Finding The Best Deals

When the Christmas season rolls around, we internet savvy buyers often feel like bowing down and thanking the internet gods for allowing us to stay at home to order our play castles and our baby dolls instead of braving the Christmas rush at the mall. The only problem with shopping from home is that there are so many websites out there: how can you find the one that will get you the best deal? That's where we come in. We like to think of ourselves as professional shoppers, but we'll share our knowledge with you free of charge.

Be Willing to Take Time

The best way to find the best prices is also the one that takes the longest. You have to be willing to sift through dozens of returns on multiple engines, from Google to small local businesses. Check listed price AND shipping charges (that's often where "discount" retailers will get you) and remember to convert the currency if it's an American or Overseas website. Remember to also check the prices at retailers you already know of.

Comparison Sites

If you're pressed for time, there are websites, such as Shopzilla, that can do your price comparisons for you in a fraction of a second. Keep in mind though that they may have a certain vested interest in recommending one site over another or excluding other sites. Mattresses Mississauga down the road would certainly not make it into the queue either, as many of these sites tend to focus on buying American or profiling the big retailers. Also bear in mind that they're not factoring in shipping costs.

Stalking Websites

Just like physical store locations occasionally have special prices on certain products at different times, websites often feature clearance prices and seasonal sales. The trick is knowing when they're going to happen. The weekend after American Thanksgiving is a great one for sales, but at any other time of year, all you can do is keep an eye on the Toronto blogs and on your favorite sites and wait for the prices to come down. Stalking is especially important on Ebay as different items are being posted all the time.

Save on Shipping

A big component of an item's price when shopping online is the shipping costs. To save in this area, patronize retailers who offer free shipping on orders over a certain price (Indigo and Amazon are among these) and shop early to avoid having to pay extra for expedited shipping. If you need a sheet metal brake, order from a retailer in Canada, as US or International shipping usually edges into courier prices - which can be double or triple the domestic mail price.

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