ST. LOUIS -- As you probably know by know, I watch out for your wallet every day and hunt down huge deals to save you money. That's what we did for Cyber Wednesday yesterday, and if you're still looking for a deal, you can find huge TV, Laptop and Audio Discounts right here.
Today though, we protect you from tricks and scams, many of which are employed by the most popular retailers in the country. Michael Needham, a blogger I truly admire, posted a great scam profile to Offers.com
Here's what made Michael's Watch List as I welcome him as a guest contributor today. Click here to read Michael's Full Blog "9 Online Retail Scams and How To Avoid Them." Take it away Michael....
Beware of "Original" Price:
Never put too much stock in the original, retail or list price. These can fluctuate along with the sale price, making it appear that you're getting a better deal than you actually are. According to Mark Elwood, author of Bargain Fever: How To Shop In A Discounted World, retailers use this pricing strategy to manipulate customers and get them to crave discounts, so they're more likely to return to the store.
Watch Out For Cookies:
According to TomsGuide.com, you should regularly dump the cookies on your computer because some retail sites will offer you better deals if it looks like you're a new customer. Cookies let a retailer know that you've been to their site before, and if you're already a regular customer then they have less incentive to win you over.
Many Internet security companies automatically include a backup disc with their downloadable software, which you have to manually remove from your shopping cart if you don't want to pay an extra fee. Most of the time, the backup disc is completely useless. That's why you should always double check your cart at checkout and make sure nothing accidentally slipped in.
If you can ever choose between downloadable software and the disc version, always go with the cheaper option and never combine the two if it costs more. You get the same program either way, and if the disc is tied to a key code so you won't be able to sell it after you use it, anyway.
Unless you're buying gold bars, what you get is immediately worth less than what you paid for it. Make sure that premium is justified. Some skincare products don't include the active ingredients to warrant their high prices. Some specialty foods really aren't that special. Some designer clothing is just regular clothing. To sum it up: the "premium," "gourmet" and "designer" labels are often unjustified.
Don't fall for free shipping deals on products that always come with free shipping – like electronics or other items costing more than $25. Most of the time large exercise equipment will include free shipping as well as one other major discount. If you only find one or the other, it's time to move on and shop somewhere else.