Online Shopping: Where to Compare?

As a quick glance through the articles surrounding this one will show, these days, you’re unlikely to find an even halfway savvy consumer buying anything without looking around a little online first. Well, except for eBay auction items, maybe. In fact, I just bought a crummy camera posing as a much better one on eBay, and was so caught up in a small bidding war and in really wanting to get something good for cheap that I didn’t even look the thing up before entering the winning bid. But that’s different―I’m not an even halfway savvy consumer. Maybe a quarter way savvy, but that’s about it. I’m talking here about people who buy smart.

Except here’s the thing: what does it mean to buy smart, actually? I’m not comparison shopping is bad―not at all―but I do want to suggest that even a habit of comparison shopping doesn’t guarantee the ‘best buy’. Moreover, I suspect that doing all one’s comparison shopping online actually makes finding the ‘best buy’ less likely, especially if we really stop to think about what we mean by the ‘best buy’. Here is a personal anecdote to draw out the points I hope to make.

I moved to Paris almost two months ago―Paris, the shopping capital of the world! And I’m broke, working 70-hour weeks to live downtown in a 7th-story walk-up. Now, you might quite reasonably take issue with my life choices, but you cannot dispute that I’m in need of finding the ‘best buy’ with each purchase I make. Especially once you know that I’ve had to mostly furnish this apartment myself, and have been renovating it, too. Let’s re-cap: I’m broke, living in one of the world’s more expensive cities, surrounded by a plethora of options for every consumer decision, and am renovating and outfitting a studio apartment for as little as I possibly can.

So, the ‘best buy’ would seem at first glance simple: it’s whatever’s cheapest. Or, at second glance, it’s the cheapest option that I actually like. At a third glance, it’s more complex, but stays along these same lines: the ‘best buy’ is whatever item that feels like the best negotiation between what I want (from virtually limitless options) and what I can afford (with a more than a little restricted pocketbook).

In fact, though, the ‘best buy’ has come to mean something more than that for me. It’s not just about an item; it’s about an overall experience. The ‘best buy’ is that which offers the best interaction with my environment, balancing a delicate complex of factors: the standard price, style, quality, sure; but also a new experience, an interesting encounter with someone, seeing a different part of the city, some moral satisfaction with the purchase, even physical exercise.

Take, for example, the aforementioned (digital) camera. Now, that was not the best purchase, not at all. I bought it for about 80 Euros (~110 to 115 USD), and I didn’t check around in advance, and now I’m stuck with this lousy piece of thick plastic with awkward sliding mechanisms, no lens cover, and a wait-time of about half-a-minute after each photo. Not good. (By the way, that’s an Easypix S312―not recommended.) What’s worse, it just arrived in my mailbox one day; I didn’t even have to leave my house. I know that last part is something a lot of people value, but I don’t. Even if this had been a ‘good buy’ in terms of price and quality, it wouldn’t have been a ‘best buy’ because it gave me nothing, in terms of an experience of the world around me. After all, isn’t a large part of the historical value of trade―so often touted by subscribers to the system of capitalism―precisely its ability to bring people together, to motivate new movements? So, why on earth would I want to buy a camera online, eschewing the world of opportunities around me here in Paris?

Here’s the thing: I was comparison shopping at the time. I was checking out camera prices on eBay in order to know if I were getting a good deal on one here in town. Then, sadly, I got caught up in auction madness. Again, that’s not exactly a point against comparison shopping as such―it seems to have a lot more to do with my own psyche―but I suspect I’m not 100% alone in this particular tendency. Especially given what I hear and read about other people’s credit card debt.

Far better would have been―as I did for my sheets, my computer monitor and speakers, lamps, a coffee table, a toaster oven, and other sundries―to check on Craigslist (paris.craigslist.org) and to window shop. Because, see, here’s the thing: For every item I’ve bought from a private individual or at a shop somewhere along the way (some were bargains, and others were not), I’ve had an interesting interaction and have seen a little more of the city I live in. By exercising a little common sense in my purchases (and doing some budgeting), I really haven’t had or wanted to ‘comparison shop’ for most of my purchases, at least not in the sense of obsessive checking around on the internet.

A final example, and that’s it from me. I need a new pair of shoes, and I’ve tried both methods: hardcore comparison shopping through Internet merchants, and lots and lots of window shopping. The latter, almost needless to say, is far more pleasurable. As I stroll from place to place (and remember, I’m working my tail off; it’s not like I’m just hanging around the city), I stop here and there to check out a good pair in a window. Sometimes, if I have an extra moment, I’ll stop in, maybe even try on a pair. I’ve seen a lot of shoes I like―and, truth be told, I really need a pair; I don’t have any black ‘dress’ shoes at the moment, and that’s no good―but I’m not ready to buy just yet. I wouldn’t say I’m comparison shopping, exactly. I’m just waiting for the right pair to make themselves known to me. And that’s the way shopping should be.
Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/online-shopping-where-to-compare.html

Where to Buy Cheap Stuff Online

In this economic turmoil, almost every single person in the US is apprehensive about taking out the big bucks for shopping. The economic recession was treated more like a lesson, and less like a disaster, which has made the average American smart and cautious about spending his dollars. Rather than going to shops and buying products on MRP, using the Internet for shopping is a much better and cheaper option. This article talks about online shopping, and also tells you the best sites to shop.

How to Buy Cheap Stuff Online

Every day we get at least one headline in the newspapers which tells us how bad the economic condition of the country is. Times are tough and the economy is stagnant. In such tough times, you have to cut down on your expenses to make ends meet. So, the most common question arising in everyone’s mind is, where to buy cheap stuff? There are two ways that you can buy cheap stuff, run from store to store in search of a sale, or shop online.

Most of us know that we can buy certain items cheaper online, and also have stuff delivered at our doorstep. When you browse through the Internet, you will find a number of online retailers who are selling all your favorite products; this makes the selling more competitive and prices are slashed even more. There are several ways where you can shop online for low prices. Log on to Google and you find a list of retailers who are offering your favorite products at the cheapest rates.

Where Can I Buy Cheap Stuff Online

The Internet is a wonderful way to explore the world. It not only gives you information on various topics from all around the world, but also saves your money by offering you the best deals on your favorite products.

Amazon
Most Americans who prefer shopping online choose Amazon as their favorite store. It was the first online retailer and is still a preferred website for most people in the world. It’s the best site for buying books and music at a cheaper rate.

Ebay
Called the Wal-Mart of the Internet, Ebay is something that you just cannot miss. Just keep your eyes open for any shopping that you do. Some retailers might over charge you for packing and shipping, while others are very reasonable.

Newegg
The best site to buy computer parts cheap is Newegg. They have a fantastic range of computer parts, and all are very reasonably priced. For free shipping codes have a look at the various computer magazines.

Bestbuy
Their prices, along with free shipping, makes Bestbuy a more preferred site than Amazon. They also offer the same range in computer parts as Newegg.

Geeks
To find the most unusual items for nerds and geeks, it’s better to visit the Geeks website. They also carry the most obscure computer software which you can find nowhere else. They could charge you more for shipping prices, so make sure you get a deal that includes the shipping price. The best way to get the best deal on geeks is to buy more than a piece. This way you get heavy discounts and if your lucky your shipping charges would be waived, which makes a good deal into a great deal.

There’s no doubt in the fact that you can get cheap stuff online, but you always have to be careful of the various scams that surround the concept of online shopping. Before buying from any website, don’t forget to read some safe online shopping tips to ensure a safe purchase.