Personal Finance

21 Web Sites for Finding Deals Online

Who doesn't like a deal? That's why we have compiled this list of Web sites and apps that will help you save money.

There are sites that post the latest deals on everything from clothes to electronics, sites that give you cash back when you shop, sites that provide coupon codes and sites that help you compare prices.

Even if you don't end up buying online, it never hurts to find the best deals on the Web before you hit the stores. Then you can comparison shop and make better choices.

We've tested and picked 21 Web sites we think are easy to use and will help you save money all year. We also list three smart-phone applications that will help you get deals. Take a look:

If you really want to score a great buy, use a price-comparison site. Dealio.com , which compares prices on 30 million products from 100,000 merchants, has a larger retail search than rival sites offer and provides coupon codes with a thumbs up/thumbs down review to show how many users have had success using the coupon. What we really like about this site, though, are the downloadable tools that help you find the lowest prices online.

Pronto.com fetches prices on 70 million products from more than 25,000 online merchants, including eBay. PriceGrabber.com offers prices on products from nearly 13,000 merchants. Both sites let you sign up to receive e-mail alerts when your favorite brands or products go on sale. And both have blogs with product reviews, deal news, gift ideas and trends in clothing and home decor.

If you know exactly what you want and need just a bare-bones price comparison site, try Google's shopping search engine, Google Product Search (formerly Froogle). What you'll get are lots of results for your search, product reviews, seller ratings and a "local shopping" option to help you find products at stores near you. What you won't see is a home page full of hot products, shopping guides, product categories and colorful images you'll find on sites such as PriceGrabber.

RetailMeNot offers coupons from more than 40,000 stores and a community where you can get tips and deal info from others. You also can have the week's most-popular coupons e-mailed to you.

CouponWinner.com has nearly 20,000 coupons from about 9,000 retailers. What we like about the site is its Coupon Scout tool that lets you compare coupons from up to five retailers. Click on a category, such as women's apparel, and the Coupon Scout tool will appear on the left-hand side of the page.

Coupon Sherpa

Not only does Alex's Coupons offer coupon codes for more than 1,200 stores, but also it helps in the fight against childhood cancer. Over the past four year's, Alex's Coupons has donated more than $20,000 to childhood cancer charities.

And if you're shopping for children, check out CleverBabies.com . It has coupons for stores such as Toys R Us, DisneyShopping.com and babyGap. The site also posts sales, has forums and has its own coupons.

If you're not exactly sure what to get that certain person on your gift list, check out online deal sites, which post loads of discounted items. You're bound to find the right gift at the right price.

Our favorite is dealnews , which has a team of deal hunters keeping their eyes on a million products at more than 2,000 online retailers. Plus merchants and the site's visitors tip them off to bargains. The deal hunters hand pick the best deals among the thousands they get daily and update the site at least 200 times a day, says Dan de Grandpre, founder and chief executive of dealnews.

The site also bans stores with poor customer service. Plus, you can sign up for e-mail or RSS alerts for products or stores you're interested in and get gift ideas from the site.

Dealtaker.com

There are more than 200,000 forum members who post deals, and you don't have to register to view the ones listed. The site also offers coupons for more than 2,000 online stores, a price search engine and e-mail notification of deals. If you like the community atmosphere, you also can find lots of deals posted in the forums on MyBargainBuddy.com .

For electronics and tech gadgets, we like DealsOfAmerica , which updates deals every hour. Every item it lists on the home page has a picture, a description, the store that's offering the deal and, best of all, the list price so you'll know just how much of a bargain you're getting. The site also has coupons, a price-comparison tool, a list of products or services available for free after rebate or coupon and a hot deal e-mail alert you can sign up to receive. Deals are from top online retailers and brick-and-mortar stores with nationwide presence.

Groupon.com offers bargains on meals, services and activities in more than 30 major cities. To snag a deal, though, enough other people have to want it, too. For more information, see Don't Keep This Deal Site a Secret

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Never pay full price for a gift card again. GiftCards.com and Gift Card Granny sell merchants' gift cards for less than face value. They'll also buy gift cards you don't want (for 80% to 90% of the card's value).

Buying a discounted gift card to use for your own shopping is a good way to score additional discounts. For example, buy a $100 Gap gift card for $90 (instant $10 savings), use it to shop online and use a coupon code for additional savings.

High shipping costs can be a big drawback to shopping online. FreeShipping.org offers free-shipping coupons for more than 1,800 stores, including Amazon.com, Target and eBay.

Another way to spend less is to earn cash while you shop. That's the premise of FatWallet , Ebates.com and Bing cashback . Join their cash-back programs and you can get cash back (usually a percentage of your purchase) when you buy items from select merchants.

Be sure to read the fine print. You don't get cash back at the time of your purchase. Instead, it accrues in an account and is sent to you periodically. Also, not all merchants featured on these sites participate and of those that do, some have their own requirements for earning cash back.

At the store, try an application that uses your phone's camera to recognize a bar code and does a quick product search to help you compare prices at other stores. If you have an iPhone, you can download the RedLaser app for 99 cents. Got an Android? Download the Google Shopper app free.

Coupon Sherpa also is available as an iPhone application. It lets you download in-store coupons for retailers, restaurants and services (see Coupons Made Easy ).

On a final note, if you're shopping online be sure to look for privacy and security seals on retailers' sites and know the return and exchange policies. (See 5 Tips for Safe Online Shopping for more advice.)

And to make sure you're getting the best bargain online, look for the item at the best price from a merchant with free shipping and a coupon to lower the cost even further -- the trifecta of bargain shopping.

Happy shopping!

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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