1) Subscribe to Amazon Prime. 90% of anything you’re going to want to buy can be gotten from Amazon and 75% of that can be gotten directly from them in order to take advantage of the Amazon Prime program. For those who are not familiar with it, Amazon Prime cost $79 a year and can be shared with 4 other people. It offers free 2-day shipping on any item fulfilled directly by Amazon. Overnight shipping is $3.99 per item. When you consider the cost of shipping at any other site, you can’t go wrong with this deal. If you factor in the ability to share the membership with others, you can cat the per person cost down to a ridiculously low price of under $16 per year.
2) Track down coupon codes. There are literally hundreds of sites that have coupon codes for tons of major retailers online. Some of the codes are lame and fairly meaningless, but others can save you significant cash on your purchase.
3) Shop the deal sites. I have a handful of sites that I check regularly that list deals (www.slickdeals.net, http://www.dealnews.com, http://www.woot.com). By spending some time a browsing around, you can be sure you’re getting the best deal possible.
4) Do some research. People take it for granted that the internet is there, but most people are just too lazy to do the research to ensure they are getting a good deal. The most important thing to research (after price) is the user comments. Look for your item on Amazon even if you are not planning on buying it there. You can browse the comments to help ensure that the product will meet your expetations.
5) Don’t be afraid. I can’t believe that even after about 15 years of use, some people don’t trust online online shopping sites and are concerned that their credit card information is not secure if they shop online. As a matter of fact, it’s probably safer to key your information into a site, than it is to hand your card to a retailer in person.