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30 Awesome Online Shopping Sites I Wish I’d Known Earlier

30 Awesome Online Shopping Sites I Wish I’d Known Earlier

Aah, the joys of shopping. You reserve a day or an entire weekend for it, head to the mall and start hunting the best deals through dozens of stores. I hate that! I become so confused that I don’t remember where I saw those awesome shoes I delayed buying just in case I found something better.

When I started shopping online, I discovered a whole new world. It didn’t matter what I needed; I could always get it on Amazon, Best Buy, Target, or eBay. It took me a long time before I realized that there were many other shopping websites that deserved attention, too.

Here is my list of 30 shopping sites I wish I’d known earlier.

Furniture/home decor

1. Poppin

poppin

    This is a website focused on office decor. When you organize your working or studying desk properly, you’ll enjoy the hard work much more. Here comes the best part: the items are organized by color! That makes the choice much easier.

    A classic des set of 12 ballpoint pens, a pen cup and notebook costs $25. The quality of the cheaper items is not high-class, but the website offers more exclusive products as well.

    2. Dwell Studio

    dwell

      Dwell Studio offers furniture, bed and bath products, decor and accessories, rugs and windows, and more. Although the items featured in the furniture category are more on the luxury side, you can get them on sale and save a lot of money on a high-end piece for your home.

      A bed costs around $1000, and it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. As far as rugs are concerned, Dwell offers a great choice of high-quality designs in various shapes, materials and styles.

      3. One Kings Lane

      la02

        As someone with a thing for awesome vintage finds, I cannot recommend this website enough. The furniture items are outstanding, but I also enjoy the Kitchen & Tabletop, as well as the Art & Mirrors categories.

        These aren’t actual vintage or antique pieces, so the prices are affordable thanks to many items for sale. For example, a nice mirror for your bedroom will cost you $135 (that’s with a great discount of 68%). Hunt for daily deals and you can easily refresh the appearance of your home with exclusive pieces.

        4. The Hut

        hut

          This British website provides affordable international delivery. You’ll appreciate the great choice of home decor and kitchen products that will make your home more pleasant for a cheap price.

          The prices for home accessories start from $1.53 and go up to $370; so there is something for everyone’s taste. I’ve had some hits and misses with this website, since it features different brands and quality levels. Make sure to read reviews before ordering a particular piece and you’ll do just fine.

          Books

          5. Book Depository

          book depository

            Forget Amazon; Book Depository offers the same (outstanding!) selection of books through a much more convenient shopping experience. The website is organized really well and the worldwide delivery is free of charge. There are awesome discounts and deals that will help you get more books for your money.
            The prices for classics are especially attractive, f.e. you can start collecting Marquez for less than $10 per edition.

            6. Book Finder

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            book finder

              You want to get new and used books, rare editions, textbooks and print books? You can use the search tool at Book Finder to compare prices and get the best deal. The shipping costs are included in the calculation, so you won’t waste time doing math.

              Through this search engine, you can find even better prices than the ones offered at Book Depository. Make sure to check that you are purchasing a well-preserved edition if you’re opting for a used book.

              Shopping for students

              7. Papers Gear

              Custom writing service

                If you need an essay, personal statement, research paper, coursework assignment, or even a dissertation – this is the right service to turn to. Custom writing at Papers Gear helps students with academic papers.

                The writers never fail to deliver exactly the help, the customers need, and the prices are really affordable. You’ll need to pay from $19.99 to $52.99 per page depending on the quality and deadline you choose, but the company offers great discounts that reduce the price.

                8. Sam’s Club

                sam

                  When you have too much studying to do, even browsing through different shopping websites can be a waste of time. That’s when you should turn to Sam’s Club – an online store with student-friendly prices on groceries, gifts, flowers, wine, health and beauty products, and more.

                  The prices are even lower than the ones in your local stores, and the shopping experience is much more convenient. Sam’s Clubs are available in different cities across the USA, so you can easily join the community and start saving without searching for any coupons.

                  9. Fab

                  fab

                    If you are looking for something similar to Target, but way more affordable, Fab.com will surely please you. This is a social shopping site that offers great deals on clothes and accessories for men and women, kitchen and dining items, furniture and lighting, home decor, gifts, tech gadgets, and much more.

                    For example, you can get a queen-size bed on sale (below $300) and save money for other things you deserve. Clearly, you can’t expect the best quality when you pay such a low price.

                    Fitness

                    10. FitOrbit

                    fit

                      Going to the gym is not always a pleasant experience. You have to pay a fortune for a personal trainer; otherwise you are left wandering around in absolute discomfort. FitOrbit is a much better solution for me.

                      At this website, you can get a personal trainer who will tailor the perfect exercise plan and daily meal plans for you. The prices are really affordable and the results are guaranteed. Depending on the plan you choose (6 months, 3 months or 1 month), you’ll get a price of $11.50, $16.99 or $29.99 per week.

                      11. Gaiam TV – My Yoga channel

                      gaiam

                        For a low monthly fee, you can choose from hundreds of videos provided by famous yoga instructors. All you need to do is create a pleasant environment in your home, commit to a daily schedule and start practicing with great instructors without spending a fortune for your physical and emotional wellbeing.

