The Wall Street Journal's Catalog Critic, Lauren Lipton (www.laurenlipton.com), stopped by The Saturday Early Show to offer some insight on the best methods of shopping without leaving your living room.
Lipton gave six tips to remember when catalog shopping:
- Shop around. Catalogs often sell the same products; if the catalog or Web site is vague about the description of the product, call a customer-service representative for more information. After that, use Google or a comparative shopping Web site to see if you can find the item cheaper elsewhere.
- Don't plan on frequently returning products: If you are an indecisive person, stick to brands you know well. This will decrease the likelihood of a return. If you are this type of person, you should also look for catalogs that provide prepaid return stickers.
- Don't be afraid to complain: You can sometimes get a little more compensation for your trouble if you are unhappy with your purchase. If the item arrives late, ask for a refund on shipping.
- Check for coupons and special offers. Google the retailer's name along with the words "coupon code" or "promotional code" to see if you are eligible for a discount.
- Look for small, interesting online boutiques: Google a brand you've seen at a department store. A smaller site featuring that brand is likely to carry styles the big store doesn't have on display.
- Never pay by check. Always use a credit card that offers purchase protection. If you have trouble with the retailer, your credit card company can help you.
Here are Lipton's five favorite catalogs/Web sites:
Lipton also recommends: