Yesterday, I mentioned that we were basically done with our Christmas shopping. When it comes to shopping, I do enjoy doing it, but when the crowds are too big I tend to shy away. When I went to Walmart a few weeks ago it was a mad house. Right then and there, I decided that I was going try to do most of our Christmas shopping online this year and I learned a bit about Amazon.com and saved quite a bit of money.
1.) Before you buy something at your local big-box retailer, check the prices at Amazon.com. About a month ago, we bought Uno Spin (aff. link). We were on a board game/family night kick and so we bought that game and we absolutely love it! I wasn’t surprised that Uno Attack (aff. link) made my son’s list to Santa. At our local store, they were selling it for $24.95. At Walmart, they were selling it for around $21.00. To my delight, Amazon.com had it at $14.99 (although I just checked before publishing this and now it is only $8.74!).
2.) Browse the 51-70% off sections for great deals. Any time that you search for something and get results, take a look at the left column and scroll down a bit. You have the option of looking at items by the discount percentage. I decided to browse through the 51-70% off section and I found two gifts my son is going to love!
- Pirates of the Caribbean Pirate Ships (aff. link) – My son loves Pirates of the Caribbean and loves building things. He is going to love this set of two ships.Â Now mom or dad can commandeer one and he can be the captain on the other (mom also loved the price – 70% off).
- A Huge Tub of Moon Sand (aff. link) – In the summer, my son loves to make sand castles. Now that winter is here, we won’t have sand to play in until late April or early May. With the moon sand, we’ll be able to make sand castles in winter! This was 70% off as well.
3.) You can find “different” items. I’ve been on the lookout for something else to teach my son about money beside a piggy bank with compartments. I couldn’t find anything at Walmart. But I think I found a gem at Amazon.com. From Mom and Dad, our son is getting MoneyWise Kids (aff. link). It is a board game that “will help kids understand how money works, in terms of dollar value and spending power.” For under $10.00, and with such a good rating (4.5 stars), I was pretty happy to find it. After Christmas, I’ll report back and let everyone know what my son thinks of it.
4.) I think you buy less when shopping online. I know when I go to the store, I get distracted by displays and by all of the little items stores have all over. Put one in your cart…put another in your cart…it all adds up. By having a specific goal in mind and shopping online, you can bypass that form of retailer psychology.
5.) You will be tempted to buy something just because it is a good price. One downside from checking out the discounted products is that you’ll see many great deals for things that you probably shouldn’t be buying. The key is to save money on things you were going to purchase anyways. Besides my obsession with LCD TVs, I have a yearning for a SLR digital camera. Amazon.com has some on sale for over 50% off. I love the bargain prices, but it’s not something in the budget.
Next year, I think that we are going to start our Christmas shopping with Amazon. Even something that I bought for my parents, which you normally think of buying in a grocery store, was cheaper through Amazon. By purchasing it myself we helped avoid elder financial scams. I learned that after the fact and it’s too late to do it this year. But next year, I will.