Shopping for Bargains on the Internet

By  |  Friday, March 25, 2011 at 7:41 am

Do you have a cheapskate gene, one that yearns for a wholesale price? I do and can’t bear to pay more for something if I can find the exact same thing for less money.

That’s this week’s topic: The sites I regularly visit with daily bargain-priced products, those with coupon codes for discounts or free shipping, and the tools to make bargain hunting easier.

Take a Camel Shopping

Little known fact: Prices on Amazon — as well as electronics distributors BestBuy and Newegg — fluctuate. Like corn and hog bellies, Amazon sees its products as commodities and sometimes you’ll see a 5- to 44-percent price drop.

So high on my list of valuable shopping services is camelcamelcamel. Give it the items you’re looking for on Amazon and it’ll notify you by e-mail (or RSS) when a price dives below its current level. For instance, Camel spotted an infrared thermometer that plummeted from $80 to $45. (Too bad I don’t need one.)

And if you have an Amazon wish list, Camel will import and track it. You don’t even need to register. Check here for links to Camel’s store trackers, for such sites as Newegg, BestBuy, and Backcountry.

Free Shipping on Amazon

When I shop on Amazon, I try to get to $25 in order to get free shipping. Sometime I’ll be off by a dollar or two, and that’s where Amazon Filler Item Finder comes in handy. Give it an amount and it gives you a list of products for that price.

Deals: One Day at a Time

I may not know what I want, but that doesn’t stop me if the price is right.

Each day Ben’s Bargains digs up some decent deals. For instance, I spotted 12 AAA rechargeable batteries and a charger for $10, including shipping. It’s hit and miss. You may see a jaw-dropping price on a product one day, with a pedestrian deal the next.

On the software side of bargains, nothing beats Giveaway of the Day. Some of the apps won’t fit your needs, but others are nifty and even useful. For instance, last month I picked up Zentimo, a tool to safely remove USB devices, and I’m still using it. There’s no scam: Companies are about to release a new version, so the freebie is the current version; chances are also good you won’t get tech support. But hey, free is free, eh?

Stay Tuned For More Bargain Shopping

Readers complain when my newsletters are long. It’s got to be that attention deficit disorder: “Too much to read,” I’ll hear. “Shorter, Bass, please.” And last week’s newsletter about Ooma, the Internet phone device, was monstrously long.

So I’m cutting back on the words this week; I’ll have more bargain shopping sites and tips next week.

[This post is excerpted from Steve’s TechBite newsletter. If you liked it,¬†head here to sign up–it’s delivered weekly to your inbox, and it’s free.]

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  1. Alan Ralph Says:

    Thanks for the tip about Camel – as a longtime Amazon user, I will be definitely be trying this out!