free at www.shopittome.com to receive daily emails listing on sale items in your size, by designers and stores of your choice. You’ll be able to score heavily discounted items by top designers like Dian Von Furstenburg, as well as learn about sales at stores like The GAP and J. Crew without having to scour the Internet yourself.
- If member registration isn’t your thing, not to worry. Online sample sales open to the public happen all the time, and you can learn about them simply by browsing your favorite fun-to-read blogs. Here are some websites that are more than happy to share sample sale news with their readers:www.dailycandy.comwww.chicalert.com
Ther are deals all over the internet, from Clothing to Jewelry to Tires to Computers. The trick is to find them! I personally like buying deals from online stores rather than eBay, because usually the products are exactly described and many come with original warranties!
Here are some helpful tips on looking for products at great prices.
- MAJOR RETAILERS- Most major retailers have online stores websites. And a majority of these sites have a “Clearance, sale, or bargain” section to the site. Some of these sections are somewhat hidden, as the retailer would rather you purchase a non-sale item instead of a “sale” item. I will use Banana Republic and their website for this example. Go to www.bananarepublic.com, from there choose the type of clothes that you are interested in. I have chosen Mens Clothing for this example. Now view the image that I have included. You will see at the bottom that there is a little link called “Sale”, this is where the deals are at from Banana Republic. WOW, a $60 shirt for $20, thats 66% off! I’m gonna look sharp at a fraction of the cost.
- SMALL RETAILERS – You might be amazed on how many small retailers that either only sell online or have a store and website. Again, here is another example. I will use Cycle Gear as an example. Go to www.cyclegear.com and look for the “Specials tab” as show in the picture that I have attached. Dang, $60 OFF a pair of the best Motocross boots ever made! Now, if I was looking to grab these, I might just print this out and head down to the shop to make sure they fit and buy them there.
- MANUFACTURERS – Many manufactures sell products online. Many of these companies also sell discounted, discontinued and/or refurbished items at a steal. Again sometimes these items are hard to find on a site. I will use Apple for this example. Go to www.apple.com, click on the “Store” tab and scroll to the bottom left. You will see “refurbished macs”. Click on it. Schweeet. A $2000 note book fpor $1400, thats a quick $600 dollar saving.
- CONCLUSION – As you can see finding deals isn’t really that tough. You would be amazed on how many people don’t realize it. My next article “How to use Deals.com”, I will show you how to use a deals website (Deals.com) that allows you to share deals that you find and also lets you get deals that others have posted. The site makes finding and sharing deals SOOO EASY.
An increasing number of Internet users are shopping online these days. While it’s true that many people browse online and shop offline, there is plenty of money to be made in ecommerce.
Aspiring small business owners are often intimidated by the prospect of starting an online store, because they fear that it will be expensive and difficult. But there are ways that one can get started in the world of ecommerce with very little startup capital and a minimal amount of web design know-how.
- Find something to sell. If you are a crafter or have connections with suppliers, this part will be pretty easy. If not, there are sources online that will drop-ship products for you. That means that you get the orders through your website and collect payment, then you send payment to the company and they ship the products directly to your customer.
- Design your website, or have someone else do it for you. See the Resources section below for some options for learning how to do it yourself. Some web hosts also offer website builders as part of their hosting packages, or you can buy software that will allow you to design a website with ease.
- Sign up for an account with Mal’s E-commerce if shopping cart software is not included with your web hosting. This free service allows ecommerce store owners to put a simple shopping cart on their sites. Orders can be viewed on the Mal’s website.
- Sign up for a business PayPal account. Processing payments through PayPal eliminates the need to qualify for an expensive merchant account to accept credit cards. Buyers can pay for purchases with a credit or debit card without signing up for a PayPal account, and they can also send e-checks if they do have an account. PayPal integrates nicely with Mal’s E-commerce, and they have a free shopping cart of their own as well if you prefer to use it.
- Optimize your site for the search engines. That means including lots of keyword-rich content. This can be accomplished with articles, descriptive category pages and detailed product descriptions.