With the click of a mouse, Chicago-based professional shopper Bridget Smith finds hundreds of deals for her male and female clients. Smith started her company, The Wardrobe Coach, over three years ago and helps her clients shop smarter and develop a solid wardrobe.
While she has relationships with brick-and-mortar stores, she also turns to the web to compare selections and prices. Some of her favorite sites include shopittome.com and budgetbabe.com and she posts some of the deals she finds on her blog.
Smith is among a growing number of consumers looking to the web for retail deals. According to Forrester Research, online sales grew by 13% last year. eCommerce sites continue to capture market share from brick-and-mortar stores largely because consumers believe the web offers lower prices and is more convenient.
Cybershoppers say you can easily find super savings online with just a few clicks and little research. They recommend sites like Retailmenot.com, Couponshare.com, Freeshipping.com or even a Google product search to compare prices and to find discounts and coupon codes. Smith also recommends social networking sites like CheapTweet.com and Facebook for sale tips. There are also subscription sites like Gilt.com that inform members of sales on luxury items.
Noe Garza and Shawn Mayeux offer to do all the work for you for free on their site: dealoco.com. Garza says, “They're not gonna get on our site unless they're the best deals on the internet.”
Garza and Mayeux scour the internet every day for the best deals. They also found a way to make their site unique: Dealoco gives each deal a “grief factor”. If an item has a grief factor of “1”, it means that the savings are instant. A mail-in rebate, which requires slightly more work, earns a grief factor of “3”.
“So a mail-in rebate would be something a lot of people don't like,” Garza explains. “There's some grief involved, so the grief factor would be higher there.”
If you are looking to save online, Smith recommends doing your research and comparing the different sites for the best prices. She admits it can be time-consuming, but the work can result in a big payoff.
Published at 7:09 AM CDT on Apr 7, 2009 | Updated at 10:37 AM CDT on Apr 7, 2009