Save Even More Money Shopping Online with Coupon Codes

The Internet has become the favorite shopping experience for millions of people in recent years. Consumers have discovered that not only is it easier and faster to shop online, it’s also often cheaper. With so many retailers competing in one small space (your computer monitor), the online deals and bargains to be found are usually equal to, or better, than the ones in physical stores. Plus, there are so many more stores to choose from.

One approach brick-and-mortar stores have used for several years to try to compete with online retailers is the strategy of offering shoppers coupons either in ads or through the mail, and giving instant rebates on items purchased in the store. These deals seemed like good ammo for stores to use in waging war against online retailers, but before long the savvy online dealers came up with their own strategies for a counteroffensive―online coupon codes and online ebates.

Just like taking a paper coupon to a store to get a special deal or reduced price, hundreds of online retailers offer coupon codes that can be typed in during checkout to give you a percentage off a single item, a discount on your total purchase, or free shipping. Most coupon codes come in e-mail through online newsletters or marketing e-mails you sign up for. But what to do if you’re shopping at an online store for the first time, or a store where you haven’t signed up to receive those great deals? You can’t take advantage of these discounts if you don’t know the code

Not to worry―coupon codes are available to everyone if you just know how to look. Hundreds of well-known online stores have coupon codes on personal homepages or e-mail distribution pages, and all you need is a way to find them. One easy way to discover what coupon codes are out there is to simply search on the exact phrase ‘coupon code’ and the name of the store where you’re shopping. Sometimes you’ll hit pay dirt with just a simple search.

Another way to find coupon codes is through a site such as www.currentcodes.com. Currentcodes has a full-time staff who spend their work hours combing the Internet to find new coupon codes and discount codes and to verify the accuracy of their database. You don’t have to sign up for a newsletter, you don’t have to pay a monthly fee, and you don’t have to sift through mountains of ads to get to the code you’re looking for. Their motto is ‘No hype, just current codes’. Their mission is to provide absolutely the best coupon code database on the Internet.

For a site that has information about the latest deals and bargains, in addition to message boards from site visitors, check out DealHunting.com. You can select a store from a list of hundreds and click GO to see what coupon codes are available.

Finally, not only can you save with coupon codes, you can get some money back from your purchase if you make it through Ebates.com. The company was founded by two Deputy District Attorneys in Silicon Valley who used to prosecute online fraud and identity theft, so you have no need to worry about your online transactions being secure. Over 800 of the world’s top online stores pay to attract customers through ebates, and shoppers make purchases directly through the ebates site rather than at the individual store. Ebates tracks purchases and gives you some cash back on every one. When a purchase is completed, the retailer notifies ebates, and within two days you see cash back in your ebates account. And the cash back doesn’t have to be used at a store―they can transfer the money to your PayPal account, or send you a check, or even donate the money to your favorite charity. And it’s all 100% free.

To get the best of both worlds, go find a coupon code first to save money, then make your purchase through ebates to get cash back!

Whether you’ve been wanting to buy new fingertip towels for your bathroom, or you have a hankering for chocolate-coated macadamias, or you just need new socks, there’s an online store somewhere that has exactly what you’re looking for. And chances are they have a coupon code and you can get money back. So what are you waiting for? Get busy shopping!

Tips for Safe Online Shopping

Not just the trend of buying goods and availing services online, but even the frauds associated with it are on rise. Technological advancement has given a major boost to e-commerce and other similar concepts, which revolve around computers and, more importantly, the Internet. The concept of online shopping is no more alien to anybody in the world.

Millions of people log onto shopping websites in order to make shopping a convenient affair. What they fail to understand though, is the fact that they are compromising on their security by not abiding by the rules that they need to follow. With so many cases of online frauds coming to light every other day, it is surprising to see people go on an online shopping spree without paying heed to their security.

Online Shopping Safety Tips

Online shopping fraud is a broad concept, which includes a range of activities, right from hidden charges and phishing to credit card scams and identity theft. Given below are some simple precautions that you can take to keep yourself safe.

Carry out your transactions from a secured PC: You need to make sure that the PC you are using for shopping online and related transactions is up-to-date with security measures, like anti-virus software and firewall. Being one of the most important advice as far as safe online shopping is concerned, this will help you keep those malicious programs out of your transactions.

