My Five Favorite Online Shopping Sites

posted by Andrea | 03/20/2013

favorite online shopping sites

Over the past two years, the way I shop has changed significantly — and I now do almost all my shopping online (outside of my weekly grocery run).

I save a bunch of time and gas money by shopping via my computer!

Plus, I don’t have to load up the stroller, the diaper bag, and everything else that comes with carting a toddler around. I don’t have to worry about store hours, finding a parking spot, or waiting in a long checkout lane. I don’t have to lug heavy packages through the store, out to my car, and then into my house. And I don’t have to wonder “will this work for me?” because I can read the reviews before I buy.

I’m now to the point that whenever we need something, I either add it to my Amazon Wish List or head straight to the computer and do a quick search to find the best price.

I’ve gotten quite a few questions asking about what online shops I use most — so I thought I’d share my favorites today… and I’d love to know your favorites too so leave that information in the comments!

But before I get started, I want to point out that I’m definitely not a “shop-a-holic”.

I keep a running list of items we need/want to purchase and I usually place an online shopping order once a month (maybe a bit more around the holidays).

I truthfully do not feel like I spend more money or make more “impulse” purchases by shopping online — in fact, by buying ONLY what we need and ONLY when we need it, I most likely spend less than if I had to look through an entire store or mall to find what I wanted.

That said, if you know online shopping is more “tempting” for you, or it’s just too easy to make impulse purchases with your credit card and computer so accessible, then maybe online shopping isn’t for you — and that’s OK.

However, for those of you who just hate the mall (like me!), dread schlepping your kids all around town to find that one specific thing you need, or just live far away from a convenient shopping location, then keep reading!

amazon

1. Amazon.com

Obviously, I can’t write a post about my favorite online shopping sites without including Amazon.com as #1. I make over 75% of all my online purchases through Amazon — and I’ve had only 1 error to date (it was fixed within the week).

Amazon makes it extremely simple to buy and return items, and they sell almost everything! However, my favorite thing about Amazon.com is that I can read tons of reviews for every product I’m interested in buying.

I’ve also started giving Amazon.com gift cards this past Christmas — and the recipients were all thrilled. I think I received more Thank-You emails and cards for the Amazon.com gift cards than anything else I gave.

This might be my new go-to clutter-free gift idea!

craigslist

2. Craigslist

I know Craigslist is a little different because the items aren’t shipped directly to your home, but I had to include this in my list of favorite online shopping sites because almost every piece of furniture in our house is from Craigslist.  And, as you might have noticed in my post last week, our house was actually purchased via Craigslist too!

Craigslist can definitely be “hit or miss”; however, if you’re in the market for something specific (example: Pottery Barn Sofa, Webber Grill, Honda C-RV, Graco Stroller, girls size 5 sandals, etc.), you can set up a search for that specific item and then “subscribe” to that search’s RSS feed so you’ll be notified when new items in your search are available (here’s a post that talks more about how to do this).

thred up

3. ThredUp

ThredUp is a pretty cool website for buying used children’s clothing. It’s basically like an up-scale consignment shop or mom-to-mom sale… but without the driving, without the crazy moms grabbing everything in sight, without the long lines, and without the exhaustion.

The prices are a little more expensive than garage sales, but certainly less then buying new from the store — and ThredUp makes it really easy to shop by brand, by color, by size, or by the type of clothing you’re looking for.

In my opinion (and remember, I hate shopping) the marginally higher prices are MORE than worth the convenience of sitting at home, only searching for exactly the items I want, and having them shipped to my front door in about a week.

Oh, and if you’ve never used ThredUp before, you can usually get a $10 credit for your first order when you create an account — that means you can probably get at least 2 items for free!

UPDATE: I just got an email from ThredUp with a coupon code for $15 off your first purchase (good 3/20 – 3/22/2013). Simply create your account, and use the code MAR15 at checkout! 

url

4. Target.com

I often receive Target gift cards for Christmas and birthdays, so whenever I need/want a new article of clothing, Target.com is usually my destination of choice.

I will purchase a few different sizes, order everything with free shipping, gift cards, and coupons (if applicable) and then return anything that doesn’t work to our local Target store (which only takes about 10 minutes of my time to pull in, park, return the item, etc.)

