Sunday, January 17, 2010

Online shopping and price checks

As requested by a frequent reader, here are some sites that I frequent that help me out when shopping. - The link is a shameless plug for the Bogleheads' Guide to Investing (I had to sneak in something related to investing for this post!) but the site should be familiar to anyone on planet Earth. What may not be too familiar to you is the selection and prices on nearly everything. I have been using for over a decade now, and have had a great experience. The few times there have been issues, they were resolved with a quick online customer service email. I purchase most of my music through their MP3 downloads section, as it is DRM (Digital Rights Management) free, and offers very good prices. Many times, they offer full albums for just five dollars. I have purchased way too much from Amazon, and much of the time it is because the price is very good, and they offer free shipping over $25 on a lot of their items. I also love their "Subscribe and Save" feature which offers a significant discount (15% on many items) if you sign up to get an item on a regular basis. I use this feature for several items around the house, and I love not having to worry about remembering to order a frequently used item. If you are getting close to your next shipment, you can choose to skip one, or stop the entire subscription with no penalties. It's a pretty sweet feature. is a fantastic site for a huge number of digital products that usually cost much more in big box retailers. A perfect example is HDMI cables that go for upwards of fifty bucks in stores, but are available for less than five bucks on Monoprice. Shipping is very reasonable and lightning fast in my experience. I've been using this site since I stumbled upon it a few years ago, and I recommend it to anyone who wants quality stuff at incredible prices. I've had great experience with this site, and I've saved a lot of money too! is Microsoft's updated search engine effort. To lure users away from other search engines, Bing has a cashback program that rewards individuals who are willing to go through a few minutes of extra effort. If you search for specific terms in Bing, you can get an icon to pop up next to some of the search results with "Bing Cashback." This is a great opportunity to save some cash, as some of the cashback amounts are very lucrative. I have seen some at 20%! If you find a site that offers a competitive price on an item already, and then add in the cashback, you can really get a deal. The site requires a quick sign up, and it's got Microsoft behind it, although some would joke that's not necessarily a good thing. I've had a great personal experience with this, but you have to be careful to not violate the terms of the program. This means you may not be able to add a coupon at checkout or you risk forfeiting the cashback for that transaction, but if you do comparison shopping you can still come out way ahead.

Google Shopping I've had a good experience over the years with what used to be termed "Froogle" and is still a fantastic and quick way to check prices on an item. There are options for calculating and adding in shipping costs, and using that as a way to filter out results. As shipping can kill an otherwise competitive price, this is a great way to comparison shop.

These are just a few sites I like to use, and I will definitely expand soon. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. This is a GREAT post! =) I think people really need to take responsibility, and search for deals. Don't just walk into Best Buy and assume you're getting a good deal because they're having a "huge sale."

    A perfect example, I belong to the site "Haute Look" and they had City Scene bedding on mega sale, a Full/Queen French duvet set for $59.99. Usually that's a great price, this bedding set is usually well over $100. I didn't even Bing it, I just went to and there it was for $54.99. It's only a few dollars, but it all adds up!