I’m not much of an online shopper.  Every now and then, I’ll go online to order something, but I’m the kind of person that would much rather go to a store and avoid shipping fees.  I also need to touch all my things before I buy them.  🙂

However, recently, with all of the wedding things we have going on, as well as being busy with a new job,  I don’t believe I’ve been on a good shopping trip in months.  When faced with deadlines such as dress fittings, I had to turn to the online world to help me fulfill my shopping needs!

First, I had to turn to Zappos to find some wedding shoes!  I’d only had the chance to look in a few stores, and with my first dress fitting looming, I knew I had to decide soon so we could get the length right the first time I went.  Given the fact that all our weekend are booked from now until kingdom come, there was no way I was going to have time to visit every shoe store in the tri-state area to find the perfect bridal pair.  So, I searched around online for styles I liked and then found them on Zappos for much cheaper.

The great thing about Zappos?  Free shipping for delivery and returns and a 365-day return policy.  I was between 3 pairs of shoes, and was reluctant to pick the final pair without seeing it with the dress.  So, I ordered all 3, and returned the ones that didn’t work.  Great option that wouldn’t have been possible if the return policy was shorter and it cost money to send them back!

I also recently placed some orders with TheKnot.com and Overstock.  I had been receiving emails from TheKnot regarding sales in their gift shop. There happened to be a great sale on one item that must remain nameless for surprise purposes.  Even though I don’t need it until the wedding, I figured there would never be another sale like that!  I searched Google for “TheKnot.com coupon codes” and was able to find one that got me $5 off.  If you’re not currently taking advantage of sites like RetailMeNot and other coupon code sites, you’re not living!  You can find these codes just by searching Google, and they really come in handy.

Recently, Jared’s mom turned me on to Ebates (thanks, Leslie!).  Ebates is “the pioneer and leader of online Cash Back Shopping.”  What does this mean?  If you start an Ebates account and log-in to search for the online stores you want to buy from, you can receive cash back on your purchases!  Recently, I logged in and searched for Sephora, clicked through, completed my order, and now I’m set to receive 8% cash back on my order.  At the end of a 3 month period, Ebates sends you a check for cash earned.  It’s like getting paid to shop-no, it IS getting paid to shop!  I have a feeling I might be doing a lot of holiday shopping online this year….

One last tip for shopping online: look for special promotions.  I’ve been dying to buy Hypnotic Poison from Sephora, but was holding out until I knew I’d have a job.  🙂  While it would have been very simple for me to head over to the store location, I noticed that orders of $25 or more online were eligible for a free holiday clutch filled with free samples.  Um, why would I buy something in the store, when I can get it online along with other free goodies?  With the combination of free shipping and cash back from Ebates, buying online from Sephora was the smarter choice.  Make sure you’re getting the most of your money online before you buy!

So, when you’re shopping online this holiday season, remember to do your homework before you click!  Shop smart and get rewarded!