Tips for Buying Kids’ Toys Online

If you have ever been to a toy store with a child, especially during the holiday season, you would know the hassles of choosing the perfect toy for the kid. The crowds, your screaming kid, searching a particular toy from the millions available, and the long lines at the counter are sure to drive any parent crazy. Moreover, at the end of it all, you probably realize that you ended up buying a toy that you did not want. Instead of facing all these hassles in a brick and mortar toy store, a good alternative is to sit at home and order the toys online.

With a few mouse clicks, you can find the best toys for your child at really good prices. You can research the different types of toys based on the child’s age group, know about their popularity, check for safety and recalls, and compare prices to get the best deal. The best part is that you can do all this from the convenience of your own home. While buying kids’ toys online is quite easy, there are certain tips that can help you make a better choice. So, whether you are looking for a hot new holiday toy or looking for the perfect birthday present, here are some things that you need to consider when buying online.

What to Consider When Buying Toys Online

What and For Whom Do You Want To Buy

Since there are thousands of toys for children, the first thing that you need to do is decide for whom are you buying the toy for, and what you want to get. This eliminates the possibility of picking up a random item that the child may not even like. You need to pick a toy that is age appropriate. Toy references and gender of the child can also help you narrow down the choices and makes it easier for you to search the toy online. You also need to establish a budget before you start shopping online.

Browse Good Online Toy Stores

Look for a good online toy store that has a good selection of toys and is easy to use. Some popular online toy stores such as Fat Brain Toys have facilities such as ‘The Gift Bot’ which allows you to choose gender, price, age, and even where the toy is manufactured. A good online toy store should have:

▣ A wide selection of toys
▣ Extensive features and easy to use
▣ Search features that let you select a toy based on age, gender, price, brands, category, interests, and theme
▣ Related products such as party items, décor items, and toy storage
▣ Safety and recall information of the toys
▣ Wide variety of payment options such as online payment, gift cards, credit cards, or cash on delivery
▣ User reviews and ratings
▣ Help and support features such as live chat, email, online help, local phone number, and customer loyalty programs

Check Toy Safety and Recalls

When buying a toy, do check the product safety and watch out for recalled items. Most of the popular online toy stores have toy safety warnings and recall information. For example: A toy with small parts will have a ‘Choking Hazard’ warning. Some stores also accept returns on recalled items as long as you have the proof of purchase. Check the recall/return policy while shopping for toys online. You can also check websites such as recalls.gov, nhtsa.gov, and cpsc.gov for product safety and toy recalls.

Compare the Prices and Deals

Check different toy store websites as some sites may have discounts on the product. Some toy sellers also keep a lower profit margin, and hence, offer the same product at a huge price difference. While checking the prices you will also want to keep an eye on discount coupons. Most of these coupons are highlighted on the seller’s website itself.

Check the Shipping and Payment Options

When shopping online, you need to consider the shipping charges as well. Some sites have lower shipping charges or shipping discounts on the purchase of multiple items. Other factors that influence the shipping cost are the distance and weight of the product. While some online stores offer a flat shipping rate, others can charge variable shipping fees based on the product weight and the distance. You also need to consider the payment options such as credit cards, online payment, and Paypal.

How to Buy Toys Online

Add to Wish List or Cart

Browse the site to select the toy you want to buy. Once you have zeroed in on the toy you want, click the ‘Add to Cart’ option. If you are planning to buy the toy later, then save it to your wish list by clicking the ‘Add to Wish List’ tab.

Create an Account

If you do not have an account with the online store, you will need to create an account. To do so, you need to provide your email address, phone number, and the address for billing and delivery. Once you have registered, you can log in using your password.

Payment

Choose your preferred payment option. Most sites offer credit card or PayPal payment. If you have a gift coupon or a discount coupon, then the details need to be entered as well. Most sites also accept gift cards. When processing the payment, the shipping costs would be added to the price of the product.

Order Confirmation

Once the payment is done, the order is confirmed, and you get a payment summary and confirmation code. In many cases, a copy of this information is sent to your mailbox as well.

Track and Cancel Orders

You can track your order by providing the order number and your details. The order details are stored in your account section of the website. In case you need to cancel the order, do check the site’s policy about cancellation and refunds. Call the customer service representative and keep the order confirmation code handy when canceling the order.

Return and Refund Policies

Check the stores refund and return policy. This is extremely important if you are buying the toy as a gift. Most stores will accept refund as long as the item is in its original packing, and you have the confirmation slip.

Popular Online Toy Stores

★ Toys “R” Us
★ Fat Brain Toys
★ Disney Store
★ All Aboard Toys
★ Ty’s Toy Box

Of course, you can always shop at Amazon, or find some great deals online on Walmart and Target websites. With online shopping becoming so easy and convenient, it is apparent why people, across all income scales and age groups, prefer buying toys online. Since web toy retailers are jostling to gain popularity, prices are pushed down. This certainly is good news for all the bargain hunters out there who want to buy the best toys at attractive prices.

