Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday

So today is the biggest shopping day of the year. Unless a store is offering brand new laptops for $49.99, I won't set foot in a mall.
I absolutely LOVE to shop, but am a devoted bargain hunter and prefer to invest in quality before quantity. My husband thinks it's hysterical that I wear a $19.99 winter wool coat from Sarah Jessica Parker's Bitten line at Steve and Barry's and carry a $900 Luis Vuitton purse I bought in Italy. I just prefer to invest my money in things I really want. My winter coat may go out of style in a couple of years and can be easily replaced but my Louis Vuitton will last forever.
I am a huge advocate of online shopping and for the 2nd year in a row have completed all of my holiday shopping online and before December.
I teach an online shopping class at my library every month and instruct my attendees to shop online for a multitude of reasons. #1 reason is convenience, #2 is savings and #3 is there are no nasty overworked and underpaid retail sales people.
The basics to online shopping I teach in my class are:
1. Know what you are looking for. It's just like grocery shopping, don't go into the store hungry or you will impulse buy.
2. Find an online retailer with a good return policy or that has click and mortar locations. A click and mortar store is a retailer with online shopping and a physical store, such as Walmart, Crate n Barrel, Target etc. Amazon is NOT a click and mortar retailer.
3. Comparison shop. If you are looking for a better price online, use a search engine to locate multiple online retailers and find the one with the best price, best return policy, the most merchandise in stock and the lowest shipping charge.
4. When you are entering personal information or completing a financial transaction online, you need 2 things. In the address bar, a secure site will begin with https:, make sure there is an S in the address line, remember S for "Secure". Also, a gold lock should be in the lower right corner of the webpage, this icon also means the site is secure. If you don't have https or the lock, don't enter in any personal or financial information.
5. Find out if the shipping charges are a set fee based on total cost of online purchases such as $50-$100=$5 shipping charge etc. You do not want to be charged for items that need to be shipped in multiple packages or by weight.
A few of my favorite websites for online shopping are: (absolutely fantastic shipping charges, right now ALL shipping is FREE. I do at least 50% of my holiday shopping at this site) (a great all around site with good shipping charges)
When it comes to shopping for myself if I can't find the clothes and accessories I want on sale, I am not looking hard enough.
Happy Shopping!

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