Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Online Shopping Sites


Black Friday is coming up, and while I will be working at Now & Again--avoiding the craziness and listening to Christmas music--many of you may be out and about catching the best deals of the year.
So where do you go to find gifts for your friends & family (or yourself!)?  I have been keeping my eyes on some great online shopping sites with unique and fun items, and have recently had some new ones come to my attention.  Here are some of my favorites:
Nomorerack is the most recent addition to my online arsenal of stores, and I am really impressed.  They have great deals, and better than that, you know exactly what you're getting.  The main reason that online shopping annoys me is the unpredictable shipping cost.  Every website seems to have a different way of calculating and informing you of the cost.  Sometimes you have to go all the way through the checkout process before they will tell you how much shipping costs.  But at nomorerack, they have a flat $2 rate per item.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME???!  $2 Flat??!!  That, my friends, makes me happier than you know.  

Nomorerack offers 8 deals each day, from 60-90% off retail.  It's fun seeing the different items they offer each day.  Alongside their regular daily deals, they have charity deals (proceeds benefit charity) and friend deals (If enough of your friends register with them, then you can buy things with your points).  And what blew my mind yesterday is their Insanity Deals, offered at unpredictable times throughout the day.   Here are some examples:  a 52" Sony HGTV for under $60;  An Apple Ipad for Under $45!  Am I lying to you?  No I am not.  But check it out yourself--here's a link that will send you over and let you sign up--and of course it's a link that will give me credit so I can get friend points.  Mama didn't raise no fool :)
This is a great site offering designer items at highly discounted prices.  On any given sale they may have rugs, vintage accessories, furniture, specialty food items and, of course, unique and special gifts.  I visited their site today to see what they have for now, and what did I see??? A set of Golden Christmas tree ball ornaments.

Now, this would not strike me as unusual, except that they are Eight Feet and Four Feet in Diameter!!!!!  This will put your blow-up Santa to shame.  I'm serious, google it.  To see their other great deals, check out this link:

Have you been introduced to Etsy?  I'm assuming most of you have, but just in case you are new to it, Etsy is where you can find great gifts, handmade or vintage, for pretty much any budget.  I have received a few Etsy gifts, and I love them all.  Having something handmade given to me is just a little extra special, and your gift recipients will feel extra-special too.  For anything from jewelry to baby clothes to painted furniture, check out Etsy for unique items.  And best of all, you're supporting the small business people and artists who sell there.  What's not to love?!
And lastly, the giant of  I have used Amazon for a lot of things in the past, because they have good prices and I've always had a good buying experience there.  I also sold a lot of textbooks from college on Amazon, and it was a simple process.  I use Amazon when I am looking for something very specific and I can't find it in a local store.  This happens to me a lot, as I live in a smaller town.  Here's  a list of what I tend to look for on Amazon:

1.  Books.  You can't really beat their prices on books overall.
2.  Specific Small Appliances.  When I want a specific brand and can't find it locally, Amazon is my go-to.
3.  Electronics.  Even if I can find the item locally, Amazon is a great place to find reviews on specific products.  If I want to know what people are saying about something, I check into Amazon.

Online Shopping Safety:
This is my one warning.  I know many people worry about online shopping because of fraud.  Fraud and scams are problems, but there is one big thing that you should do to make sure you're a little safer.  You should not use a debit card that is attached to your main bank account to shop online.  Instead, you should use either a) a credit card, b) Paypal if available, or c) My bank will allow me to set up a separate account specifically for online purchases.  This allows you to transfer money for each purchase into that account, meaning if someone does somehow access your information, there is little or no money remaining in the account when they get there.  Awesome.

How about you?  Do you have a favorite shopping spot for Christmas gifts, either in-store or online?  Do share!

Enjoy your day tomorrow, shopping free, with family and friends.  Joe and I were kindly invited over to a friends' house for Thanksgiving, since we're staying in the area this year.  I'm bringing Stuffing.  My Grandma's recipe.  Yummmm.

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