This way, I can try on the items in the comfort of my own home with matching accessories and when it’s convenient for me. Plus, I don’t need to try and cram me, Nora, the cart, and my clothes in a changing room (not to mention I don’t need to wait in a long checkout line with a slow cashier).

groupon

5. Groupon

I don’t use Groupon too often, but the few times I have used it, I’ve scored some crazy deals on things I was going to purchase anyway (like dinner at a favorite restaurant or a spray tan for my sister’s wedding).

If you don’t know what Groupon is, it’s basically an online “deal site” that allows you to get really good deals for local companies, restaurants etc. Click here to learn more!

I honestly can’t even tell you the last time I purchased anything other than groceries from an actual store — and other than these five websites, I can’t really remember purchasing from anywhere else for a LONG time.

I realize that my hatred of shopping malls might be a little over the top — and if you enjoy shopping, then by all means, head to the stores. However, for those of you who would rather shop in your pj’s and have the packages delivered to your front door, I’d definitely recommend all five of these online shopping destinations!

What are your favorite online shopping websites?

DISCLOSURE: Some of the links above are affiliate links — which means I may get a VERY small percentage of the sale if you make a purchase through my links. However, I hope you know that I’m only promoting these websites because I personally use and love them! Read my full disclosure policy for more information.

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31 comments

  1. Amanda @ The Fun Mommy

    03/20/2013

    I just started using ThredUp, and it’s wonderful! I used the $10 coupon I got from using a referral link, and I ordered two dresses and a shirt for about $18 (including shipping). Considering how expensive little girl’s dresses can be, I thought that was fantastic!

    I also had a great experience with their customer service-the referral credit was not taken off initially, so I submitted a question about it and within hours I had a response and a credit. I am definitely going to be ordering from them again!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, I have nothing but good things to say about ThredUp! Enjoy your bargins :)

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    Emily Reply:

    I also do about 90% of my shopping online, and just a heads up – I’ve seen items that I’ve purchased for the kids or myself on ThredUp listed for a lot more money than I paid for it brand new! Obviously if you have coupons it’s probably a good deal – But just because it’s consignment doesn’t mean it’s less expensive than new. (I just got both kids spring wardrobes from Amazon at an average of $7.50 per 2-3 piece outfit – ThredUp had the same brand and was asking $30 for an outfit I bought last year for $12.) Research!

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  2. Sarah

    03/20/2013

    I agree with you 100% on Amazon – I shop there constantly. Love the Subscribe and Save option. I also shop frequently at Mountain Rose Herbs and Vitacost.

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  3. Marie

    03/20/2013

    My guilty pleasure is amazon. They usually have just about anything you may need and usually they have good prices so it’s a one stop shopping experience opposed to having to look at several different websites. They also have really good service and usually deliver rather quickly. Like you, I usually deliver rather quickly. Like you, I also despise shopping the traditional way. Where we live it is just too crowded and busy and half of the time I have to leave the store before I’m even done shopping because I’m just too irritated with rude people or long lines. The only thing I usually shop in the store for is clothes just because Sizes always vary on me, but I like your idea of ordering a few sizes and returning what you don’t like. I will have to try that.

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  4. Evie

    03/20/2013

    Thanks, Andrea, this post is definitely for me. Not only is my adult daughter disabled and in a wheelchair and sometime cranky in stores, those stores are a 50 mile round trip whatever direction we go. Good incentive to shop online. For awhile there, I was actually buying most of my monthly groceries from Meijer, shipped free from Michigan to Florida, having met a certain minimum. Had to quit that when Meijer increased the minimum and removed pet food from the deal, but it was good while it lasted. (I’m originally from New York, but I graduated from MSU and totally loved Meijer!) Now I get my pet food from Wag.com, which works out great for me; they’re totally reliable and shipping is free if you spend over $49. I finally joined Amazon,com Prime, figuring $79 per year was lots cheaper than gas, and I get a lot of my groceries there now, in addition to other stuff as needed. Honeyville.com is where I’ve bought bulk steel cut oats and bulk hard red wheat berries for years. I cook our oatmeal once a week or so in a soup pot, keep it in the fridge in its designated corner, and scoop out what we need as we need it for heating in the microwave. Works great! And some years ago I bought a Nutrimill electric mill that I use to make fresh, delicious whole wheat flour for my homemade bread and other baking. My other “go to” online shopping site is LLBean.com, where I shop their very excellent seasonal sales for clothes and sometimes linens that we love; shipping from LLBean.com is forever free with no minimum. So–the only things I buy in our little village are milk, eggs, cheese, a little meat, produce, wine, and kitty litter. I could get from wag.com, but I prefer what I can get locally. Oh, and seeds, plants, muck for the garden (we live on a sand hill), things like that I get locally, too. Basically, I drive maybe four or five times a month, saving a LOT of gas, time and difficulty. I’m happy!

