When shopping online you want to make sure that you are ultimately getting the best price for the best value. Different sites will have different agreements with vendors allowing you to purchase these items for either discounted price or full price. The trick is to get the best item, at the lowest price. How do you do that, by doing your research and locating the sites that do the work for you, hence introducing you to online shopping 101?
Sites that will price compare for you are going to be PriceGrabber.com, Nextag.com and Pricewatch.com, these sites will allow you to locate the item you are currently interested in buying and compare prices. If the prices are all the same, then you know that you can purchase from your regular site with the reassurance that you are getting the best deal. Also, if stores happen to have an online store and a local store, sometimes the online store has completely different pricing. If you find something in the local store more expensive than the online price, ask them to price match, the worst they can say is no.
While you are price comparing make sure you are not only getting the best price, but you locate a site that gives you free shipping. Multiple sites such as Amazon.com, Zappos.com and based on a retail amount Nordstroms.com will give you free shipping and free return shipping. If free shipping is not offered, look up possible coupon codes that can be added at the time of purchase to make up for the shipping cost. And as a last resort if you are unable to locate anything online yourself, call the company and see if you can finagle a better discount over the phone. Some companies want that purchase more than you know.
Make sure you are familiar with your sites and know that they have credibility with the online market. The two factors of steering customers away from a checkout would be; accessibility to the site and the amount of trust the customer has for the company. Based on the research given by NMAO.org, a person is 50% more likely to purchase items online 1 hour after adding items to their cart. Forty percent of people took 3 hours to purchase after adding items to their cart and 14% of customers took 1 week to purchase items after adding them to their cart. Some customers do come back, but it’s rare. The reality is once you have a bad experience you’re less likely to come back to that site and purchase again.
I hope this quick shopping 101 has given you a small amount of insight into the great big world of online shopping; the sky is the limit in my opinion of where to shop and what to pay. Good luck and happy shopping!