Saving Money On Your Shopping Sprees

Online shopping is gradually taking over the high street. We all spend billions online, but still there are new shoppers who are learning the tricks of the trade everyday. Here are some simple tips to turn novice shoppers into savvy ones.

Always use secure websites
Security first .Never give your credit card details in an insecure website. When you shop from a website, always watch if their site takes these payments through an encrypted channel. Watch for the address on your browser bar to show https:// instead of the http:// before the url of the website. Most secure sites explain the security measures clearly to reassure shoppers.

Sales and off season discounts
We all know seasonal sales like the Christmas ones. But it is also worth bearing in mind that things which are not in demand in a particular season could be much cheaper to buy than in a peak season.

Compare Prices
It is worthwhile sparing some time to compare prices using a price comparison site where you have the facility to compare different prices, read opinions and reviews to know the best deals around.

Price Match
Lots of online shops normally advertise that they will match competition’s advertised rates after one to three weeks of purchase. You can take prompt advantage of this policy by simply asking for it. If you find it cheaper of course.

Savings while you travel
During holidays you can purchase gifts in countries where these are cheaper and cut down on the costs compared to buying at home.

Join Cash back websites or Discount sites
These Cash back reward sites offer incentives and cash back to use their website. You shop as usual from all the online shops, but the commission the website gets is shared with their members

Freebies and Discount Vouchers
Always try and see if there are any discount vouchers around for the online shop you are going to use. Sometimes using Coupon and promotional codes can save you up to 20% or so.

Offline adverts can also help
Not all the savings are always online. Some companies prefer to advertise their new products on TV or newspapers and direct consumers to their websites. So watch out for local adverts and offers as well.

Ways To Save Money Grocery Shopping

Grocery shopping bills can really add up! Most people tend to wait until they get to the store to see what they need on a shopping trip, but that can add up to a whole bunch of overspending at the grocery store. In this article, we’ll offer up some tips on how to save money when taking your trip to the grocery store.

– Before you leave the house to hit the supermarket, it can be a good idea to check your pantry and do a quick inventory so that you can see exactly what you need. Plus, if you have some odd ingredient hanging out in the cupboard, you can buy something to go with it when you go to the grocery store.

– Check weekly supermarket ads to see exactly what’s on sale. Combine that knowledge with what you’ve already got in your cupboard, and you should be able to come up with some recipes for the week that incorporate what you already have and what’s on sale.

– When you see something for sale that you already have, but you often buy, buy it anyway. When you buy things that you would buy anyway on sale, you’re saving yourself plenty of cash in the future.

– Do your best to avoid making small purchases at places such as convenience stores. These smaller stores usually charge a premium when it comes to their grocery goods, and you can save a few dollars a week by just making one big trip to the supermarket.

– When you make a grocery list, stick to it. Do your best to avoid impulse buys, since they are usually unnecessary and costly.

– Red meat can be very expensive. If you’re looking for ways to get your protein intake without spending a whole lot of cash, it may be your best bet to avoid red meat, opting for poultry, tuna, peanut butter, and eggs instead.

– When buying poultry, opt for whole chickens as opposed to breast meat. They are a much more cost-effective way of getting chicken.

– When you see something advertised as a sale, be sure that it is actually a good deal. Compare the product to similar products in the area to determine whether or not you’ll be saving cash by buying the deal item.

Following these tips can save you a lot of money when it comes to your supermarket trips. Since the cost of foods can really add up, you may find yourself with some spare pocket money if you are a prudent and informed shopper.

The Purpose Of Mystery Shopping

Mystery shopping is designed to provide companies with valuable information that they may use to improve their business, service or product. A secret shopper is hired to visit a business location and will be assigned a specific task, which may include questions to ask, complaints to voice, purchases to make and certain business aspects to note.

A mystery shopper must have a keen eye for detail and should notice even the smallest aspect of a business. Mystery shopping can either include making purchases or simply evaluating customer service. For instance, if a customer line is long and the wait time is dreadful, a mystery shopper will need to evaluate the situation and give his/her opinion on how to improve it. Are more employees needed? Is there a store layout that could improve functionality and help to initiate shorter wait times? These are all important questions that a professional mystery shopper should be able to answer.

