By Claudine Kurp
As I get older, I have come to realize that I no longer have the time or patience to shop with the same joie de vivre that I had before children. Taking a preschooler to the mall or to a furniture store is simply not fun! Even my tween is a bit of a nightmare to take to the mall. I always seem to get rerouted to the carousel or to a clothing store like Justice or Gap Kids. My children have taken over my shopping experience and I find myself avoiding the mall at all costs!
After my recent move to Texas, I quickly realized that I needed a number of items for my home and closet. In my quest for home décor, furniture, clothing (we went from 30 degrees to 70 degrees overnight), and even pool equipment, I quickly learned that I could find any number of items online. I also discovered that I could often get a more competitive price versus a brick and mortar store. Even better, I could shop for my wares at 11pm in the comfort of my own home. Yes…I was aware that online shopping did indeed exist before my move, but I have definitely embraced it and taken my love for discounts to another level.
Here are my top picks for online shopping sites:
1. Ebates.com – I was a little skeptical when I first saw the site, but I am now a believer. I have made close to $200.00 over the past year on Ebates. For those not familiar with the website, it is very simple. Sign up for Ebates, go onto the site, choose the vendor that you want to shop with, click on that site via Ebates and you will receive a rebate for purchases you make. Some of the more popular retailers only give 2% back, but it can add up. I seek out the websites that offer big rebates, free shipping and NO tax. Ebates routinely run specials. For instance, Kohl’s and Macy’s occasionally run a 16% rebate and it can be combined with your store coupons! Shoebuy.com has some awesome rebates and coupons. When you couple that with free shipping and no tax, the savings really starts to grow.
2. Amazon.com – All seem to love this perennial favorite. New mothers quickly realize that Amazon is a lifesaver for diapers, formula and a myriad of other items. I also use Ebates for Amazon and I get an additional kick with my Amazon Prime membership that offers free 2-day shipping on most items. Another benefit of an Amazon Prime membership is the Amazon Fire TV stick that offers a bounty of streaming entertainment. The stick is great while vacationing or at home. The Fire TV stick allows Amazon Prime customers to get unlimited access to thousands of free movies and shows on your TV. I use the Fire TV stick for my child’s sleepovers. I let my little girl pick a kid-friendly movie and I simply plug it into the upstairs TV. You can also use the Amazon Fire TV stick on most hotel room TVs in the United States.
3. Target.com - I have grown to love Target.com. The Target Red Card gives me a 5% discount and more importantly, free shipping. Again, I use Ebates to layer on an additional discount. When I started buying home décor for my new pad, I started using the Target website more and more. Large items were delivered free to my door and if I didn’t like the small bench, table, etc. I was able to easily return it to my local store.
4. Build.com – This was a recent find during my move. I ended up buying a number of Kohler products on the website. When my cart started to grow, I contacted customer service to see about a bulk discount. I was pleasantly surprised to get a deeper discount on all of my items including lighting, shower heads and toilets. Bonus – All of my items were purchased at a discount, I received an Ebates discount, I enjoyed free shipping, no tax and all of the items were delivered to my door! Score!
5. Overstock.com – I find Overstock is a little tough for returns. I typically stick to items where Overstock beats the competition on products I know I am likely to keep. I signed up for their coupon alerts and received 11% off a mattress set for my daughter. I received free shipping, no tax and the delivery folks brought the mattress set to our second floor. The only time this doesn’t work is if you have an existing mattress that you want to have removed. Avoiding the tax and NOT having to go to a mattress store was beyond nice. I simply looked up online reviews when choosing the item. As for additional Ebates rebates, for this to work you need an actual Overstock coupon code to layer on to Ebates. A regular Overstock email with an embedded coupon doesn’t work with Ebates. Check your coupon mailers for promo codes for Overtstock, Wayfair, Joss & Main, etc.
6. HomeClick.com – This was a fun find for a number of my home items. They have very competitive prices on chandeliers and other lighting options. If you have a favorite, call for a discount. I quickly realized that if you let a chandelier linger in your online cart, you receive a follow up email offering 15% off that item. I finally just called and asked for the discount on two different pendant lights and received the 15% discount on both!
7. Bellacor.com – This site is rich with great home décor options. When you sign up for their newsletter, new customers receive a 15% discount code that can be used for 30 days. I used that coupon code and coupled it with the 5% discount on Ebates. If you add in free shipping and no tax and it was a nice deal!
8. Retail Store Meet Online Saving – Despite my love for online shopping, I did allow myself a few uninterrupted hours to go shopping at the mall on Mother’s Day. I tried on a stack of clothes and hit a number of retail fronts (hey…carpe diem). When my size wasn’t available, I took pictures of the label. When I got home I did a search and found a Michael Kors top for 20% less at an online site. I was also able to use Ebates and get my coveted free shipping, no tax. I also found that Gap, Gap Kids, etc. always seem to have deeper discounts and a greater size selection online. I even found a Nordstrom blouse for $20.00 less on their website vs. store.
Here is another tip, look at 6pm.com when shopping for clothing. I just scored some Tommy Bahama gear for my husband at a great price! I would also give a big thumbs-up to CouchOutlet.com for insane deals on Coach products!
9. Match It Or Discount It! – Best Buy, Lowes and a number of other big box stores, will often match an online price that can be found on sites like Amazon, Walmart, etc. Shop price before you head out to a major retailer for electronics or appliances. When I go to a store like Best Buy, I always take a print-screen of my item with the recorded, lower price to show to the sales associate. I was also able to get a reduced price on a dishwasher when I discovered that Best Buy was selling the item for $70.00 less online versus my price in the Best Buy store.
Also don't forget to search Google for big and small ticket items. The Google SHOPPING tab does a nice job of showing competitive prices from trusted vendors. You can also put in a search like "Wayfair coupon code" and see if sites like RetailMeNot.com have any promo codes that can be used. I have noticed that Ebates will often show you the latest deals on certain sites and will layer that discount onto your Ebates rebate. There is always bargain to be had!
10. Groupon, Living Social, Amazon Local, et al. – These online sites have taken off with deals that run the gamut from local restaurants to iPads. I have used these sites for spa deals, tickets, magazines, electronics, photo books, zip lining and more! Get additional savings by layering on deeper discounts from Ebates!
These are just some of my top choices for online shopping deals. During the holidays the Ebates discounts surge for online shops such as: Toys R Us, Nordstrom, Macy’s and more. Be sure to sign up for your favorite retail stores and be the first hear about awesome deals. Happy Shopping!
Disclosure: Affiliate links have been placed in some URLS. The opinions expressed in this blog are entirely
those of the author and do not reflect those of the business entities mentioned or of Kid Trips, LLC.
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