When shopping on Amazon or just Googling a product, there are unexpected ways to find better deals. Let's start with the basics and move on to some tips and tweaks to your product searches to help you find the best deal every time.
Shopping Search Basics
Personally, I prefer to shop at Amazon. I love the free shipping and product ratings. These days, I find it hard to buy anything at a traditional retail store. It's like going in blind because you don't have those stars left by other customers to tell you if it's a good quality product or not. While insisting on buying only the best-rated products does limit some deals, it gives you the best chance of getting a product you'll always love for a good price. Google does a good job of weeding out poor retailers, but it doesn't rate individual products. That's why most of my purchases start with an Amazon search. Google is my backup once I've made a choice at Amazon. Sometimes, searching the same product through Google will get me a better deal.
Tweaking Amazon Searches
When searching Amazon for deals, I like to shop by category, but a quick search of the item you want is a fine place to start as well. Amazon doesn't do a good job of sorting items by type, so you'll need to know a few tweaks to find exactly what you want. First, find your product type through a search or by navigating categories. Then click on the highest rating to get only the best stuff. If free shipping is important to you, click that option too. Be careful, though. Sometimes Amazon will show you products that do not offer free shipping, even when you choose the free shipping filter. Next, sort items priced lowest to highest. Now you know you have a good shot at finding a great product for the best price available.
Watch out for highly rated items with only one or two reviews. Your best chance of a good deal comes when a large number of people have rated a product highly. Take a quick look at low ratings to see what the beef is. Some products will have a good overall rating, but you might notice several people had to return defective merchandise. I steer clear of products like that because I don't want to be the poor soul sending the item back.
Finding the Better Deal
Even now, you might find an even better deal than what you see on the screen. When you narrow it down to one or two products you like, do a new search for the product brand. Sometimes, products just don't show up where they should. A new search of the product name or brand can turn up a better deal. Just this morning I went hunting for water shoes for the family. After narrowing it down to two pairs for the boys at $50 each, a new search of "drainmaker," a water shoe by Columbia, other good deals turned up. I finally settled on two pairs that were only $35 each. Taking that extra step saved me $30 this morning and only took five extra minutes.
The Final Check
After all that, I popped over to Google for a quick shopping search and confirmed that when you accounted for shipping, Amazon had the best deal on these shoes. I checked out knowing I couldn't do any better for such good quality shoes. Try it out next time you make an online purchase and see if you don't find a better deal.
Jessica Bosari is a freelance writer and blogger for various publications and her own telecommute writing jobs blog. You can read more of Jessica's work here. If you have any comments or questions about SavingTools.com or about saving money, leave your comments in the form below or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!