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Buying online
Old 07-01-2014, 06:56 PM   #1
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Buying online

I admit to being a little slow on the uptake, when it comes to internet shopping, and would appreciate any "hints" on how to stretch the dollar.

So, did you know this?

Passing on one that I learned recently. Two weeks ago, I was checking prices, and went to Walmart online. The item was there at a reasonable price, so I checked to see if it was in stock... Yes it was. I figured to save time, I'd just complete the order online and do the pickup in the store. The webpage said if I ordered then... noon, I could pick it up within four hours, when I received a return confirmation Email. The Email came in about an hour, I went to the store... about 2 miles away, and picked it up. The price online said $44.95 and that's what I paid... No mention about it being on sale. On my way out of the store, I stopped by the automotive department, and found the exact same item with a price of $49.95... Didn't think any more about it.

An hour and a half ago, I was looking and found another item that I wanted, (no mention of a sale price), but it looked like a good deal, so I ordered it, expecting to pick it up the next day, as it said I would be able to do. A half hour later, I received an email... "your order is ready for pickup".... price $88.
I went down to the store, and out of curiosity after I picked it up... stopped by the electronics department, and sure enough... the price was $99.

So now, am back home... no instore shopping or waiting in line, and I saved $11.

Seems a little strange to me, but I'll take it. Makes me wonder how many other stores do this, and if there are other things I should know about saving money online. I like Walmart for the simple reason that if anything's wrong, I can settle it at the store, and not through UPS or the mail.
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Old 07-01-2014, 09:37 PM   #2
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I've noticed that Walmart online will not show the in-store price. I wish they would, then I can decide if I want to arrange for and wait for confirmation emails for 'ship to store' (which apparently is sometimes just allocating their current stock).

Some people claim a store will match the on-line price if asked, but I'm not a big fan of bargaining and going through a hassle.

Home Depot shows in store price and inventory, so I know if it shows just one or two, it might be risky to expect it to be there when I show up. I can also decide to go to one of the stores just a few more miles away if it is worth it.


But bottom line, yes, on-line is often cheaper. I'm guessing that they feel that have a semi-captive audience in the store, but on-line it's too easy to be underbid and lose a sale.

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Old 07-01-2014, 09:44 PM   #3
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If you buy through a shopping portal, like the one for Discover card, you can often often get another 5% or more in cash back. You just have to place the order online.
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Old 07-01-2014, 09:56 PM   #4
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If you buy through a shopping portal, like the one for Discover card, you can often often get another 5% or more in cash back. You just have to place the order online.
I use this and my Sallie Mae Mastercard for Amazon all the time. Its like they're paying me to shop sometimes
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Old 07-02-2014, 12:11 AM   #5
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Sometimes if I am at a store that sells online, I will actually look up the online price while I'm in the store to see if it is less. I remember that Best Buy used to often be considerably more expensive in the store than online.

Back then (this has been a couple of years), to get the discount in the store, you had to go and order the item inline at a kiosk in the store, print out the order and then you could get the online price. Just a real pain to do.
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Old 07-02-2014, 12:15 AM   #6
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I think by shopping online the savings is passed onto you instead of buying in the store.

In a sense, it's kind of like self-service gas cheaper than full service gas (back in the day when there were gas attendants that actually pumped your gas). As by shopping online, you do ring the sale up yourself instead of the store having a real person do that.
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Old 07-02-2014, 06:08 AM   #7
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If a business can charge you a higher price it will, and if it needs to lower its price to you but not me, it also will. The internet lets retailers have multiple prices for the same product but also lets us see how retailers price their products, that's probably one reason inflation has been so low over the past decade.

I try to buy locally but whenever possible I check the online options for planned purchases. The only thing I go out of my way to avoid are rebates.
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Old 07-02-2014, 08:11 AM   #8
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I've noticed the same at Walmart and others. I think one thing that impacts it is walmart will adjust their prices to local competition. When the grocery store runs a sale on something, walmart will often have a special rollback price that matches. Walmart also uses regional and local pricing, an item is not the same price at every store and maybe different than online.

I just bought a set of tires from Discount Tire Direct, getting them mounted today. Saved about $200 on the set with sale price and rebates.

Usually when I try and buy locally it's "well we don't have it in stock but we can order it"
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Old 07-02-2014, 08:24 AM   #9
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I think by shopping online the savings is passed onto you instead of buying in the store.

