Hello. My name is Ashley Spencer, and I will be sharing some online shopping tips and tricks with you today. Shopping on the Internet is becoming popular because it is quick, convenient, and you don’t have to change out of your pajamas. Sometimes, it is even less expensive to buy online.
With using the Internet becoming more popular, the cases of identity theft are also on the rise. Before making an online purchase, make sure the website and the business is legitimate. Never respond to a promotional email, or an email asking to verify your personal information. These are often scams to steal your identity. A safe alternative is to visit the website directly. Never use your debit card or anything linked to your checking account. These funds are not protected. A safe alternative is to use a credit card or PayPal. These forms of payment have a certain degree of protection for both the buyer and seller. Also make sure to look for SSL (encrypted) connections and other security features that protect against your personal information.
When using the Internet to shop, you have unlimited resources at your fingertips to become a bargain shopper. First, you need to locate which retailer has the product listed for the lowest price. The example shown here is from the “Shopping” section on Google. In the search bar, just type in the product you are looking to buy, and Google will list the retailers that have the item available. Comparison sites usually list the final price of the item so you can decide which website to visit.
Comparison sites such as DealOz (listed in this slide) compare both new and used items, along with items to rent. DealOz is the ideal site to find books, movies, and video games for the best price. Another popular comparison site is Kayak. This website is used for travel accommodations, such as hotels, flights, and car rental services.
If you are spending money, you may as well make some money back by using websites that pay you to shop! One of the most popular websites is eBates. Once you create an account on their website, you can select from hundreds of retailers that partner with the website. Click on the retailer you want to purchase from, and the website will track your activity. When you make a purchase, the website will pay you a percentage of the purchase. For example, in the slide above, if I made a purchase at Target.com, I would receive 6% of the purchase back. Ebates sends your cash in the form of a check or a direct deposit.
Other websites give you a credit toward your next purchase. One website that does this is eBay. Each quarter, eBay sends you a “certificate” that shows how much money (eBay Bucks) you’ve earned. You can then put this money toward your next purchase on eBay.
A lot of credit card companies offer rewards or cash back when you use their credit card to make a purchase. One of these companies is Capital One. (View Commercial) However, be careful when using credit cards. Some cash back cards have an annual fee, and sometimes that annual fee may cost more than you actually earn in rewards. Furthermore, try to pay off your balance every month so you don’t have any accrued interest. Getting cash back is pointless if you have to pay more in interest than you received in cash back!
Another way to save money when shopping online is to use a coupon code with your purchase. When you go to checkout on most websites, you will have a box at the bottom to enter a promotional code (see above). Most codes are sent out in the mail or in an email. Many codes can save you 10% - 50% on your purchase, and some codes even give you free shipping.
If you don’t have a code for the website, you can Google coupon codes for that retailer, or visit a website that lists coupon codes. For example, RetailMeNot (above) lists new codes every day. For PetSmart, it looks like they currently have a code for 20% off a purchase of $100. That is $20 that is back in your pocket just for using a promotional code!
Let’s Recap: Be aware that your information isn’t always safe on the internet. Use common sense along with proper usage of your credit card when shopping online. Be a bargain shopper! Use comparison sites to find the lowest price for the item you are looking for. Always look to get paid to shop. Use a cash back website such as Ebates. When shopping, use a reward card or cash back credit card. Just beware of annual fees and interest charges. And finally, when you go to check out, look to save some money by entering a coupon code or promotional code. By keeping these simple suggestions in mind, you can shop to your heart’s content while saving some money!
Online Shopping Ashley Spencer Oswego High School
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