Holiday Shopping Pt. II – corporate discounts not always the best deal!

Only 15 days until Christmas, and the internet is on fire with online orders.  All of the deals look so enticing, but the proverbial “buyer beware” should be heeded.  Below are some examples of “deals” that are not all they seem, along with some tips for some great, real saving.

Most of us either work at or have a spouse that works at a large enough company to get special discounts from retailer.  Notably, Dell, a popular computer retailer, offers many companies their MPPMember Purchase Program. This is supposed to be a special discount above and beyond the retail web offerings.  However, this is not always the case.  There are some computer configurations that are actually cheaper on the retail website vs. the “discounted” MPP price.  So, do not assume that, because you are in a special discount program, you are getting the best price!  Do your homework.  It will only take an extra 10 minutes to configure an identical computer on the regular retail site to compare pricing.  In my case, I saved nearly $20 buy checking the Dell’s retail site against the “discounted” MPP site.

Are you looking for the hottest gift for a loved one?  Did you go right to the retailers direct site and assume they have the lowest price?  Again, not always so.  My go-to double check is with Amazon.com.  They often sell an item for the same price or less AND offer free shipping.  I also check large discount retailer sites such as Target.com or Walmart.com.  For instance, if you go to Hasbro.com and shop for the blue/yellow Furby, you will pay $59.99, the same Furby is $54 on Amazon.com.  Furthermore, depending on your State, you will save more by not paying tax – which you will have to do at Walmart.com or Target.com.  In general, if the company selling on Amazon.com does not do business or have a warehouse in your state, you will not be charged tax.

Finally, how many times do you see the box labeled “coupon code” or “discount code” at checkout, wondering who gets them and how?  Well, there are a couple of sited you can search for these discount codes before you check out.  Retailmenot.com and couponcabin.com both allow people to post a discount or coupon code they received from a retailer for others to use.  So before you check out, open a new browser, search these sites for a discount code, and try to save even more.  If there isn’t one, nothing lost.

There are countless ways to save during the holidays.  These were just a few.  If you have other ideas, please feel free to post them here.  (comments are screened for spam, so your comment my not show up immediately).