Gold Digging: In the Mine or On Line?

I appreciate the gold diggers out there who get up at 4AM to shop on Black Friday.

I am not one of them. 

My ideal shopping scenario is my comfy robe, a big mug of coffee, and my keyboard.

No parking, no cold, no crowds, no annoying sales clerk saying, "You still doin' okaaay?" "Are you SURE you're still okaaay?"

Plus, I have to admit, when I shop I see way too many things that would look oh so cute on ME, and that isn't really the point.

But don't think for a minute that I am missing out on the bargains. 

Just because I'm a gold digger doesn't mean I have to go into the mine myself and get dirty.

Here are my nuggets for the best online shopping......

The most important rule for shopping on line is to always, always, always, before you click on "pay now," check to see if there are any on line discounts or coupons. 

I know you already know this. I do, too. But you don't know how many times I have kicked myself for not checking.

All you have to do is click on another page on your browser and google "Ann Taylor coupon code" or "Toys 'r Us coupon code", or "Fisher Price coupon code." Even if you think the store is already giving you 30% off and there can't possible be any discounts, trust me.

The one I use the most is  But there are many.

Don't forget that many of the coupons you get in the mail can be used on line.

Look for general reviews and price comparisons of products.

You can find these by googling the product and adding "reviews." For example, I want to buy an MP3 player for a gift.  I enter "MP3 player review." Up pops one of my favorite sites,  CNET lists all the different MP3 players, the price ranges, and objective reviews of each. It also gives me stores I may not have heard of the where I can buy the MP3 player at the best rate. If I don't want to buy from an unknown store, I can look up a well known store on line, like Best Buy, and compare the prices I found on CNET.

Look for stores that provide customer reviews.

I truly believe that became a household name because of the reviews. It is one of my favorite sites for that reason.  I have not only bought hundreds of books from Amazon, but also many gifts, including an expensive set of cookware.  The price was far less than the "bricks and mortar" stores in my area.  And I had the comfort of reading reviews from people who had actually used the products. Plus the huge box of cookware was delivered to my door!

Another store I like for children's things is Lillian Vernon. The reviews are from parents who honestly tell you if their five year old loved the item or if it fell apart.  They have darling personalized items that are inexpensive.
They have fun gifts for grown ups, too. offers customer reviews.  It was very helpful for me to read that a cute sweater I found on line was extra short, or that another sweater was "scratchy and uncomfortable." Conversely, I bought a jacket that was just average in the picture, but the reviews were all great.  I didn't regret it.

Look for online stores that have free shipping and returns.

One of my favorite sites is  You can get all kinds of things at Zappos.  Their customer service is second to none. And they ship orders so fast that I feel as though the UPS guy is ringing my doorbell seconds after I've placed the order!

Now, mind you, Zappos is not the cheapest place in town.  But for hassle free on line shopping, it's tough to beat.  Look at the honest customer reviews, order as many items as you want, and when they arrive, select what you want to keep and send the rest back in the same box with the prepaid shipping label. Or wait, and determine what you want to return later--you can return anything FREE for up to a year!

So, do you want to go shopping with me?  Put on your fuzzy slippers and get your coffee and let's go!

My favorite piggy slippers. Courtesy of my friend Beth.

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