Be well-versed with the website you use: You need to make sure that the website from which you are buying goods or availing services is authentic. Never go to random sites that feature in search engine results, or ones that you have never heard of before. Always go for popular websites, as the chances of you getting caught in any sort of web of deceit on such websites are negligent.

Never give away your personal information: You will have to provide some information while shopping online, however, you need to make sure that this is just the general information, like your name or contact number. Never give out confidential information, like your social security number, on online shopping websites. More importantly, never fill in any sort of information in pop-up windows, even if you trust the website. Maintaining privacy while shopping online is a must, as giving away confidential information can make you vulnerable to identity theft.

Go through the privacy policy of the company: A trusted website is bound to have its privacy policy covering all the points whereby the website would be legally bound to keep your personal details confidential and giving away the same to the third party would mean breach of contract with possible legal implications. If any website doesn’t have their privacy policy in place, it is better off to stay away from it.

Paying by credit card is wiser: Always resort to credit card for payment options. Though many of us prefer to use debit cards for shopping online, they don’t have all the security features that credit cards do. More importantly, if your debit card number gets stolen, it will give hackers total access to your account and result in even more difficult situations for you.

Before you order the product: You need to make sure that the transactions are secured and the shipping policy of the company is in the place. Cross checking the actual price of the product and the shipping charges with other companies can help you get the best deal. Make sure that there are no hidden costs in the shipping charges. You will have to take into consideration the actual price of the item as well as shipping charges, handling fees, and sales tax.

After you order the product: Never reply to confirmation mails which ask for your personal details. Make sure that you take the print outs of all the online transaction records, which you can eventually use as proof. Other than all your transactions with the company, it is wise to save the product description as well. Lastly, you will have to monitor the time required for shipping. It is very important to get well-versed with terms and conditions before you buy any product online.

If, by chance, you do end up having a bad experience, you can report the company to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or the consumer protection agency in your area of jurisdiction. Considering that there are a number of phishing websites out there in the guise of shopping websites, it will take efforts from all of us to come together and make online shopping safe and secure.

Why Grocery Store Self-Checkout Does Not Go Far Enough

At this point, we’re all familiar with the self-checkout options that are available at most grocery stores and large retail establishments. The concept behind them is sound, and most of us have given them a try at one time or another. If you have only a couple items, and you see lines at the regular check-out lines, then it’s somewhat more convenient to drop into the self-checkout kiosk and complete your transaction. Of course, if you’ve used self-checkout more than a few times, chances are pretty good that you’ve run into a problem with the automated procedures. Whether it’s a product that scans improperly―or not at all―or some other glitch during the payment or check-out procedure, it’s safe to say that self check-out is far from perfect.

Given the availability of technology and the fact that many people are willing to pay for it, why not offer some another option: smart carts or shopping guns that track items as you cart them.

Imagine you walk into the grocery store and grab your shopping cart as you normally would. Only this time, the cart comes equipped with a tethered scanning gun that looks and feels much like the pricing guns that grocers used not long ago to affix prices to items. Your cart-mounted scanning gun will read the bar codes of all the items that you load into your cart and keep track of everything while you shop.

The cart itself (or possibly just the gun) will have a small screen that keeps track of the total you’re spending as you shop. A simple ‘return’ button on the gun allows you to put anything back on the shelf that you had scanned previously.

After you have everything that you need scanned and loaded into your cart, simply walk to the checkout kiosk, plug your scanning gun into its reader and pay your bill. You get your printed receipt and off you go.

Maybe I’m not thinking through all the logistics, but it seems like this method would be far superior to the clunky self-checkout lines that are currently available to us. Let us select the item and add it to our total at the same time. There should be no need to go through the entire store to grab all of our necessary items, and then go to a central point to individually scan everything so that we can pay for it. That’s just silly and incredibly inefficient.

With barcoding technology what it is today, it would be very easy to implement this type of system. Each item would be easily accounted for and the same type of inventory control procedures that are currently in place would still apply for safety and to ward off thieves.

As one who is in the grocery store a few times per week, I know that my suggestion is a better way of doing things. What I can’t figure out is what incentive exists to not pursue this path. A faster and more efficient shopping experience, I believe, would only be good for business. But then again, I’m not in the business, so maybe I’m missing something big.