As a mommy and busy person in general, I do a lot of online browsing and shopping. I don't often have time to visit the store. Sometimes I've found the online item to be cheaper, sometimes it's cheaper in store. I am not sure if there is a rhyme or reason to it. Generally, Target is cheaper in store, but Old Navy, Gap, and Macy's are cheaper online (due to the amount of online promo codes they have). Kohls can go either way depending on if you have a coupon. In order to make sure I get the lowest price possible online, I have a few tips.
1. Online window shopTypically I am not looking for a brand or store to buy things from, I am looking for a specific item. I google search and use shopstyle to help me to look for clothes. This way I am looking at lots of sites and I can compare items and prices more easily. I also check my typical favorite stores to see if they
have the item or amazon.com.
2. Check for promo codes
This is a really great way to save on shipping costs and get a percentage off. Many sites are good about featuring promo codes on their site, you just need to remember to use them when you check out. Other sites are not so good. So how do you find them? I've found the most reliable promo codes on Retailmenot. You can also try a google search for promo codes, too. I rarely buy anything online unless I can find a promo code.
Something else I want to mention if you are buying on amazon (which almost never has promo codes). Some companies will sell their items through amazon even if they have an online site themselves. You can often find a promo code to buy through their site, but not for amazon. For example, I found a pair of boots I wanted on amazon for sale by shoes.com. Well, I just went to shoes.com and bought them using a promo code and saving me $25!
3. Save on your shipping costs
I rarely pay for shipping costs. Many stores (Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic, Macy's, Kohls, JCrew, JCrew Factory, Target, I could go on and on) will give you free shipping once you pay a set amount. They will let you return for free in store. Need I say more? Typically there are items I am curious about anyway so I add them to my cart. Or I am not sure which size to order so I order two different sizes. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't, but I get to return the items I don't want to the store and I haven't paid shipping. I am not trying to cheat the system here. I think companies have to expect a certain amount of returns when you can't try an item on or see it up close. You can also occasionally find promo codes for free shipping with no minimum or ship it to the store for free.
4. Get a cheaper version
I love all those gorgeous necklaces JCrew keeps coming out with, but if I got one, that would be my entire monthly budget. You want me to buy one thing for the whole month? I think not. Besides, JCrew will keep coming up with fabulous accessories we all covet and there would be no way to keep up with the trends. So, I utilize Groodealz, Jane, and eBay to find my accessories. I know particularly with eBay, the quality may not be as good, but they will probably last about as long as the trend does, so I'm ok with that.