We’re constantly pitched about new shopping sites, but here’s a tip that may beat all of them: type the word “coupon” after the name of the store or product. Bob typed “Lands End Coupon” and got 20 percent off from LandsEnd.com. Joy typed “Niemen Marcus coupon” and saw dresses for 70 percent off. But they were still too expensive. Bob typed “ceramic knives coupon” and got 50 percent off on his favorite Kyocera knives.
Engadget.com/compare lists every gadget category you might think of, such as printers, computers, fitness devices, game machines, phones, speakers, you name it. When you click on a category, you get a list of the brands with the best reviews, and comparisons between them, as well as user comments. Here we learned that “Jambox” speakers get the same high rating as “Sonos,” but are cheaper, at $132 to $220, compared to $200 to $300.
There’s a new site called Savor.Co that has discount coupons from our favorite stores, such as Lands End and Macy’s. It has a “co” ending instead of “com” because that is the domain code for Columbia. It has become hip among techies. We found more savings here than we did at Groupon. Maybe that’s because it taps into your likes on Facebook and other sites. They also have a smartphone app.
Our Amazon Prime membership costs us $79 a year and the price will be going up soon. This gives us free shipping and two-day delivery on almost anything we buy there. We can also get hundreds of free movies (but not the newest ones) streamed to our computers, phones or TVs.
- “Shopular” was ranked by TIME magazine as one of the 50 best iPhone apps for 2013. When you walk into some stores, a pop-up on your screen tells you the latest deals. The app works at 40,000 locations around the U.S. and is used by over a million people.
Ebates.com, the website, is now available as an app for the iPhone and iPod Touch. It offers rebates from over 1600 stores and opens up with the “hot deals” of the day. If you wish, your phone or iPod will alert you when a good deal comes in from your favorite store.
Only 35 percent of parents will shop for back-to-school supplies, including clothes, at a physical store, according to a survey by SOASTA, an organization of Internet retailers. Sixty-five percent shop by computer, tablet or phone. (Notice any closed stores in your neighborhood?)
Three fourths of those surveyed say it’s less stressful to shop online. They don’t have to fight traffic, find a place to park, wait in line, or deal with other shoppers. It’s true you pay for shipping, but you don’t have to buy gas.
“Passbook” on the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch lets you electronically store boarding passes, movie tickets, retail coupons, and loyalty cards. It’s very high-tech. If you step into a Starbucks, for example, your Starbucks card automatically appears on the phone. Make sure you’ve got the latest operating system: iOS 6. If you have an Android phone, there’s PassWallet. We couldn’t figure it out but maybe you can. Not quite ready for prime time.