    [Reply]

    Evie Reply:

    Thanks for telling us about thredup.com, Andrea. I think that site will be really valuable to me!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Evie. Just an FIY, I updated the post with a new coupon code from ThredUp. I just got it in my email inbox about 5 minutes ago and it’s for $15 off your first purchase (instead of the usually $10).
    Happy Shopping!

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    Lisa the Farm Lady Reply:

    Thanks Evie, for telling me about LLBean.com. I live in Canada and can’t always get everything from Amazon and other such online stores shipped to me. (Not sure why since I’m 30 mins from the Michigan border…?) I didn’t know that LLBean ships free to Canada as well as to the US! That is exciting! Thanks for letting me know!

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  5. Amy

    03/20/2013

    VERY timely for me! We just recently moved from a fairly big city that had everything I could ever need within 20 minutes….to a very small town with NOTHING! I have always been an Amazon and Target fan….but Craigslist is now an essential for household goods. Plus it’s “greener” :) Going to check out ThredUp now!

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  6. Deb

    03/20/2013

    We now live in Timbuktu, so online has become more practical, I would suggest always googling a promo code before you buy anything, there is always one, especially for bigger stores like Kohl’s. I refuse to pay shipping, so that is always my litmus test, if I cannot get free shipping, I don’t buy it. We have Amazon Prime, so that is always free and Montana is a tax free state, so love that part too. ;)

    [Reply]

  7. Jennifer

    03/20/2013

    I’ve started shopping online more and more these days. When I shop in the stores, I tend to buy more things that I don’t need.

    [Reply]

  8. Julia

    03/20/2013

    Sometimes I think we were related in a former life…. or maybe friends?! I share your hatred of shopping malls. I have always despised shopping and once online shopping really took off, I have never looked back. I love amazon for almost everything, but I must say, if I need a specific type of shoe, I am a zappos girl. They do not always have the lowest prices, but they are competitive and free overnight shipping is a nice perk. You just cannot beat the convenience of shopping in your PJs and trying clothing on in your bedroom, not a fitting room!
    Great post, keep ‘em coming

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  9. Patty@homemakersdaily.com

    03/20/2013

    Definitely Amazon. I hate shopping and don’t have time anyway so I try to do as much on-line as I can. Amazon is my go-to site and usually they have what I need.

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  10. Amy

    03/20/2013

    I love the idea of ThredUp. Is there a big person version?

    My favorite online shopping sites are:
    - (like you) Amazon (Prime is the way to go)
    -Ten Thousand Villages (100% fair trade & named one of the most ethical companies in the world 6 years running)
    -Fair Indigo (self-proclaimed “style with a conscience”)
    -Etsy (hooray for supporting creative people!)

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes Amy, ThredUp just launched a new consignment option for women!

    [Reply]

  11. Laurel

    03/20/2013

    I LOVE Amazon and have been a faithful Amazon customer for many years. I also loke Bed, Bath and Beyond and always use their coupons. I thought I was the only female that hated shopping. I’ve always detested going to the mall or clothes shopping. Call me weird, but it all seems like such a drag. Thanks for the post!

    [Reply]

  12. Sara M

    03/20/2013

    I am a frequent subscriber to many of these sites, but just read this article last night, and now I’m thinking. How do I give up my addiction to Amazon and go more local? http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/03/10-paths-to-localism-vicki-pozzebon/

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Honestly, I don’t think you need to “give up” your subscription to Amazon. Do both!

    [Reply]

  13. Sallie

    03/20/2013

    Amazon! If I am looking at a deal on another site, I have a Amazon tab open so I can compare prices. Just this week I purchased 2 wardrobes for our bedroom, much less money than even IKEA and free shipping and no taxes. The problem is always dealing with the boxes, I fill up our recycling bin very fast! I am disabled so I purchase almost everything from Amazon and it comes 2 days later. Hubby sometimes pays the extra $4 for next day delivery.

