There are many bargain shopping tools and resources available online to help you find great deals, compare prices, search many stores at once, get coupon codes and snag sale items first. Here are some of the best:
Price Comparison Search Engines
There are dozens of price comparison search engines on the net currently. Some of them charge the merchants to be listed and to be ranked higher than their competitors. This type of price comparison search engine may not be forthcoming with this information so they may not be as reliable, reputable or provide you as many choices as the sites that don't charge for listings and allow any merchant to submit their products. Some of the major engines that charge for listing and ranking are Shopping.com, ShopZilla.com, PriceGrabber.com and NextTag.com.
The price comparison search engines that do not charge for listings and allow any merchant to submit their products are Froogle.com, ShopWiki.com and TheFind.com. You may find a bigger selection of stores with your item available and therefore a better chance of finding the absolute best price available anywhere.
There are many websites that cater to bargain hunters and deal shoppers. Most of these include a blog or post style main page that posts the latest hot deals for view, but most of them also offer a community of forums where users can view even more deals, post deals they have found and converse about how to get the best deal via pricematching, coupon codes and rebates. You'll find a haven of bargain hunters at these sites. The best sites include Slickdeals.net, Fatwallet.com, Cheapstingybargains.com, BensBargains.net, Dealsea.com and Dealcatcher.com. Probably the best site would be Slickdeals.net, since they don't allow affiliate links and therefore you are apt to get the most honest deals posted, whereas sites like Dealcatcher.com post mostly affiliate links where they make money from everything you purchase. When affiliate links are allowed, a site is likely to promote the best paying links first, not necessarily the best deals. Watch out for these affiliate and referral links.
If you're looking for tech stuff, games or books, there are specialty price comparison search engines just for these products. They include TechBargains.com for tech deals, PriceWatch.com for tech/computer deals, Cheapassgamer.com for game deals and Addall.com for book deals. These sites will search specific merchants that specialize in these product areas as well as the larger merchants.
There are dozens of sites devoted exclusively to posting the latest coupon codes. Coupon codes are available for a wide variety of discounts including free shipping, a free percentage off pricing, buy one get one free, free gift with order or a set dollar discount such as $5 off a $10 purchase. Whenever you buy online, don't hit that SUBMIT ORDER button until you have searched for a coupon code for that merchant. Most large merchants have active coupon codes at any given time. Some of the big coupon code sites are Currentcodes.com, Couponmountain.com, , Flamingoworld.com and Couponcraze.com. Again, watch out for affiliate and referral links on these sites too, they often promote higher paying store links first. Slickdeals.net also offers a huge coupon code forum, be sure to check that out for non affiliate codes.
Don't forget to check out eBay and Yahoo's auctions for deals on certain products as well. Auctions allow you to search millions of listings and millions of sellers at one time. They may not allow coupon codes or rebates, but auctions are the only buying avenue that allow you to have so much control over how much you pay for an item.
There are also some handy tools to use when searching for deals, don't miss Thebestbargainsonline.com's great misspelling tool for searching eBay auctions.
Lydia Quinn writes for The Best Bargains Online, a website that features articles, resources and listings for finding the best bargains online. Visit us at: http://www.thebestbargainsonline.com/