Wednesday, October 31, 2007

How to shop for bargains online

A report on a news magazine website recently made a
surprising disclosure about the incomes of certain types
of online shoppers. Evidently, shoppers with higher
incomes are more inclined to use the internet to make
comparison price searches before they purchase. This fact
seems to defy common sense since the poor need the price
breaks the most. Research has shown that users of
comparison shopping sites are reporting incomes above the
average American household's.

One surprising demographic is shoppers on eBay. While more
than thirty percent of all internet surfers browse eBay at
least monthly, more than half of eBay's shoppers earn an
income of more than seventy-five thousand a year.
Three-quarters of its buyers are over the age of
thirty-five. Another interesting statistic reported by
regular search engines is terms like "cheap" or "discount"
combined with a product name is used most frequently by
the affluent searcher than not.

So what types of shopping websites do the poor surf?
Perhaps it is merely to fuel their daydreams, but the poor
are browsing exotic cars, expensive designer clothing and
high-end electronics.

If you are not already using the power of the internet to
find those bargains, here are a few tips for you.

1. Start by going to a comparison shopping website, such
as Froogle, or find sites by doing a search for
"comparison shopping."

2. A good comparison site will help you to get a feel for
the right model and the best price you can get. Follow up
with a specific search in your regular search engine.
There may be other merchant sites listed that are not on
the comparison site.

3. Look for evidence of stability in a merchant website as
well as price. A reliable business will have a secure site
and an offline presence such as a street address and a
telephone number.

4. Always take into account the cost of shipping. With
shipping added in, you may be better off in a store.

5. Before you go to a store, print the best prices for an
item and carry it with you. Even if you prefer to buy in
a local store, showing you are knowledgeable may put you
in a better negotiating position.

With all of this bargain hunting on the internet, is the
humble offline garage sale becoming an endangered species?
Apparently not, you would think if you look at the garage
sale listings on the Craigslist website. In April 2002
they had a mere two thousand garage sale ads and in April
2007 there were one hundred twenty thousand.

Make the most of the power of the internet to hunt down
and buy those bargains. There is no reason to feel like
you are slumming when you do. Now you know you are in good
company.

Matia Bryson teaches the
newcomer to eBay shopping the fundamentals so they can
catch up quickly:

1 comment:

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