How to Save With Coupons

Discount coupons are coupons usually published in newspapers, and sometimes in magazines, that help users to buy items or services at discounted rates. Brands publish these coupons as a marketing strategy, to increase their sales. Users, on the other hand, benefit from these coupons as they save money by using them. It’s a win-win situation for both.

Nowadays, there are so many coupons handed out, it’s impossible to manage them at a time. By the time you sort them out, half of them are invalid. To save practically and realistically with coupons, you must know which coupons to use, when, and why.

Where are the Coupons
The best place to catch hold of some coupons is the newspaper. Coupons are usually accompanied with advertisements or printed individually. Weekend newspapers carry more coupons that weekday ones. Nowadays, even websites feature coupons and coupon codes. You will also find them placed in shops, with in-store flyers, along with email lists, as welcome gifts when you sign up for a newsletter … they’re just about everywhere. Such easy availability makes it difficult to manage the huge number of coupons you end up with at the end of the day.

The Types of Coupons Available
Needless to say, coupons for groceries, clothes, restaurant meals, and cosmetics are the most common. Grocery coupons are really important; they really have the potential to help you save. This is because they attend to your necessities and not luxuries. Then, you have introductory coupons that come with introductory offers. These are available when a product has just been launched.

Plan It Up
Separate all your coupons according to predetermined categories. It will take you time to make these categories and arrange the coupons for the first time. From the next time onward, it’ll be a 1-minute job. Organizing your coupons will make them easily available to you. Always organize your coupons in a way that you have the ones with upcoming expiry dates placed at the top.

Additional Tips
First and foremost, clip coupons for things which you are really and seriously going to shop.
Do a price homework when you want to know how to save with coupons. Sometimes, things with coupons might cost more sans coupons.
Be on the lookout for special promotional offers.
Never forget to check the expiry dates. The validity of your coupons and of your saving depends on it.
As many will agree, shopping is an art. You can around a thousand bucks if you shop wisely!

10 Online Clothing Stores Like Hot Topic

Why do we love Hot Topic so much? The answer strikes in a heartbeat― Hot Topic was one of the first stores to offer us apparel and accessories that were different from what we were used to. Music-inspired clothing, and clothes that reflected our love for comics, movies, retro culture, grunge, and other awesome stuff were exactly what Hot Topic gave us, and it is no wonder that Hot Topic has such a loyal fan base today.

The story of Hot Topic goes back to 1988, when the founders knew something different was exactly what was needed to revolutionize the world of teenage apparel. They were right! Hot Topic clothes are popular among people of all ages today, all over the world, as these clothes are perfect for those who love standing out from the crowd. However, this brings us back to our original question, what happens if we have a lot of friends who own the same Hot Topic apparel as us? Sometimes it may feel a little strange if we run into people wearing the same clothes as us. The answer is, like we said, alternatives to Hot Topic. These stores are similar, and yet different, and some are more affordable than Hot Topic. Read on for a list of alternative online clothing stores, in no particular order.

Spencer’s
What originally began as a mail-order catalog in Easton, PA, is now a major retailer brand that has over 500 stores across the US and Canada. Spencer’s offers amazing and quirky apparel and accessories for boys and girls hovering in the 18-24 age group. From hilariously captioned t-shirts to superhero pajamas, this store has it all.

Start shopping @ Spencer’s

Plasticland
If Hot Topic is for teenagers, Plasticland is for quirky adults who prefer being different wherever they are, be it at a party, or even at work. Plasticland prides on its amazingly stylish apparel and accessories with a hint of the rock, pop, and retro cultures. Started in San Diego, California, more than a decade ago, Plasticland is for women who don’t like to stay limited. Check out their awesome jewelry collection!

Start shopping @ Plasticland

Romwe
Looking for a store that offers both classy as well as edgy clothing? If yes, then look no further. Romwe offers some seriously cute apparel for girls who aren’t afraid to explore the different styles of fashion. If you’re not interested in buying clothes at the moment, this store has phone cases, bags, sunglasses, swim-wear, and jewelry too! Based in China, Romwe offers free shipping all over the world. No minimum purchase required. OMG!

Start shopping @ Romwe

Too Fast
“Wanna fit in? Shop elsewhere.” Wow! With a motto like this, everything here is sure to be different and edgy, and to totally make you stand out. Punk clothing, tattoo t-shirts, and apparel for both boys and girls that’s inspired from vintage, rock-n-roll, and army styles is what this cool brand specializes in. Too Fast is also involved in resale of stuff that is really hard to find now, and they have a wholesale site as well!

