Shopping online offers convenience that is very valuable in this day and age. Not only does it allow you to avoid crowds, it also saves you gas money and frees up your time so you can do something you actually enjoy. It is not without its nuances, however. Keep reading to find out the ins and outs of online shopping. Before going shopping at any online retailer, do a quick search for promotional codes. Many of the big retailers often have promotions running that are not advertised on their home page. Doing a quick search for these codes will allow you to insert the code at checkout to save money. Look for the right times to shop online. Often the stores that you frequent will have online sales that follow a time pattern. Many, for instance, schedule sales for the beginning of the month or at the end. If you see theres a pattern, hold off on buying anything until the upcoming sales period begins. Shop around when shopping online. You may find that prices for certain items can vary greatly from store to store. To be sure you get the best deal, look at a few different stores to find out their prices, as well as shipping charge. This will allow you to get the best deal you can. Proceed with extreme caution when volunteering your personal information to an unfamiliar online retailer. If the site has a Verisign logo, you can probably trust it. When youre shopping online, check out discount sites and online auctions before you turn to retailers own online stores. In many cases, retailers cant match the sort of savings youll find by shopping at sites such as Amazon and eBay. There arent a whole lot of "cons" to counterbalance the great big "prop" of saving money. Having said this, its important to thoroughly read the return policies before making a purchase online. They can differ from place to place. Do a quick web search for promo keys and discounts prior to making any online purchases. Often, there are discount keys out there that you may not be aware of! This could save you 10% to 20%, or offer you things like free shipping or a discount on a secondary item. Shopping online doesnt always mean buying directly from the manufacturer. In fact, you can purchase from sites like Target, Walmart and Amazon which have everything you need under one roof. This can save you money on shipping costs as all items are coming from a single retailer, plus it makes shopping easy. If you are not sure whether or not an online store is reliable, contact their customer service. Ask a few questions about the products, the payment method and the shipping. If you do not get a good impression after talking with a representative on the phone, find another online store. Discount websites are the best places to get deals when shopping online. Websites like Overstock.com get their merchandise from manufacturers that were unable to sell their products at retail stores. This is how they are able to sell their products so cheaply. Try to make purchases through these sites before looking at "normal" sites. No reputable company should ask for or need your social security number simply for shopping purposes. Therefore, make it a practice never to give out your SSN online. If you are making a purchase and you are asked for go here this number, do not continue. You are probably on a scam site, and you should not complete the transaction. When you shop through the Internet, try to make purchases that are not necessary right at the moment around holidays. Most retailers offer special savings on holidays such as Memorial Day, Independence Day and Presidents Day. Sometimes you will get big deals and free shipping, too! If you plan to buy on eBay, remember to do your research. First, check out the sellers feedback and make sure hes been around for at least a year and that hes doing a good job as a seller. Check out shipping costs and the details of the item as well - especially if it is used or not. With the knowledge you now have in regard to online shopping, you simply need to carve out time and get the motivation going. With these tips in mind, it wont take you long to find great bargains you just have to have. Work at it and you will be a great online bargain hunter.