Good Monday Morning Green Panda Friends!  Today we are starting a new series called Fun Financial Tools for Twenty Somethings.  Over the next few weeks we will discuss several different online and financial tools that will save us both time and money.

Today we are going to start with discussing the advantages of Online Shopping as well as the Best Coupon and Deals websites available online.  Online Shopping has become a very popular choice for consumers as our lives get busier and our schedules become more hectic.

More and more retailers are offering their products to online shoppers. There are three types of online shopping websites; the first is an actual store that has a website to offer their products to clients through the world wide web.  The second type of online shopping website, such as Amazon, offers a variety of products from several different vendors. The third type of online websites are deals websites, such as Groupon and Expedia, that offer a  variety of services such as travelling, food and dining, as well as clothes at discount prices.

The Major Advantages of Online Shopping

There are several advantages to online shopping and I very often take advantage of them all.  The first major advantage of online shopping is the convenience of shipping to an alternative address. I live in a different city from my parents and during the holidays or birthdays it is very convenient for me to shop online and have the order shipped to my parents address.

The second major advantage of online shopping is the lower pricing.  For whatever reason the prices of products online are a lot lower than the prices of the products in stores.  Some companies even offer special deals that are available only to online shoppers.

Why I Love Online Shopping

I admit that I am somewhat of a frequent online shopper.  The main advantage that I love about online shopping is that it gives me access to products that I would otherwise not be able to buy.  As a Canadian resident we don’t have a lot of the great stores that the US has to offer such as Victoria’s Secret, Sephora, Dr. Jays and Bath and Body Works.  Although some of these retailers have recently opened stores on the Canadian side of the Boarder, they are not in locations that are convenient for me to shop.

The downside of online shopping on these US based websites is that they do not offer free shipping in Canada.  Sephora offers free shipping on all purchases of $50 and over, and Victoria’s Secret offers free shipping on orders over $100; however the offers are not applicable in Canada.  Regardless of the additional costs I still continue to shop online because the products are worth the price even with the additional shipping costs.

The Best Coupon and Deals Websites

There are a variety of great coupon sites available for consumers such as Groupon, Deal Find and Living Social. These are sites that offer deals to the masses based on your location.  Different deals are available for different cities with local vendors.  I have found some great personal luxury deals on Groupon such as 30 minute massages at half price, and a $50 restaurant gift certificate for only $35.

I love shopping online at Chapters because the prices are significantly lower than in the store and all the books are always in stock.  Chapters also recommends other books that I may enjoy based on my previous purchases, which I always appreciate.  Sometimes we have to wait a few weeks before our online shopping order is delivered; however, my Chapters orders always arrive within a few days.

I am a frequent shopper at Beyond The Rack and Shop Bop.  These are two websites that offer designer clothes and accessories at discount prices.

Although I have never tried it, the blind bidding discount concept of booking travel through Hot Wire really fascinates me.

What is your favourite Coupon or Deals Website?

 

Photo by Orange Acid