Because the purpose of mystery shopping is to provide an unbiased opinion on how a company can improve its presence, the mystery shopper will pose as a customer and secretly evaluate all aspects of a location. In acting as a customer, the employees will not realize they are being evaluated and, unlike a planned visit from the head office, the atmosphere will be more relaxed and will provide a natural look at how a business truly operates.

Many companies employ the use of comment cards, which are provided for customers to offer their opinions and insight into a store and how it could be improved. When a professional mystery shopper is hired, he/she will provide the same information from a consumer standpoint, but with a professional flair. Because this approach is invaluable, mystery shopping is commonly used in every industry. Although retail, restaurant, banking and convenience store locations have been at the top of the list as businesses most likely to employ mystery shoppers, it would be difficult to find an industry that does not use secret shopping services.

If you want to know where mystery shopping services could prove to be beneficial, simply look around you. Anywhere there are customers to shop, products to be sold or services to be purchased, a mystery shopper could be invaluable. If a company believes that there is always room for improvement, they are likely to realize the importance of a third party evaluation that offers insight in the form of a written assessment.

The mystery shopping industry not only detects what may need improving, but also can help to recognize valuable services and/or quality. In a world where prompt and effective customer service is often difficult to come by, it is important for a company to know which employees and/or locations are excelling in the way that they handle both the customers and the daily business operations. Mystery shopping can be used as a way of identifying outstanding employees and potentially even rewarding them with incentives to keep up the good work. Overall, mystery shopping is designed to promote improvement when needed and recognition when deserved. The only way to know for sure which category a particular business falls into is to take away the mystery and hire a secret shopper.

How To Find Legitimate Mystery Shopping Jobs

Perhaps the best way to know where to locate legitimate mystery shopping jobs is to first know where not to look. Many professional shoppers agree that newspaper advertisements and/or unsolicited e-mails should be avoided or, at the very least, used only with great caution as many are assumed to be questionable.

The best way to find a legitimate mystery shopping opportunity is through a reputable online company. Many businesses are currently hiring mystery shoppers and, like many, they realize that the best place to advertise is online. Like all work at home opportunities, a legitimate mystery shopping job can often be found through the best form of advertising available to anyone – word of mouth. Whether it’s a referral from a friend or family member or an independent, third-party review from an organization that is offering their opinion on a company and its services, you can often gain valuable insight with the click of a mouse.

Because the internet is full of opportunities, including those relating to mystery shopping, it can often be difficult to find the best company to fit your needs. If you are curious as to a company’s track record, you can always check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) online to learn if a business has had any complaints filed within the last 36 months, how many years it has been in existence and whether or not the track record is satisfactory according to the BBB’s standards.

In addition to the aforementioned methods, anyone interested in becoming a mystery shopper should be cautious of a company that promises a job or a specific income. The financial rewards that are received are often representative of the amount of time and effort that you put into a career, which is the case with mystery shopping. The more jobs that you accept and the longer you work, the more money you will earn. Any company that promises you wealth overnight is simply not being realistic and is, consequently, a company that you may not want to do business with.

As a mystery shopper, you will learn to evaluate a business. If you have what it takes to be a candidate for this type of work, then you should also be able to evaluate a company before you sign up to shop for them. Are their statements and advertisements realistic or do they seem too good to be true? Does the company have a positive reputation with others and have they been in business for a significant amount of time? If you are to be a professional shopper, evaluating companies will become a way of life and there’s no better time to begin assessing a business than now. If you choose wisely, you could be trading in your 9 to 5 job for a shopping cart and a ton of perks.

3 Key Advantages Of Buying Ipod Products At A Discount Shopping Mall

Finding the iPod of your dreams is much easier now thanks to online discount shopping malls. Online malls offer many choices of brands, colors, styles, sizes and features that you may not find at a local retailer. Whether you’re buying an iPod Nano with an LCD screen, and iPod video or other related electronics, you can almost always find what you need at an online mall, and often at a great price! Here are three advantages of buying an iPod at a discount shopping mall on the Web.

1. iPod Features and Benefits

When searching through an online discount shopping mall for an iPod, you can take your time and shop from your own home computer. You have time to read all the features and benefits, compare iPod brands carefully and even look at various styles and colors to find exactly what you need. Features of IPods might include an LCD monitor, song memory capabilities, menu selections, compatibility with iPod accessories, and control features for play, rewind, fast-forward, pause, etc.

