Everyone loves a great bargain on home decor items and there's no easier way to find deals during the winter than sitting at the computer in our jammies and sipping a latte. No slushy roads, crowds, stuffy stores and fighting for the 'one only' deal that might be available.
Yes, online shopping is now easy, safe, and most of all, convenient. I purchase clothing, shoes, bedding, dishes, lighting and even my groceries online.
What's truly great is the convenience. I can shop when and where I want, plus have items delivered where I want (work, home, cottage or elsewhere). Here are some useful pointers to get you started on your way to a more fashionable home via the Web:
Finding a good website
When starting off, shop the websites of large, reputable retailers that you know of. If visiting non-retail e-sites, then use referrals from friends who may have experienced a positive shopping experience with them.
Shop online with real stores, not just e-commerce style sites when starting out. The real stores will often use their e-sites as clearance sites for outdated merchandise, whereas sites that do not support a retail business usually do not have the clearance stock.
Shop online with stores where you have physically shopped before, you'll have a better idea about the quality of their products. This is very important when buying things like bedding, clothing or shoes. Always shop with a website that offers a contact phone number on their
site. If you have any questions do not hesitate to use it before placing an order with them.
What to look for when you go on the site
Look for pop-up banners promoting special items and promotions that are happening on the site. Look for extra-specials like additional discounts off seasonal items or free shipping incentives. For instance, right now www.gapcanada.ca is offering free shipping
anywhere in the country with a purchase of $50 or more, and Sears Canada will Twitter you daily deals on their outlet site.
I find it easiest to categorize products by colourway; that way if my accent colour is purple, I will find all the home accessories in purple, which saves me time shopping the entire site.
What to buy
End of season items (they'll be like new next year); holiday decor; product you might already have but need more of, like additional china or flatware, bedding.
See a framed poster that you liked last year in a favourite retail store? It may be out of season in the store, but leftovers most likely on sale have been moved to the website. Knowing that gold-tones are going to be really hot for next Christmas, I've gone online and purchased
discounted holiday items in gold for next year, all with huge savings.
Paying for the goods
If you don't feel comfortable giving your credit card number online, then call in your order to the customer help line. They can process your order verbally so you don't have to enter your credit card information online.
Use your gift cards online
It's a safe way to pay for the items without having to share your credit card information. Ask a friend who has already shopped on the site and has an established account. This is great for eBay or Kijiji, where you may not want to register all your information in order to shop around.
Never click on the box that allows the retailer to keep your credit card information. Punch it in new each time you shop. Some retailers will charge a large shipping fee to cover the duties and brokerage fees. In that case, you should be spending at least four times this fee in order to make it affordable.