    I often shop Zulily, it started out a few years ago with just a few offers but it is constantly growing and offering more than just children’s clothing. Again, I usually compare their prices to Amazon.

    My newest amazing discovery is EBay deals at http://deals.ebay.com/#PROMO . Some of the deals are outright breathtaking! Hubby and I are simply amazed at how they can sell some of the items at that low price and everything is always FREE SHIPPING! I have a link on my toolbar :) As always, some deals are so-so but sometimes I have to think “Am I reading that price right?”

    I am off to thredup to use the $15 code. We have a new little “princess” arriving in July so this site will be great.

    Thanks so much for this information!

    [Reply]

  14. Maren

    03/21/2013

    Since you didn’t mention it, I thought I’d throw this out there…Did you know that at Target.com, if you use your Target Debit or Target Credit Card, you get FREE shipping AND 5% off? Check out ‘RedCard’. From someone who truly loves a deal, can’t beat that!

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  15. Ree Klein

    03/21/2013

    Great post. I use Amazon and love it. I recently needed some bankers boxes to help my mom declutter her home. By far the best price was on Walmart.com and I had the option to pick up the order at a local Walmart store or a FedEx store FREE OF CHARGE. I chose the FedEx store within a block of my home. When the shipment arrived in a couple of days, I received and email and went there to pick it up.

    No lines, fast and free…three of my favorite things!

    Ree, I blog at EscapingDodge.com

    [Reply]

  16. Janna

    03/21/2013

    Thanks for this post!

    I just checked out thredUP. I’m placing an order now. Tried to use the promo code you gave but it doesn’t work….because it was $15 off, I tried using the code MAR15…and it worked. So I just wanted to let you know I think you have a typo! MAR13 does NOT work.

    Thanks!!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Janna — I just updated the post with your changes! Happy Shopping!

    [Reply]

  17. Kristen

    03/22/2013

    I love love love Amazon too! Sometimes I feel guilty for not “shopping locally” (as Sara M. pointed out above), but twice in the past few weeks my husband and I have been in a store about to buy something and quickly checked Amazon on our phone before purchasing. The prices on Amazon were so much lower that we probably saved about $25. And think of how much more we could have saved (in money as well as time) by not driving there in the first place! I think Amazon has incredible customer service as well – I have never been dissatisfied after emailing them. I was able to get a deal on the Amazon Prime membership earlier this year, and I looove having Prime. So much so that I may pay full price for it when my membership runs out. (I guess that is their intent, haha.)

    And I agree with Maren about the Target RedCard. The free shipping makes it sooo worth having, in my opinion!

    [Reply]

  18. Kalyn Brooke

    03/24/2013

    I’m a major fan of Amazon and keep things on my wish list that I can quickly add if I need to get to that Free shipping threshold. I also like Kohls, Current Catalog, and Overstock.

    [Reply]

  19. Kim Perez

    03/25/2013

    Totally agree on your recommendations. I, too, use Amazon for most of my online purchases and have never had a problem. I’ve also found their Amazon Prime program to be absolutely worth the cost.

    As for Target – I don’t know why I don’t buy more online from them. My kids are older (7&8), so I don’t need to worry about strollers and diapers. But I do hear constant, “Can I get that? Pleeeeeezze!” on just about every aisle. Maybe I’ll take your advice and head to target.com from now on!

    Nice post.

    Kim
    http://www.bellablain.com

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yeah, I love Target.com. They usually have a much better selection than the stores, free shipping (if you buy enough) and free in-store returns. I’ve never had one issue returning anything and it has saved me SOOOOO much time and stress!

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  20. Sarah jones

    03/26/2013

    Just found out about a service similar to thredup, but more like a netflix for kids clothes. Genius idea! Hope it stays for long. http://bundlesy.com if someone is interested!

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  21. stephanie

    04/17/2013

    Do you have to pay a monthly fee for thred up? I had found another consignment site but they required a yearly or monthly fee. 2 items of the clothes included in your box you didn’t get to choose.
    I’m interested as I have 2 little boys and a baby girl.
    Ps. I had never heard the word schlepping and had to look it up. After looking it up I realized you forgot the letter “c”. Not a big deal, but I figured you would like to correct the misspelling. :)

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Stephanie — the “c” must have gotten deleted in one of the edits. I looked back at my previous edits and see it WAS in there — weird!

    Anyway, there are no fees for ThredUp… I just ordered another box yesterday :)

    [Reply]

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