Benefits can vary from one brand to the next. Some iPods are very small, even pencil-thin, so you can carry them around anywhere. Some iPods have fabulous sound quality. Others may offer lots of memory for storing up to 1,000 songs!

2. Discount Electronics

Another benefit of searching for your iPod at a discount shopping mall is you can hunt for online bargains. You might be surprised at how affordable on-sale electronics can be when you’re shopping online. It’s like having your own discount electronic store at your fingertips. There are amazing online bargains on items such as iPods, iPod videos, iPods with LCD monitors, iPod Nanos, digital cameras, MP3 players and other great electronic products.

Some discount shopping malls will include items such as headphones, cables, adaptors and helpful software with your iPod. You may have to dig deep to find the online bargains, but they’re well worth the effort!

3. Shop for iPod Accessories

You can also shop for additional iPod accessories such as an iPod sleeve or other related products while at a discount shopping mall. If you can buy all your electronics products or accessories at one website, you’ll save on shipping charges as well. Most discount shopping malls offer combined shipping rates for multiple orders. While shopping for an iPod, look around for other items you might need before clicking the “Checkout” button.

Keep these advantages in mind as you search for iPods or related electronics products. You can save time and money by taking advantage of a discount shopping mall on the Web!

Things To Consider While Shopping Online

Shopping online can be wonderful. There’s a virtual world of selections when it comes to the goods and services that you may need such as electronics and jewelry and they are all available at the speed of your mouse. However, there are many things to consider whilst shopping online; while we may not like to think about it, there are many scamsters on the internet just waiting to take your hard-earned dollar. In this article, we’ll be discussing some things to consider before making a purchase online to ensure that you’re getting exactly what you pay for.

First and foremost, you need to ensure that the transaction that you will be performing is done under the utmost scrutiny when it comes to security. When placing an online order, you send your credit card number through a host of lines and circuits. They may be intercepted if you choose to do business with a company that does not employ encryption. To be sure that you are performing a safe transaction, you need to ensure that the online retailer uses SSL technology to encrypt the data. To be sure that the SSL technology is performing, you should check the bottom corner of your web browser for a lock icon. This is your web browser’s way of informing you that the transaction should be a safe one. If you don’t feel safe giving your numbers over the internet, many retailers offer an option to call in by phone to process an order.

Next, it is important to know that the seller is a reputable one. To ensure that the business is on good terms when it comes to customer service, you may want to check their status with the Better Business Bureau. Located at http://www.bbb.org, the site offers a place for consumers to file complaints with businesses that have performed poorly when it comes to a transaction or another aspect of customer service. You can look up a business on the website and see if they have any pending customer complaints or issues. If they seem to be straddled with a number of complaints, it may be in your best interests to avoid doing business with the company.

Last, but definitely not least, is reading the fine print. Many online scammers employ the use of fine print to tie you to some sort of agreement which you were not planning on. This may include extending a subscription fee, or issuing a cancellation fee should you decide to no longer need the business’ services. Also, you may want to consider what the company’s return policy is when it comes to merchandise purchases. Knowing exactly what you are getting into when performing a transaction is of the utmost importance when it comes to keeping your money safe online.

Online Discount Shopping Tips For As Seen On Tv Products

Those amazing As Seen on TV products that we’ve all grown to love are no longer limited to home shopping by television. Now, you can get these same items through discount shopping online. Yes, it’s true – As Seen on TV products are available at the click of a mouse!

These products are available online at shopping center malls on the Web, and usually at great discounts. You can save money and get the unique products you need all in one place. No more waiting for the infomercial to show up again on television. As Seen on TV products have been around for years.

As Seen on TV products are advertised through television infomercials and ordered by phone. Unfortunately, many of the great products from the past no longer appear on television in order to make room for new As Seen on TV products. With the advent of the Internet, these unusual products can now be found at Web shopping malls. Those who enjoy discount shopping online can find fantastic deals on As Seen on TV products.

A Variety of Product Categories

As Seen on TV products are divided into a number of categories such as electronics, house wares, tools and hardware, automotive, collectibles, health and beauty, etc. So, those who are discount shopping for these products can browse through all the categories at one central location when visiting an online shopping center mall.

