I shop more online now than I do in the actual stores. I've discovered that I usually find better deals online for the stuff I want. The sites I shop are secure (always use your credit card, just to be safe), and the selection is limitless.
It's even better when you know the tricks on how to get BETTER stuff FASTER and CHEAPER!
First, instead of going straight to the e-tailer who sells the product, start with PRICE COMPARISON SITES. These are one-stop sites that search every e-tailer who sells that product, and they quote the prices right there so you can compare them. The best ones offer ratings of the reliability of those retailers as well as their prices.
Try Googling the name of the product plus the word "complaints." That will lead you to both critic and public reviews of the product. Here are the product review sites that Consumer Reports recommends: www.buzzillions.com, www.epinions.com.
You should also try Googling the product's name plus the words "promotion code" or "coupon code." CR says there are dozens of sites out there that collect promotion codes for discounts. Get the codes, then use them to get discounts online. CR also recommends going here for promotion codes: www.RetailMeNot.com.
Consider using price-tracking sites, especially www.priceprotectr.com. Click here for my story on priceprotectr.com when I put it to the test:
For more great online shopping strategies, pick up the May issue of Consumer Reports' ShopSmart magazine.