Everyone wants to save a few dollars here and there and the best way to do so is while we are shopping.
I have been a fan of online shopping for several years; and I recently became a fan of deals websites such as Groupon, Shopbop, and Beyond the Rack. I have always used travel deal websites such as Travelocity or Expedia to book my vacations; and I have recently discovered HotWire.com. I have to be honest that the uncertainty of HotWire.com makes me a bit nervous because in my world, a deal without planning is total chaos. Today we are going to do some comparisons to see if using a deals website is really cheaper.
Beyond The Rack prides itself as “North America’s Premier Online Shopping Club. I have to admit that although I have never bought anything from Beyond The Rack, I do often browse the website. It is great for buying designer goods at discount prices. I love Beyond The Rack because the website is user friendly and it lists upcoming events (sales). The events on Beyond The Rack are for a limited time which can be anywhere from 2 days up to a week. All sales are while quantities last; very often a sale can still be going on while certain items are sold out.
To compare prices we will use an example of the popular British design house Burberry. The Medium Haymarket Luggage Bowling Bag is listed on the Burberry website for $1895.00. A very similar bag called the Ladies Hernville Small Hobo in Haymarket And King Fisher bag is listed on Beyond The Rack for only $699.99.
Last year I bought my sister a Marc Jacobs makeup bag from Shopbop.com for only $40.60, including shipping. She absolutely loved it, and I didn’t have to pay the regular retail price of $48 plus tax (for a similar item) on the Marc Jacobs website, they actually don’t even ship to Canada. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any pictures of the makeup bag.
I believe that the best deals come from travel websites. Whenever I travel I usually book my hotel and flight using Expedia.com. This year I will be in New York City from Friday May 6 to Monday May 9. The Doubletree by Hilton in the NYC Financial District is listed on Expedia for $178 per night. The exact same stay is listed on the Doubletree website for $209 per night.
The best travel deals website may be Hotwire.com, I learned about Hotwire.com from watching the Regis and Kelly Show. After asking around I discovered that many of my colleagues also use Hotwire.com to book their travel deals.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Hotwire.com it is a travel website that guarantees a price but not a location. We have to book our trip in advance based only on price and location. We don’t find out the exact location of our hotel until after our hotel is already booked and paid for in full. For the exact same weekend in May Hotwire.com guarantees a 4 star hotel in the Midtown East area for only $164 per night.
The difference between using a travel deal website to book our hotel as opposed to reserving our hotel stay directly on the hotel website is that travel deal websites must be paid for in full at the time of booking, whereas hotel websites only need a credit card to reserve our stay.
(Photo by PriceMinister)