Great Gifts for Holidays

As Seen on TV products make great gifts for the holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. A variety of products are available for both men and women. From kitchen accessories to guitar courses, there’s something for everyone. Also, if you have to buy gifts for several people during the holidays, you can enjoy home discount shopping at an online shopping mall and order all your items at once, saving on shipping costs in the process.

During your home shopping experience, you can also buy other items while visiting the online discount store. Shopping malls on the Web normally carry many other products such as DVDs, iPods, Xbox 360, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, jewelry, pet supplies and more!

Surprise the Kids

As Seen on TV products have been known for their fun toy selection. Surprise the kids on their birthday or at Christmas time with a unique – and fun – As Seen on TV toy or game. These are items the kids won’t find at the local discount store, so they’ll never expect it!

Go discount shopping today at your favorite online shopping center mall for a vast selection of As Seen on TV products. You can finally enjoy all those terrific products you missed years ago!

Online Stores & Shopping Online

Internet has revolutionized the way people had access to information. What they earlier took hours and days to accomplish, it became affordable for them now to do it in a few minutes time, with very few mouse clicks, while remaining within the square space of a browser window.

One of the direct fallouts of this web revolution is the entry of online stores or the concept of shopping online. As the term itself indicates, shopping online is the way of shopping buying goods from a virtual store (called online store) by selecting the items with mouse clicks and drag & drop and making the payments through credit card, again online.

The major advantage of online shopping is that there is no need for the customer to physically go to a store and move around the shelves. Instead, he/she can achieve the same efficiency or more than that while remaining in the comforts of one’s own home.

And the maximum infrastructure one may need to set the ball rolling could be a PC, a good enough broadband internet connection, and a valid credit card. With online stores, shopping can never become taxing and exhausting.

When it comes to shopping online, there is no better a starting point than looking in online shopping websites/directories. The plus with online shopping website/directory is that it presents to the user a comprehensive list of online shopping resources and that from virtually all part of the world, under a single URL. That is, once stumbled across an online shopping directory, very rarely does one might feel the need for overtly searching in the web for shopping URLs again.

Further, since open to general submission, the contents of online shopping directories are only poised to grow over a period of time, and this is good news for the netizens who constantly rely on online shopping for their day-to-day purchases.

Finally, since it is the human editors who make the final call on which all websites to be included in the directory, for the user, he/she could only find the most relevant and best web resources in the world, in the directories.

For the common man, the job is as simple as spending few minutes browsing the online shopping directory contents and selecting the best website out of it that offers the particular product you are looking for. Shopping won’t get simpler than that!

Don’t Worry About The Safety Of Online Shopping Just Protect Yourself

With a little knowledge, you can make your online shopping experience safe and secure.

If you are uncertain whether online shopping is safe, you are right to be concerned. There ARE online shopping sites that may not do an adequate job of protecting your financial date or the privacy of your personal information.

But if you are careful and follow a few simple guidelines, your online shopping experience can be safe and secure.

First, be certain to check the website of the online store for their privacy policy (or Terms and Conditions or Terms of Use), and/or for certification by third party sources like the Better Business Bureau Online, Verisign, TRUSTe, and SquareTrade.

If the company does NOT list a privacy policy or provide third party verification, look at the site itself. Does the site look professional, or are there misspellings and errors everywhere? If there is a customer service number to call, you can call and speak with a representative to get a sense of their policies and professionalism.

Look on the ‘About Us’ or ‘Company Background’ page and find their mailing address. If the company only lists a Post Office Box mailing address, you may want to steer clear.

Try consumer rating sites that list businesses and provide customer references from online shoppers just like you. www.epinions.com and www.bizrate.com are two sites you might find helpful.

When you purchase products online, some companies will ask you for a lot of extraneous information (what other types of products you buy online, how many other people live in your household, what size you wear, etc.).

You don’t have to answer these questions, and you DON’T have to check the boxes that allow the vendor to sell your email address to others who want to market online shopping products to you. Complete the basic information required to finish your purchase and ONLY that information.
Some companies will allow you to register for an online account.

Unless you plan to buy from this vendor often, DON’T sign up for an account. Just complete your purchase as a ‘guest’ or ‘unregistered’ customer.

The vendor’s data base will not permanently store your credit card or personal information if you do not register for an account. So you can be sure that your information will only be used for THAT purchase.

NEVER shop in an online store that requires you to give your social security number, bank account information or personal information like your mother’s maiden name.