In a sense, it's kind of like self-service gas cheaper than full service gas (back in the day when there were gas attendants that actually pumped your gas). As by shopping online, you do ring the sale up yourself instead of the store having a real person do that.
My experience ordering on line at Walmart was that I had to go to a little kiosk to pick up, then try to find someone to wait on me. That sleepy person would go in the back and rummage around until they found my item, then ring it up. In total, including the person that picked the stock off store shelves, it had to involve more labor than if I'd just grabbed the item off the shelf and self checked out.
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Old 07-02-2014, 08:30 AM   #10
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My experience ordering on line at Walmart was that I had to go to a little kiosk to pick up, then try to find someone to wait on me. That sleepy person would go in the back and rummage around until they found my item, then ring it up. In total, including the person that picked the stock off store shelves, it had to involve more labor than if I'd just grabbed the item off the shelf and self checked out.
That's only if you opt for 'ship to store' which I learned through an experience similar to yours, isn't worth the delivery cost savings. It took the 'sleepy person' 20 minutes to locate my order, after first telling me they couldn't find it...
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Old 07-02-2014, 08:58 AM   #11
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Maybe the lower price is to help cover the shipping charge if you have it shipped to your house. With the price of gas, might not be a bad idea to have it shipped to your house.
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Old 07-02-2014, 09:07 AM   #12
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Walmart also uses regional and local pricing, an item is not the same price at every store...
+1

The Walmart nearest us (12 miles away) has been there for about 10 years. They recently opened two new Walmarts - both within a four mile radius of the older location - and I've noticed many items are higher at the new stores. One of the new stores is in a nicer area but the other definitely isn't, so that doesn't explain the difference in prices. Guess they are trying to recover the higher cost of overhead in the new locations.
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Old 07-02-2014, 10:09 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
...(snip)...
Seems a little strange to me, but I'll take it. Makes me wonder how many other stores do this, and if there are other things I should know about saving money online. I like Walmart for the simple reason that if anything's wrong, I can settle it at the store, and not through UPS or the mail.
We know that prices can change hourly on-line. Here is a price watch from camel for an Amazon item I'm interested in:



My recent purchase from Amazon had to be returned because the wrong product type was in the box. Never happened to me before. The return was easy. I just reordered and got it in 2 days (Amazon Prime). The lady I talked to credited our account and gave me a UPS sticker to print out to ship back the wrong item. A hassle but this was rare and could have happened at a store just as easily.
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Old 07-02-2014, 05:59 PM   #14
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The only thing I go out of my way to avoid are rebates.
Normally I agree but once in a great long while jumping through the hoops for a rebate is worth it. Last month I bought a Canon photo printer that normally sells for $389 with a package of 13"x19" photo paper that normally goes for $40.95. The total price on all this was $389. The rebate was $300. Now this included cutting out the bar code thing on the box which called for a utility knife and some chopping because the printer weighs 50 lbs. and came in a substantial box.

Extra postage on the envelope because the cardboard was so thick. I spent maybe an hour on all this including the round trip to the post office. $300 an hour ain't bad pay where I come from.

The promised rebate came in the mail yesterday in the form of a prepaid AmEx card and I used it at the grocery store this morning. So all is good.
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Old 07-02-2014, 10:21 PM   #15
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I often use froogle.com - used to have great luck (after sorting from lowest price)...lately not so much.

A few days ago, DD's 8 week old German Shepherd chewed up laptop power supply. Everybody thinks she is soooo cute - except moi.

Froogle did not really help. We were in Little Rock and checked out Best Buy ($54) and Walmart ($45). Ended up ordering off ebay for $12.99. Could have gotten it cheaper, but reviews of a couple sellers were not so great.

Still, i check out froogle...just in case.....
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Old 07-03-2014, 09:48 AM   #16
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........ $300 an hour ain't bad pay where I come from. ..................
If you can find a gig doing that 10 or 20 hours a week, let me know.
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Old 07-03-2014, 08:05 PM   #17
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I'm about to make my biggest purchase ever online. Buying a used vehicle out of state, sight unseen and will have it shipped to me after we iron out the details. Same type of vehicle I own though 7 years newer. Ya, I could act like a real man and look under the hood, but I wouldn't know what I was looking for. It's coming from a reputable dealership, after looking off and on for 5 years, I finally found one I like so I am jumping in. I have inquired on line at a few other places recently and no one would ever just give me a bottom line number. But they keep wasting both our time with multi follow up emails. This guy played ball from the get go and I liked that.


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Old 07-04-2014, 10:10 AM   #18
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I've had mostly good experiences buying on Ebay.

I wasted days chasing down bad leads trying to find a local place to refill a printer cartridge. I was paranoid about using a cc on the internet, and also leery of getting a defective product. But..... I went on Ebay and found my exact cartridge (new, in package, not refills) for a very low price, with free shipping. I got 2 of them, they were only $5 each.


I did check out the seller rating, which was 99 % or 100 %, with hundreds of successful transactions, before ordering.

And the cartridges worked perfectly.
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Old 07-05-2014, 07:24 PM   #19
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One Christmas I had shopped for a new bike at Walmart. When I finally went to make the purchase, they had raised the price by $20 at the store. But the old price was available online with free shipping to my house. Had it delivered to my door......what games they play.
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