Start shopping @ Too Fast

Glamour Kills
If you feel put off by the name, feel un-put off immediately. Set up by a fresh high school graduate 9 years ago in a modest New York basement, Glamour Kills today is a successful brand offering cool apparel for both boys and girls. This brand is definitely your source for vibrant, edgy, and yet subtle clothing. As they say themselves, their work reflects a rock-n-roll edge with chic modernism. With a catchy name and catchier designs, you’re sure to enjoy shopping here.

Start shopping @ Glamour Kills

Merchnow
This store is for those music lovers who are only looking for music-inspired clothing and accessories, and nothing else. Merchnow is a popular online store specializing in everything that is inspired by different music genres such as punk, rock, metal, and indie, from apparel, to CDs, to posters. This store has something to offer for both boys and girls.

Start shopping @ Merchnow

ToastyCo.
Witty captions, funny prints, quirky designs, and chic styles for men and women― that’s what this store is all about. Another very remarkable and catchy thing about ToastyCo. is that they give their customers a free packet of Skittles with orders of t-shirts and sweatshirts! Yes, you read right! How’s that for a sweet deal?

Start shopping @ ToastyCo.

Blue Banana
Since 1997, Blue Banana has tried and succeeded at providing clothing and accessories that are seriously un-mainstream. (Yeah okay, I just made the word up!) This store calls itself the home of alternative fashion and specializes in clothing that is inspired by punk, rock, goth, and street styles. Blue Banana also has countless music-inspired apparel choices for music lovers.

Start shopping @ Blue Banana

Rock Rebel
Like the name suggests, Rock Rebel offers rock-inspired clothing for both men and women. Based in CA, this company has been popular for its alternative, rock-inspired fashion for over 10 years. Rock Rebel now encompasses several different brands, all of which are popular for their cutting-edge styles and totally cool image.

Start shopping @ Rock Rebel

Infectious Threads
Infectious Threads prides itself upon having limited collections which ensure that its customers don’t all end up owning the same things. Based in Nevada, Infectious Threads has been creating alternative fashion apparel and accessories for men and women since quite some time now. This store also prides itself upon its low prices and an amazing selection of alternative styles to choose from.

Start shopping @ Infectious Threads

Fashion is really an individual style, and if alternative is your thing, these stores are the way to go. The best part is that you can browse through all these and more from right where you are, and you’ll get them delivered at your doorstep as soon as possible! Plus, all these stores are very helpful and accommodating if and when you need to return or exchange a product. We hope our list of clothing stores like Hot Topic could help you. If we’ve missed out on any amazing store, you can of course let us know through the comments section below! Happy shopping!

Coupon Shopping Secrets

Coupon clippers, as more commonly known, can be found everywhere in grocery and departmental stores. Their secret? Managing their shopping chores at the right time. But how can grocery coupons help them save hundreds? It’s not just a one line answer. The reason behind this smart shopping lies in small tips and tricks all clubbed into one.

Some Secrets to Reveal
First of all, no matter what coupons you get, you have to shop strategically. For that, you need to see which grocery and departmental stores have special offers available, so that you can use those coupons before they expire.
Grab each and every coupon you get. Whether it’s from the newspaper, magazines, grocery store flyers, at the back of your grocery receipt, or the Internet. Every coupon is valuable; even if you have more than 1 coupon for the same item.
One of the easiest and helpful secrets―sort out your coupons. Keep separate envelopes for perishable and household items. You can further categorize them if you like for easier transactions.
Keep an eye on the special offers available at your favorite grocery and departmental stores. You can club these offers with the coupons you have to save a heck of a lot more.
While making the list of items to purchase, keep the items that can be bought with the coupons higher on the list. That way you know which items you need, and can find coupons for the same. Or if you can, purchase the non-coupon items later when there is a better deal.
Get an email account which you can use to register for online coupons. This way, you can register at various sites (of the products which you shop or need the most) and can print out the coupons.
Check which grocery and departmental stores give double or triple the value of 1 coupon. This way, instead of saving, let’s say USD 1 or USD 1.99, you save twice the amount.
Grab on to the mail-in rebate coupons. They may make you pay upfront, but this system is very useful over time.
Household items like toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, detergent, etc., can be bought in bulk. It’s called stockpiling. This way, till the next time you go shopping or a good opportunity comes, you have enough stock to use. Plus, they have a good shelf life, so you can purchase them beforehand.
When you get coupons by mail, and that item is out of stock, immediately get a rain check. This way you wouldn’t have wasted your valuable coupon.
Sign up for newsletters, updates, and special offers on these sites, so you can find out about the new products and offers which you can avail. Also, be sure to go on reputed sites (manufacturers’ sites only) to eliminate fraud. Using coupon codes for online savings is another smart way of shopping.
Don’t make frequent trips to the stores. You want to finish your shopping in less amount of time, and money. These secrets will help reduce your overall spending at the stores. Now the only thing to worry about are the grumpy customers standing behind you at the checkout counter.