>> We've weeded through the best of what's new, so you wouldn't have to. From a leopard-print messenger satchel to a pair of speckled booties, here are the chicest of the just-in pieces. Click through to shop them all.
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Online shopping: Above all, we love it for its ease. After all, it’s far more convenient to steer your mouse to get what you need than to drive around to four stores.
But there are hidden dangers: First, with deals from more sites than ever before landing in our inbox, it’s easy to overspend. Then there are the ever-slicker methods those sites use to get us to spend.
Just in time for back-to-school and fall shopping, LearnVest is here with surefire tips to beat e-retailers at their game. In other words, a guide to scoring exactly what you want online—and less of what you don’t.
Breeding Shopaholics: How Online Sites Seduce Us
The Magic Click
The very thing that makes online shopping so effortless can lead us to spend more than we meant to. Consider: To buy a sweater at a brick-and-mortar store, you’d browse, pick it out, try it on, head to the register, stand in line, swipe your card, then sign. In other words, you have ample time to think about what you’re purchasing. Online, it’s as simple as three clicks: An impulse buy can happen in the blink of an eye.
Plastic vs. Cash
Studies show that paying for a purchase with a credit card, as opposed to cold, hard cash causes consumers to spend 20-40% more, simply because you’re distanced from what you’re spending. It’s even easier when your go-to cards are saved in a site’s system. A recent study by BIGResearch/Shop.org found that a back-to-school shopper who buys online tends to spend 40% more than if she’d been pushing a cart.
Sometimes the deals on flash-sale sites like Gilt, Ideeli, and Rue LaLa seem too good to be true. We see amazing deals that give us more than 70 percent off brand-new designer apparel, but what's the catch? Turns out that we may not be receiving the quality product we're expecting from those high-end brands. Shauna Mei, the CEO of AHAlife, a site that sells goods recommended by industry trendsetters, shines a light on what goes on behind the deals in an interview with the New York Times:
"The dirty little secret of flash-sale sites is that brands now make cheaper products directly for the sites. You’re not actually getting inventory Saks couldn’t sell, and it’s not 80 percent off. They’re selling items that are cheaply made and cheaply priced, things Saks would never consider carrying. But these sites convince people they’re getting a deal, which attracts customers. So we have a harder time with customer acquisition. It’s harder for people to discover us."
Are you satisfied with purchases from sites like Gilt?
I spend a lot of time on Craigslist — looking for tech goodies, apartments, garage sales, whatever — and you can get lost in its many offerings, and find yourself off track from your initial surfing goals. Sometimes, it's better to use a third-party app or tool to find what you want without ever visiting the site. This sure cuts down on spam and time, so check out a few ways you can find what you're looking for without ever pointing your browser to Craigslist.com.
- Craigslist iPhone App (Free) — This iPhone app has been tried and tested by one of our TrésSugar editors during a recent apartment hunt, and she says this is the best one she's tried. Coming with the ability to filter and nail down goods, digs, and other free goodies on the go, this app doesn't crash like some of the other lesser-reviewed apps. Plus, it's free!
- Housing Maps — Speaking of apartment hunting, Housing Maps allows you to see available rentals on a map instead of clicking through each listing, then opening new windows for a Google Maps locator. Filters include pets, price, keywords, bedrooms, and pictures, but the good news is, if the listing has photos, you'll see it pop up on the map without clicking through to the ad.
See the rest of the list after the jump.
Discovering new music is just as exciting as finding a new pair of awesome jeans. This theory is tested and proven on 1Band 1Brand, a new daily deal site spotlighting indie bands and designers.
Each week, a new band and a new fashion label are highlighted alongside each other, giving you discount codes for online shopping and name-your-own-price deals on music (which you can sample ahead of time). Since music can inspire fashion (and vice versa), it seems that great care has been taken in deciding what bands and brands to feature on which days — I can totally see the connections between the two featured this week. Sign up for email alerts to get a heads up on the deals delivered right to your inbox.
Do you have an interesting website you want to share? Join the Website of the Day group and blog it for a chance to be featured on GeekSugar.
We're thrilled to present this smart LearnVest story here on Savvy!
