We all shop online. Whether it is a book from amazon, a new piece of jewelry from Zales, or the latest computer upgrade from newegg, online shopping is one of the most convenient ways to get items that are difficult to find or hard to come by. With a few quick strokes of the keyboard and clicks from the mouse it is possible to look through thousands of products to find the one that is perfect for you and your unique situation. All this online shopping can sometimes beg the question: “How can I be sure that my online shopping is getting me the best deals available”. Fret no more! This handy guide will help equip you with some practical tips that can help guide you in making the most informed decisions possible when online shopping.

Always check the cost to ship an item before you buy.

While buying online is convenient the cost of shipping is sometimes a differing matter. Americans spend billions of dollars each year shipping online purchases. It is important to check the cost of shipping before committing to an online purchase. Large electronics such as tv’s and appliances can sometimes be found online for as much as 30% off of what you would pay in a retail store, however the large shipping bills often dwarf any savings that can be gained. Because of this large tvs and appliances are often best purchased locally so that these fees are avoided. Beware of buying things used as many sellers will advertise low prices, only to charge high shipping costs in order to pocket the difference and increase their profit margins. Always make sure to check shipping costs before committing to an online purchase.

Always check with the manufacturer’s web site before going elsewhere

Manufacturers consistently have the best prices on their own products. Always be sure to check their website first before buying from amazon or walmart. While it may be convenient to do all your shopping in one spot the best deals can be had by going directly to the source.