If you want to be especially careful about online shopping, you can set your internet security settings so that they do not accept ‘cookies’. Cookies are files that are stored on your computer to more easily load and bring you back to information you searched or bought on a website when you return to that website to shop again.

But you don’t NEED cookies if you know the website address for the online store. You can just type in the website address from scratch.

You can also check to be sure that your browser supports 128-bit encryption. The encryption process translates your credit card and personal information in a ‘code’ so that it is harder for thieves to grab your personal data.

If the online shopping site you are considering is encrypted, the address on the page you are viewing will begin with ‘https’, instead of just ‘http’, and there may be an image of a padlock in the bottom right corner of the web page.

If you DO choose to store your data so you can more easily return for online shopping, be sure that you choose a password that does not relate to information you have already stored (no address, phone number or name related passwords) and make your password a combination of numbers and letters to make it harder to figure out.

Although it may seem counter-intuitive, credit cards are the safest way to pay for your online shopping purchases. In most cases, your credit card company will support you in any disputes over valid charges if someone steals your credit card information.

If you charge something on an online shopping site, check online a day or two later to see if the charge shows up. If there appears to be any problem with the name of the vendor, the amount of the charge or anything else that looks strange, call your credit card company immediately.

If you follow these simple guidelines, your online shopping experience will be safer and more satisfying!

Online Shopping: Be Smart, Be Safe!

Make your online shopping experience safe and secure, by following these few, simple guidelines

You may be right to feel uncertain about the safety of online shopping. There are certainly some online shopping sites that fail to protect your financial and personal information.

But you don’t have to stop shopping online. All you have to do is to follow a few simple guidelines, to keep your shopping experience safe and secure.

1.Check the website for a privacy policy. It may be called Terms and Conditions, or Terms of Use, and for third party certification by organizations like Verisign, The Better Business Bureau Online, SquareTrade or TRUSTe.

2.If the company doesn’t have a posted privacy policy and you can’t find any third party verification, look at the site for other signs. Look at the site with a critical eye. Does it look professional or are there misspelled words and errors on the site that seem to indicate the vendor is fly-by-night? Call the customer service number and speak with an agent, to get an idea of their professionalism.

3.Look at the company page, or the ‘About Us’ page to find the company mailing address. If the company lists ONLY a Post Office Box mailing address, you might want to shop elsewhere.

4.Review this company on consumer rating sites. These sites provide customer references from online shoppers like you. Here are two sites you might find helpful: www.epinions.com and www.bizrate.com.

5.Avoid giving additional information when you purchase products online. You don’t have to tell the vendor what other types of products you buy online, how many other people live in your house, or what size shoes you wear.

6.You DON’T have to check the boxes that allow this company to sell your email address to other vendors who want to market THEIR products to you. Complete ONLY the basic information required to finish your purchase!

7.If the online shopping site asks you to register for an online account, don’t do so unless you plan to buy from this site often. Just complete your purchase as a ‘guest’. That way, the vendor’s data base will not capture and store your personal information. You personal data will ONLY be used for that one purchase!

8.NEVER do business with an online store that requires your social security number, your personal bank account information or other personal information.

9.You can change your internet security settings so that your computer does not accept ‘cookies’. Cookie files are stored on your computer so that the site, and your personal information, will reload more easily when you come back to do more shopping. But you don’t NEED cookies, if you don’t mind re-typing the website address from scratch. You may have to re-enter personal information, but you will feel more secure.

10.Check your browser to see if it supports 128-bit encryption. Encryption translates your credit card and personal information into a ‘code’ that it is harder for thieves to grab. If your online shopping site is encrypted, the address on the page will begin with ‘https’, not just ‘http’. There may also be a picture of a padlock in the bottom right corner of the page.

11.If you choose to store your data on an online shopping site, be sure you choose a password that is not obvious. Don’t use a password that relates to information you have already stored on that site (like your street address, numbers from your phone number or a password that is related to your name). Use a combination of numbers and letters for your password.

12.Pay by credit card. That is the safest way to pay for your online shopping purchases. Most credit card companies will support you in a dispute over charges or if someone steals your credit card information. When you charge an online shopping purchase, check your credit card account online a day or two later to see if the charge shows up. If there is any problem with the identity of the vendor, the charged amount, or anything else, call your credit card company immediately