The internet. It’s our best friend and worst enemy, depending on the hour of the day and our frame of mind.
It’s our ally when it comes to finding important info or Googling someone’s photo. But when it comes to procrastinating, getting sucked down a social media rabbit hole, or online shopping (and forget about reading all those reviews) . . . well, sometimes we could just use an “off” button.
Online addiction–it’s not only a formidable money-suck, it can be a time-suck as well (which is just as concerning, given how much your hour is worth).
So, after spending one too many precious hours online, we’ve decided to fight fire with fire. We’ve found software, plug-ins, and websites that will help you focus on the task at hand (like, you know, your job — or your life) instead of getting sucked into yet another flash sale or Youtube marathon.
Update: Sony has confirmed that PlayStation Network users' personal information has been compromised (including names, addresses, phone numbers, birthdates, and email accounts), so be sure you take the necessary steps to protect yourself from phishing scams, change all of your passwords, and alert your banks for potential fraud.
You may have noticed by now that the PlayStation Network is down. There's no time frame as to when it will be back up and running, and Sony is still unclear as to the nature of the "external intrusion." Another thing Sony is unsure of: whether or not your credit card numbers have been stolen during the hack and subsequent outage.
Keeping your credit clean is important, so having a hacker go wild in your name could spell trouble for you down the line. I asked credit expert Emily Co of SavvySugar what gamers can do to protect themselves while Sony investigates the outage. Here are three ways you can keep your credit safe from possible fraud:
- Monitor charges: The most basic thing you can do is to keep an eye on credit card charges. If you see any suspicious activity going on then it's time to call to your bank or credit card company.
- Give banks a heads up: Be proactive and give your bank or credit card company a heads up on the situation. This way, your bank knows to be on the lookout for suspicious charges, and you'll be protected if things do go awry. Pro tip: it's best to use a credit card for all online charges (verses a debit card), since credit cards offer the most protection against fraud.
One last tip after the break.
Walmart is currently experimenting with an online grocery delivery service called Walmart to Go in San Jose, CA., which offers next-day deliveries for your grocery order, reports the New York Times. The delivery fees for this service starts at $5, and the goods delivered "lean toward prepackaged goods." There are also certain restrictions — meats are currently only available in precut portions, and fruits like lemons and oranges can only be bought in bags, rather than individually. Still, some may say the convenience of online grocery shopping far outweighs these limitations.
What do you think of online supermarket shopping, would you do it if this service was available in your area?
As a recent bride myself, I know that shopping for a wedding dress is an amazing experience, but one that can be totally stressful. Trying on several dresses a day for a few solid weekends is enough to wear a bride out, especially if she can't find the perfect fit. While you could virtually try on thousands of gowns with some upcoming AR technology, thanks to Brides.com, your other option is to shop online for your dream dress.
- What should a bride know before starting her online search (i.e. measurements, the type of shoe she will be wearing, etc)? The first thing a bride should know is what type of style she is going for on her wedding day. The dress can really set the tone and mood for the entire wedding day and should coordinate appropriately. For example, if she is having an outdoor garden wedding, then a tea-length dress would be sweet. However, if the wedding is inside a formal hotel ballroom then she might be better suited in a full-length gown. Of course, nothing is set in stone, and some rules are meant to be broken.
- What are some potential pitfalls when going online to purchase a wedding dress? Unfortunately, there are a lot of scammers out there, so it is important to be cautious when it comes time to buying the actual wedding dress online. I always suggest using secure payment options like Escrow when buying online. Never pay for a dress online with a check, wired money, money order, or cashier check.
To see what Emily has to say about return policies, online sources to start your search, and more, just keep reading.
Clothing giant Old Navy is no stranger to the tech space, including copies of Lego Rock Band in a past Black Friday deal and even creating tools for turning yourself into an Old Navy mannequin. Their latest tech-focused campaign employs a classic app: Shazam.
Old Navy's newest commercials feature original songs, which when tagged via Shazam allows you to quickly shop the included looks and unlock additional content like deals and style advice. A "tag with Shazam" message pops up during the live commercials, but if you want to try it out for yourself without sitting in front of your TV, check out a commercial on the Old Navy website.