- Use just one email address that can be your dedicated deals email address of sorts. Some of these send you emails several times a day -- and that can clog up an inbox pretty quick.
- Always buy from a reputable site. This is an obvious one, but never buy anything if you don't feel comfortable sharing your credit card/shipping information or if the deal seems too good to be true.
- Use PayPal whenever possible. Again, pretty obvious, but PayPal is the safest way to buy online because it doesn't require you to provide your credit card information. And it stores your address and shipping information, too, so you don't have to enter it every time.
- Pay attention to how much things normally cost before buying them. Just because it's a deal site doesn't mean that you're really getting a good deal. Sometimes you can find items for even cheaper on Amazon or eBay.
Now for the fun part -- sharing my favorite places to shop! I've broken them into categories to make it easier for you to find the best ones for you (but I really like them all).
Clothes and shoes
- HauteLook: I signed up for this daily deals website back in 2009 when I was working at Overstock and the company was trying to create its own daily deals website. So browsing this (and several other sites) every day was actually considered research! There are a lot of sites like this, but I like this one best because I think it actually has the best deals. I rarely buy anything from it, but when Romeo & Juliet Couture goes on sale (and it's currently on sale!) I check it out and score some pretty great deals. I just got a pair of mustard skinny jeans (regularly $180) for just $28 total! The downside is that shipping is $7.95 (ouch!), but if you get a good enough deal on the clothes or shoes, it offsets it. Check it out. Even if you never buy anything, it's fun to look at all the fabulous designer clothes. Oh -- you also get a $10 credit whenever you invite friends, so that's awesome!
- DownEast: I don't buy DownEast clothes online because there are so many shops around here and I'm too cheap to pay shipping, but I signed up for the emails because they often send you emails or coupons. I think a lot of their clothes are overpriced, but I do love how soft their basic tees are and I wear several of them each week -- especially right now when it's so hot outside, because the dark colors don't require a camisole underneath. And I also bought this swimsuit for 40 percent off several months ago with an email coupon. I had to add my own little panel in the front since I am much bustier than the model (you can see the swimsuit in this post), but I've loved it.
- Amazon MP3: I get excited for this weekly email because it introduces the latest album releases, has a list of Amazon's $5 mp3 albums (if you haven't been taking advantage of this, you're missing out) and lately has had a list of $2.99 albums and even 25 cent songs! This is your go-to email if you want cheap music and want to stay current on the latest artists. I recently scored Phillip Phillips' "Home" for 25 cents, and you can see a few more of the albums I got for just $2.99 in my "In the Country" post.
- Amazon Local: Andrew actually introduced me to Amazon Local, which is basically like Groupon but frequently gives you free vouchers for Amazon mp3 credit, which I LOVE. I actually just got a $3 credit to use on any mp3 album more than $5.99 and bought Keane's "Hopes and Fears," an old album I should have bought a long time ago but never did. Free music makes me so happy.
- Pick Your Plum: This daily deals site really caters to crafters who want to buy wholesale craft supplies, like bobby pins, resin flowers, wooden craft blocks and storage boxes. I am really not a hardcore crafter, so I don't buy stuff from here all the time. But they also sell clothes, hair accessories, jewelry and even personalized stamps. I've bought several shirts from this site that I wear all the time, and last year I got a cute personalized Wilcox stamp that I used on the Christmas cards we delivered to friends last year. Sign up for these deals. I promise you won't be disappointed.
- GroopDealz: Honestly, I had a hard time signing up for this daily deals site originally because of the atrocious spelling. It's like people who name their stores Kountry Korner to draw attention to it. UGH. Such misuse of the English language drives me nuts. However, I absolutely love this site because it features deals from small business owners, usually on Etsy, and has the most beautiful items. I bought a coral flower headband there months ago that I always get compliments on, and my most recent purchase was a screaming deal on this Camera Coat to protect our DSLR. Be warned, though -- this site usually sends at least three emails a day. You'll love seeing all the pretty items people create, though. And I love that I'm supporting handmade items and local sellers.
- Made by Jewls: I can't remember how I stumbled across this Etsy seller, but I'm so glad I did. She makes the most adorable earrings, and they're really cheap, too! I also love that they're hypoallergenic, since I am really sensitive to a lot of metal, and that you can get so many different designs. I have these Halloween ones, the green skull earrings, these adorable red heart earrings and some very similar to these canary earrings. Not-so-little-secret: If you buy three, you get the fourth pair free -- which explains why I have so many from the same shop. :) But seriously, her earrings are all cute and now I want some new ones for fall. I also love that they're very sturdy. I am kind of hard on earrings and am always breaking them, but these have lasted forever.
- TomDesign: I have several pieces from this Etsy shop as well, and I always get compliments on them. I love that the lady who owns this shop, Debbie, mixes vintage pieces with new floral accents. I own a necklace similar this orange rose piece and have actually asked her to shorten the length on it so that it hits me around the collarbone and doesn't irritate the scar tissue in that area. She is always so accommodating and ships her necklaces super fast and in cute little boxes. And she's from Moscow, Idaho, which is just awesome. Some of her pieces are more expensive than others, but she frequently has sales on different items, so watch for that if you're interested in her jewelry.
I hope that was helpful! There are several other sites that I get daily emails from, like Groupon and LivingSocial, but I figure most people know about those already. Besides, I want to give some of my favorite local sellers some love. :)