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Ask A Pittsburgh Expert: Tips On Finding Deals Shopping Online

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In our technologically dependent world, the convenience of online shopping is fast replacing traditional brick-and-mortar retailers. Consumers are seeking easier, quicker and more economical ways to shop and save, and online retailers are taking notice by providing competitive deals to top those offered at the mall or department store. The lure of free shopping and exclusive online-only deals coupled with bonus rewards and low prices are a large part of why more shoppers are clicking to their favorite retailers' websites for unbeatable deals. With all of the thousands of special offers and coupon codes so readily available, it may be hard to determine the best deals to score the best bargain. For those unsure of where to begin, fashionista freelance writer Kayla Posney offers these five tips on finding the biggest deals when shopping online.

Kayla Posney
Fashion Contributor for
Pittsburgh, PA

Kayla Posney is a freelance writer for who boasts four years of experience writing budget fashion features. Her columns focus specifically on tips for budget-conscious shoppers and she regularly shares local style trends and how to score these looks on sale. Posney is a 2008 graduate of Robert Morris University where she earned a degree in English studies as well as a 2009 graduate of Chatham College where she earned her master's degree in professional writing. In addition to writing her budget fashion articles, Posney is a teacher at the Heinz History Center.

Use Coupons When Shopping Online

Online coupons and coupon codes work much like those you use at your favorite retailers and are one of the most convenient and effective ways to save when shopping online. Posney suggests searching websites like RetailMeNot, Coupon Craze and Deal Catcher for online ecoupons, but says not to rule out the websites of traditional retail stores. "Stores like Macy's, JCPenney, Old Navy, Victoria's Secret and many other feature coupons and promos online specifically for online shopping." Look for coupon values like single-item coupons, BOGO coupons, multiple product discounts and free products coupons to save the most.

Be Persistent

Online shopping may require a bit more persistence than shopping at brick-and-mortar stores. Unlike malls or boutiques that tend to run holiday or semi-annual sales and specials, many online retailers update their deals on a daily basis so checking back frequently can pay off. "If you really want that fabulous dress or new pair of jeans, but you aren't happy with the price, check back often," says Posney, who recommends checking your favorite retailers' websites every morning or during your lunch break at work. "A cute skirt from selling at its regular price on Monday may be on sale on Tuesday."

Befriend The Customer Review Community

Posney explains that while you can't try on clothing or accessories immediately via online shopping, you can still learn about the items you are considering purchasing since most stores have a section on their site devoted to customer reviews for all items in their online store. "Customer reviews create a wonderful online shopping community," adds Posney, who explains that you can use them to find out everything from how well fabrics hold up in the laundry to how accurate a brand's sizes are. "You can also provide feedback of your own so you are helping out your fellow online shoppers."

Related: Best Places For Black Friday Shopping Deals In Pittsburgh

Shop Out Of Your Comfort Zone

While your local mall's store websites can be a great starting point for scoring online deals, don't rely solely on them. Rather, give online-only clothing stores or boutiques a try. Posney recommends more popular online-only stores like,, and And because online-only retailers are looking to outshine traditional stores, you're more likely to find more enticing deals.

Don't Waste Money On Shipping

Don't be fooled into thinking that online specials sans shipping offers, for instance, are a deal. According to Posney, "You should be spending the bulk of your money on the clothing item, not how it will be shipped to your house." Instead of blindly clicking on shipping offers, she suggests doing your research before proceeding to the checkout page of a website. "Look for discounts on shipping or offers that feature free shipping."

Related: Website Finds Great Deals In Pittsburgh

Jessica Wasik lives in Pittsburgh where works as a full-time figure skating coach sharing her passion with todays generation of young skaters. A graduate of Robert Morris University with a degree in English Studies, Jessica is also a contributing writer for Allegheny West Magazine. Her work can be found at

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