How to Save Money when Buying Online

The Recession is here — and naturally, I wanted to start saving money. You might be thinking about it too. I figure saving money involves one of two things — either making more money to match my expenses, or spending less money on said expenses.

Who ever thought that buying stuff online would be the key to spending less money, right? Here are three factors that make buying online that much more fantastic.

1. Used Alternatives

Sites like,, and are gaining steam in popularity due to their “inexpensive” nature. I would think that even during a non-recession period of time, many still flood to these sites to find a good deal — after all, used goods are typically no worse at their functions than new products (I would be careful of what condition they’re in though).

Also, offers buyers opportunities to meet with sellers before the actual transaction to see the actual product and such, and even feel it and test it out sometimes (it depends on the seller and the differences in regions — I know up in here in Canada, we can drive to the same mall and rendezvous there).

I’ve been looking at getting a Sony Ericsson k850 for a while, and I’ve been able to scrounge up some good bargains. Typically, on, it would go for $469.99 without a contract. On in Toronto, I’ve been able to find a K850 brand new going for no less than $340. That’s almost 30% off (actually it’s closer to 27%, to be precise) — resulting in savings of $130. Not bad — groceries for a month?

If you’re not down with used (or new) alternatives from merchants on these websites, there’s still a couple of options left.

2. Deals / Coupons

There are tons of websites that offer cheap products — usually way off MSRP. Typically, these sites can be on the “sketchy” side — so I’d suggest reviewing them (just do a quick Google search of “xyz store experiences” — replace “xyz store” with the name of the website’s store or the URL of the website). is offering the K850 for $329.99 at the time of writing. Not a bad deal — even cheaper than the Craigslist alternative! Markways has also been known to offer coupons on those special days — like Father’s Day of 2008, and I also believe that you will be pleasantly surprised if you enter “redflagdeals” when checking out at Markways (I haven’t checked out yet, so I can’t exactly say).

But how does one go about finding these affordable products?

3. Price Comparison Sites

You’d be surprised at the amount of price comparison sites out here on the web. Price comparison websites typically keep tabs on products from different stores. More importantly, they keep tabs on prices and specials from certain stores — so it’ll be easy to compare them all in one single location.

I’ve amassed an original list of 77 different price comparison sites from around the world. I recently updated it to 80.

4. Remember, Only when you have to…

I’m not saying that you should spend like normal. It’s still a recession (or The Recession). And so, spend only on what you absolutely need to. I’m not an advocate of consumerism, but I do hope to help consumers like myself save money on the necessities (like cell phones, batteries, peripherals — and the like). I mean, when things break, I usually find it easier just to replace it rather than repair it (it might be cheaper in the long run, because of Moore’s Law).

Guest author Herbert Lui blogs at about tech advice, resources, and reviews for the consumer, that will help you buy smarter, think smarter, and know more about products. Got a tip to share, you can also write a guest article on QOT.

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About the Author: P Chandra is editor of QOT, one of India's earliest tech bloggers since 2004. A tech enthusiast with expertise in coding, WordPress, web tools, SEO and DIY hacks. He is designing websites for over 20 years.