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Online Shopping Tips

More and more purchases are made on the internet nowadays, allowing for convenient price comparison and delivery and payment options. This is a guide includes online shopping tips.


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By 14 found this helpful
April 1, 2011

I live in a small town, and things can be expensive here. I have been buying a lot of things I need online from a popular online auction site. I mean, things like wool socks, sewing patterns (cheaper than W-mart), vacuum cleaner bags, craft supplies, printer ink, tools, you name it. I bought electric toothbrush refill brushes for less than half of what we would pay retail, and they were coming from England! I look for items with free shipping or lowest price including shipping.

It sure saves a lot of 30-mile trips into the nearest city, and saves time running around looking. Also, I find that if I stay out of the stores, I spend less money overall, because there are fewer impulse purchases.

By Jennifer from Gilbertsville , NY

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December 5, 2018

When you order things online, always take screenshots of the order summary and guaranteed delivery date immediately after purchase. Whether the purchase information is on the retailer's website on in your email, they can suddenly delay your delivery date and not inform you. The information for shipping can be altered, even in your original email.

Places like Amazon use link systems, not hard embedding.


This can make you feel frustrated when you don't get what you ordered at the expected time. This screenshot will be your proof to the delivery date you ultimately paid for. Most retailers will credit your account or give you some form of perk. In the past, Amazon has credited my account, given me Prime membership, and allowed me free 1-day shipping as apologies in these situations.

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By 4 found this helpful
December 6, 2010

So with the Holidays fast approaching I have some great ways to save a little extra.

If you do any online shopping now or through out the year, Ebates is awesome. Just click on this link:

Sign up with an email address, then visit the store you want to shop at through there page. You will get up to 30% cash back for your purchase. How awesome is that? Some of the stores that participate are Gap, Walmart, Target, Ebay, and a lot more :) Oh and you get a free 5$ for signing up.


This a great way to find discounted gift cards at many stores.

Oh and don't forget to google discount codes and see what you can find. Usually you can at least get free shipping or save $5 this way

By Kati from Walkersville, MD

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September 19, 2017

I have been using free extensions on my Chrome web browser when I shop online to save HUGE bucks. You simply add them to your Chrome browser then browse your favourite online shops. It will automatically try coupon codes for you, shows you price history and price drops, and tells if you if it's the best buy.

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Kelly Ann Butterbaugh0 found this helpful
April 24, 2006

It's hard to resist purchasing items at the store, but resisting on-line is even more difficult. High internet sales suggest that consumers are finding it hard to curb their internet spending appetite.


Maybe it's because the internet offers so many great desserts.

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By 3 found this helpful
September 25, 2015

When you buy online, leave the item in your cart for a few days without actually buying it. Many times, the company will email you with a discount to entice you to purchase the product they think you forgot about.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 9, 2008

When using a credit card online, stick to using only one card and use only for that purpose. You can get one that has a low limit, like 300 dollars. That way if someone gets a hold of it, you do not have a big limit on the card.

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July 7, 20060 found this helpful

PayPal and other programs provide buyer protection for online auctions. This can help resolve disputes if a product isn't delivered as promised.


The problem with this protection is that it doesn't necessarily cover the full price of your bid.

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December 7, 2007

Before purchasing anything from an online retailer, search the Internet for coupon codes for that retailer. You can save a lot of money just by taking a few minutes to look for a discount. It is well worth it.

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By 1 found this helpful
July 21, 2014

My advice is not to trust the online store inventory databases. Go to the store and see for yourself.

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September 1, 2009

Earn cash for your elementary school while shopping online? Yes! BoxTops Marketplace showcases online merchants that contribute a percentage of your purchase to the school of your choice.

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By 0 found this helpful
July 28, 2008

When online shopping, I use the "defer billing code". That gives me the time to receive the products and review the products-condition of, it's what I ordered etc.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 17, 2006

There was a story on out local news about a young lady who thought she was buying a telephone on Ebay and when she received the purchase, she had purchased a box without a phone inside. . .

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July 26, 2012

I have done many things over the past 3 years to save money, spend less, and in general monetize my (at times) woeful material situation. I have experimented with coupon clipping, pay-to-read emails, online surveys, etc.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

December 19, 2011

I am from London. I want to know about the benefits of online shopping. Can anyone solve this question?

By jessiccarobertt


December 19, 20110 found this helpful

For me this year online shopping was a god send. I have injured my back and have 2 disks damaged. I am in a lot of pain and cannot stand for more than a couple minutes and then pain shoots down my leg. So going shopping to the mall is out. I have learned to stay at home except for going to the doctor.


I bought all my Christmas gifts online and they arrived last week. I could not have bought gifts this year without my computer. Also, there are a lot of good buys online.,,, just to name a few. Hope this helps and merry Christmas.

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December 19, 20110 found this helpful

I love to shop on line. All major department stores have on line shopping. So not shop in unfamilar stores on line though. My favorite are Macy's, Target on line and Zappo's.

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December 19, 20110 found this helpful

Hiya Jessy, I'm on the north east coast of Scotland, and love online shopping because it saves me the journey and trying to find a car park with an open slot, saves me money-no impulse buys, and because often the price online is far less (even with shipping-and many times shipping is FREE even on a small purchase). Oh, and there are often special offers that are online exclusives.

There are drawbacks-you can't touch the item or try it on, but returns policies are great with all of the good online stores so you can easily return anything that isn't right. I've had especially good luck online shopping for clothing and household goods from BHS and John Lewis.

I also do all of my crafts supplies shopping online-better selection.

