Online Bargain Hunting
With the recent and on-going recession everywhere, many housewives, even men and women, are resorting to bargain hunting to stretch their budgets. One way to do this without ever using your feet to walk and go to the stores, is by online shopping. In the comfort of your own home or office, you can go surf for the things you want and even find great bargains that online shops offer.
I got inspired to write about this by the article in Family Circle magazine, December 2009, titled "Browsing for Bargains". Even Americans are fond of bargains and more and more shoppers buy from the web than in stores because it's hassle-free and its where you can find the great deals. There's no argument that Amazon.com is the biggest e-retailer, but there are so many online retailers to choose from that competition is so stiff, they'd have to offer the best price for their products. According to the article, an e-shopper's best friend would be the price-comparison search engines but you need to be specific when typing what you're looking for--color, size, etc. plus type the best price or cheapest price. Voila, the list pops up and you can now surf through which ones offer the best price and the best delivery service. When you've found one that offers the best price, see if the web site is listed and go to the product web to see more options you can take or perhaps you can find more items there that you may want to add.
I'm also amazed at how people get hooked on E-bay. But the article says that things in E-bay aren't quite the same because you only rely on photos and most of the time the product itself is different from the photo in E-bay. Also, more and more people are buying fixed price products because of the hassle of back-and-forth bidding and most of the time, the bid price seem not so worth the product. Amazon.com offers vast inventories of fixed-price products as well as offers volume pricing for a new club of larger merchant called Diamond Power Sellers.
TIPS from the article: Keep an eye out for auctions that end late night Pacific time which are likely to attract fewer bidders since people in the Midwest and on the East Coast will be asleep. For us here in the Philippines, you can bid at daytime because people in the U.S. are asleep. Read the fine prints--product description, color, condition, style and check the seller's return policy so you won't get stuck with a poor product. Haggle through e-mail if you can, if you find the shipping fee high. The seller might bite to your price. Don't succumb to "gotta-get-it" fever; set price limits.
On thing that the article wrote in fine red prints--be careful with your credit card information because hackers have devised a software that can steal private data when you're entering it in your computer. One solution, it said, is the SmartSwipe credit card reader, a device which you can plug into your USB port, load up your online shopping card, then swipe your credit card like any other cashier. The device instantly encrypts data from any major credit card, leaving nothing for the hackers to steal or lift since you will not have to type anything. Well, I just hope this device is available here in the Philippines as well.