Do you enjoy saving money by clipping coupons? Do you look through flyers each week? Do you look at deals similar to a bee that looks for flowers? Did you know you can use these same skills with online shopping? All it takes is some determination, knowledge and time. To learn how, read the following article.

Anytime you participate in online shopping, you should always be on the lookout for coupon codes. Online stores love providing discounts, and a simple search can build you find them. Do an Internet search for manufacturer’s coupons to build you get the best deal. This will increase your bankroll during the course of the year.

Double-checking your anti-virus protection to ensure it’s fully updated is a smart thing to do before you start shopping online. Dubious websites surround online shopping experiences. Con artists attempt to hijack your vital information and even put together entirely phony online stores in the hopes of gaining access to your computer. No matter how safe you think a website is, it is best to be cautious and have your antivirus updated.

Never ever provide your social security details when you are online shopping. There is no feasible need that these details should be required when you are shopping. If you are being asked for your Social Security number during checkout, you are probably on a scam website. Spend a few extra dollars on a site that won’t sell your social to the highest bidder.

When considering purchasing a product from a new retailer, you should first check out customer reviews. This will provide you with some general information about the product and customer service of any particular vendor before you buy from them. If someone has had a lot of negative ratings put out there against them, then they need to be avoided.

A lot of sites that allow you to shop on them give you a discount if you have coupon codes. Just Google “(retailer) coupon code” to find them. They may offer a percentage off or free shipping simply by entering in a simple code which can be easily found by investing a few minutes searching for it.

When looking for a source from which to buy something, you ought to guard against giving your information to unknown retailers. Additionally, look for security sites such as Verisign or Cybertrust.

If you will be shopping online, ensure you are using a secure connection. Hackers scour Wi-Fi networks and public locations to look for potential victims, so avoid using them when shopping.

Focus your shopping search with websites that search only online shopping opportunities. Google is still a good idea, but it will show so many results that you may not know where to begin. Sites geared specifically towards online shopping can pare down your search results to only the online retailers who sell what you are looking for.

Investigate how to get free shipping online; this may mean enrolling in a program that offers no cost shipping at certain stores. The program will outline which shops are eligible, and you may be able to sign up for a trial to see how you like it. Look at several different providers until you find the one you like best.

Surplus inventory is sometimes referred to as refurbished in item descriptions. If you are looking at a refurbished product, the description should tell you if the item was repaired or simply overstock. Refurbished items can save you a lot of money in the long run.

Having gathered the knowledge you need to get great deals shopping online, you must simply be determined and devote a little time to the effort. Keep the tips top of mind, and soon you’ll see the deals you are looking for. Make use of them, and eventually, you will be saving a lot of money.

I confess, I bought a really expensive, really beautiful purse, the kind of handbag I never thought I’d own, the essence of a Shopping for Happiness purchase, and I didn’t write about it.

At first I didn’t write because I was more excited about the other thing I’d bought the same day – my pinstriped jumpsuit of delight. And I also didn’t write because I’d actually jumped the gun on the following month’s spending allotment – which is to say, I spent two months Shopping for Happiness money in ONE NIGHT. (Who or what have I become?!)

I was pretty freaked out about this and I coped by deciding I wouldn’t use the purse until the following month, when I could legitimately have bought it under my program. (I didn’t wait to buy it in the first place because it was 50% off and the only one of its kind. Again, there’s a lot to unpack in that get-in-now sale mentality but this is not that story.)

When I spent my budget early, I worried that I would re-spend the money the following month — but I didn’t. Discipline + guilt go a long way. So, here it is: my Giorgio Armani bag.

It’s small, open at the top, and hard-sided – the opposite of the frankly sloppy oversized shoulder bags my mom typically carried. Those bags were stuffed with everything – receipts, earrings, loose bills, lipstick, reading glasses, medication, mail, pens, lots and lots of tissues.

I miss my mom’s bags! I really wanted to keep the last one when I was cleaning out her house but I was keeping so much and it had icky medical papers, etc. in it… so I didn’t. (Pause for brief weeping session. And…we’re back.)

This purse will need years of use before it has as much personality as my mother’s shoulder bags. I can’t imagine my own kids reading much into it at this point as I’m still awfully “precious” about what I put in it. It’s gorgeous and exactly to my taste, but right now, I still feel a little self-conscious and conspicuously aspirational when I carry it. It’s almost as if…

…I bought a designer handbag as a status symbol.
Me? Never! (Ha! Make that another high horse I’ve fallen off this year.) Can anyone relate?

And doesn’t it take you back in time to remember your mother’s handbags?