Shopping online is also a lot more peaceful-I can have a nice cuppa and shop, take a break when I want and come right back to the page I was viewing.

I do enjoy shopping in brick and mortar stores, too, but online shopping is wonderful!

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December 19, 20110 found this helpful

Online shopping is great You dont have to wait in the lines you can get items that are hard to find! I love shopping in my pj's!

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December 19, 20110 found this helpful

Thanks for everyone for your great reviews.

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December 21, 20110 found this helpful

You don't use any gas money, you can see everything you want without digging around in a store, you don't have to deal with people, also there can be some great 'online only' deals.

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December 23, 20110 found this helpful

We live in a rural area, and have difficulty finding things we need, either for our farm, animals, or selves. Online shopping saves much time and money in gas and driving around searching, having to go 2 hours or more out of town, etc.

When possible, I do ask local merchants if they can get specific items for us, and sometimes that works, otherwise, I order online. I also do this for birthdays, holidays, where I can have the gift sent directly to family that lives out of state.

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January 3, 20120 found this helpful

Always consider shipping costs. Sometimes it is worth the xtra few pounds for the item if shipping is free - as compared to straight shipping costs.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 3, 2009

I have a pair of Red Wing work boots that I purchased with other work clothes and my Carhartt jacket about 10 years ago. Believe it or not, I have finally worn out the work boots, and am ready for a new pair.

I have found Red Wing work boots at at a really great price, but have never purchased a product online before. I would like to know how to purchase my work boots online since I think I can get a better price that way?

By injuncrest from Rochester, NY


August 3, 20090 found this helpful

Just a few pointers -- I hope they help!

Read their policies under the Customer Service Link. You'll probably want to know their return policy. And I always check shipping information.

Whenever you shop online, please DO NOT use your debit card. It's just too risky. A credit card will give you more protection. Some banks/credit unions will extend similar protection as a courtesy, but they don't have to.

When you go to check out, make sure that the http:// in the address bar changes to https:// -- that "s" stands for "secure."

And before you check out, do a quick search online to see if you can find a discount/coupon code. I just looked, and this site shows a code for 10% off all orders over $35.

http://www.myco  ons/

Sometimes these codes don't work, but sometimes they do. It can't hurt to try and save a buck or two!

I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but this is what pops into mind. My husband has a personal finance blog and website, and has written about debit card fraud. If you're interested, this might provide some helpful information. Here is an interview from his website:

http://www.mdmp  t_card_fraud.php

and a couple of blog entries (the first refers back to the above interview):

http://www.mdmp  d-interview.html

http://www.mdmp  anger-again.html

Hope I covered most everything. And I hope it wasn't too much! :-) We do a LOT of online shopping. If I'm ever suspicous of a website, I do a search for their name and look for comments/complaints about them. Best of luck with your boots. They sound great . . . I wish I had shoes that lasted so long!


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August 4, 20090 found this helpful

Buying online requires a credit card. You will have to follow their instructions, but it's easy. Name, address, credit card info will be taken. Generally, the company sends you an email confirmation of your order, so I don't usually photo copy what I've ordered.

I looked at their prices. I would check out other sites before I would make a purchase. My husband has to have steel toes and found shoes locally at Sears on sale at a better price. Although, I don't believe they were Red Wing.

The only problem I have buying shoes online is that I need to try shoes on to see if they are comfortable. You may consider going to your local store and trying on a pair and if the price can't be matched, then order them online.

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August 5, 20090 found this helpful

If you search on Google or another search engine, always put 'compare price' then the name of the item you are looking for. That way, it will give you several options. Also, before you buy, search for 'online coupons' for whichever site you want to buy from, or 'online codes'---these will be for free shipping, reduced shipping, etc that you can use when you check out.

Also, some sites accept Paypal. Visit that site to find out more about it. And you can always purchase a preloaded credit card, at Walmart, or your bank---it is similar to a gift card. Only good for the amount that you put on it, but it can have amounts added to it. Check with your bank first.
Good luck to you. I live in a fairly rural area, and do a lot of shopping online. In 10 years of buying stuff online, I have yet to have a problem.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 22, 2015

I normally use the following techniques.

  1. Cash back sites like or

  2. Buy discounted gift cards online thru and apply for my purchases.

  3. Look for any sale or free shipping coupons on shopping site (e.g.

  4. Look for latest online coupons from

  5. Use my 2% rewards Citi Double Cashback card to buy discounted gift cards
I was wondering do you have any other ideas to save more?


May 29, 20150 found this helpful

I go to sites like LL Bean or World Market, then go straight to the Clearance section. I get a lot of Christmas and birthday gifts this way. People think you spent more than you did.

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July 31, 20150 found this helpful

Only if something I really need then maybe I'll shop either in a store or on line. With on-line I always check shipping rates, often at the bottom of the page. Some offer free shipping but pay a higher price than another who charges shipping. Some offer a good price and pay for shipping.

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November 3, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about shopping for Christmas presents online. One way to have access to many more gift choices is to shop online.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

December 7, 20070 found this helpful

Never buy anything over the internet without doing a search to see if there are any online discounts or codes available. When I first made internet purchases, I found out that I could have saved almost $100 on two purchases that I had made if I had only known to look for codes.

By Michelle


Before Buying Online, Look for Coupon Codes

I use this site - I have saved a lot of money with the codes from her, and they are well-organized by categories - she also offers a daily newsletter with highlights:


By Judy Miller

Before Buying Online, Look for Coupon Codes is a great site for coupons. There are all different coupons up there. if you sign up for her mailing list, she puts extra coupons in it for subscribers. (03/30/2005)

By B

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