small change toward a rich life

Internet shopping magic

Do you shop online?

I do. Aside from groceries, I probably make 80-90% of my purchases online. It suits me, because I am very big on product research and price comparisons and bargain-hunting, and because I usually find in-person shopping to be terribly inefficient. There are a few things it doesn’t work for — I’m afraid to buy an armchair online, because if it’s uncomfortable or poorly constructed, returning it would be next to impossible — but mostly it works just fine, and often saves me hours per week.

Currently we are remodeling our living room, and on our list of needed furniture is a coat rack. I could have spent an entire weekend day going from store to store in search of something suitable, but instead I opened two browser tabs and typed ‘coat rack’ into Amazon and Google.

Right away I found a solid wood style that I liked, listed as ‘on sale’ at coatracks.com for $80 plus $6 shipping. Now, I wasn’t going to assume that $80 was any kind of bargain just because one random site said so, but another half-hour of concerted searching convinced me that this was, in fact, the best price. The style I wanted wasn’t common, and the only other site I could find it on was charging $95.

And then, having already decided on the purchase, I worked internet magic.

Prior exploration of the site had revealed that coatracks.com was a front for a larger company called NetShops, so I googled ‘netshops coupon code’. Within two minutes I had a promotional code for $10 off a $75 purchase. (Turns out ‘coat racks coupon code’ would have worked just as well; I was being unnecessarily clever.) Typed the number in at checkout, and bang — saved ten bucks.

I do a code search every time I buy something online. When a friend had emergency surgery last month, I sent her flowers … and saved $10 with a promo code. (Which is a good thing, because the $30 arrangement was over $60 by the time all the extra fees were calculated!) I don’t always find a code, but it works more often than you might think. And it only takes a couple of minutes.

The trick, as with all coupons, is not to let them sway you into buying something you wouldn’t buy anyway. Some people are daily visitors to the coupon-code aggrecation sites and forums, but I recommend against that; better to search for something in particular when you’re ready to buy.

When I made my coat rack purchase, I got another promo code for $10 off $50 or more at netshops.com. I don’t need anything else that they sell right now, so I won’t be using it. But you can, if you want: it’s PP-5353 and expires July 7, 2008. One per household, so feel free to pass it on.


One response

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  1. Stacy says

    Clothing shopping is where online thwarts and inspires me. I’ve just started trying to do it, but. Oy. I *hate hate hate* trying to find decent clothes, and trying to do it without trying them on has generally proved disastrous. But oh, if I could never set foot in a clothing store again …

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