                        The monthly fee at this website is $9.95, but you can also provide a one-time payment of $89.40 for the annual plan and save 25%. You get a chance to practice with great instructors, so you can expect these plans to be even better than the classes offered in your local studio.

                        Clothes, shoes and accessories

                        12. Wantering

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                        wantering

                          Who doesn’t want to look like a celebrity? You don’t need to hit the malls and high-end stores to find the pieces that were made for you; this website will help you on the mission to be on trend and keep things classy at the same time.

                          You can set the price range of the products you’re looking for, so it’s easy to get awesome dresses, jeans and bags for under $25. Of course, you can also set the price range up to $2.5K and get good deals on trending items by Oscar De La Renta, Mary Katrantzou, Jason Wu, and other popular names in fashion.

                          13. Cadet

                          cadet

                            This one is for men only. Cadet is a brand established by Brad Shmidt and Raul Arevalo, who get their inspiration by the post-war military academy era. And I know one thing for sure: every woman respects a man dressed like that.

                            The website features high-quality shirts, knits, pants, outerwear and swimwear. Jackets and coats come from $200 to $1000, and the awesome pants are priced from $120 up. Of course, I recommend you to shop in the SALE section and get these unique items for a reduced price. This is the type of clothing all men should invest in.

                            14. eShakti

                            eshakti

                              Do you have trouble nailing the right size when shopping online? This is the right website for you! You can select pieces in sizes ranging from 0-36W or require a garment to be customized to your exact size, height and style.

                              Since plus-size and petite clothing is not easily available, you can expect to find prices that are slightly above the average. For example, an average mid-length dress is priced above $80, and the quality is not perfect. However, eShakti can literally save you when you urgently need a perfect fit.

                              15. Otte New York

                              otte

                                If you miss the lady that follows you in a store and tells you which garments would suit you perfectly, you’ll love this website. OtteNY.com offers more than a luxurious shopping experience – it enables you to hire a personal shopping team that will help you get the perfect outfit for any occasion.

                                I’m talking about brands like Alexander Wang, Kenzo, Cacharel and other big names, so you can expect to pay above $200 for a nice summer dress. However, Otte enables you to find your special piece for a highly reduced price, so it’s definitely worthy of a bookmark.

                                16. Wanelo

                                wanelo

                                  Who doesn’t love a great deal? This community-based site helps you find the best prices from a vast array of online stores. You can get clothes, shoes, home accessories, toys, and much more.

                                  Depending on the quality and brand you are after, the prices of the offered products will range. One thing is for sure, though: you will pay the lowest possible price for the particular item if you search for it through Wanelo.

                                  17. Necessary Clothing

                                  necessary

                                    Nasty Gal used to be one of my favorite shopping destinations before I discovered Necessary Clothing – a cheaper alternative to that website that sells trendy designer fashion. Hint: check out the shoe section. I guarantee you won’t be able to resist it!

                                    You can get the cutest pumps for a price around $25; that’s a deal you can’t neglect. Although the prices seem too low for shoes, the offered models feature a great design and a decent quality.

                                    18. Zady

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                                    zady

                                      Zady is a shopping destination for clothes and accessories (men and women), as well as house & home decor pieces. When you shop at Zady, you know where your stuff comes from, you reduce waste, and make a contribution to the community.

                                      The average price for a men jacket is around $300, and you can expect to pay above $100 for a simple women’s top. However, the awesome quality and conscious shopping experience deserve the extra dollar.

                                      19. Baublebar

                                      bau

                                        Underwear

                                        20. Natori

                                        nato

                                          From reasonably-priced lingerie to the most beautiful pajama sets you’ve ever seen, Natori enables you to find everything you need for your boudoir.

                                          When I say reasonably-priced, I mean an average of $200 for a chemise. However, you can rest assured that you’ll never regret making that investment for the superb quality and style offered by Natori.

                                          21. Flint and Tinder

                                          flint

                                            This website offers a great selection of underwear items for men. All items are made in the USA, and the customer’s satisfaction is guaranteed. The price for all men’s underwear items is $29.50.

                                            Cosmetics/perfumes

                                            22. Strawbery

                                            straw

                                              If you’re on the quest for the perfect perfume, but want to get it at a discounted price, then Strawberry.net should be your fist destination. You’ll be amazed with the huge price reductions on the daily deals!

                                              For example, you can get a designer’s perfume for only $25. The featured brands include Givenchy, Anna Sui, Bvlgari, John Galliano, and many others. The products are always fresh and packed flawlessly.

                                              23. Beauty Expert

                                              expert

                                                Although the discounts are not as impressive as the ones at Strawberry.net, Beauty Expert is still a great shopping destination for skincare, makeup and hair care products. In the SALE section, you’ll find great deals with up to %40 off.

                                                The website features cosmetic products of different brands, so you can find a great range of prices for any type of product you’re looking for. For example, the prices for foundations range from $13 to $70.

                                                24. Beauty

                                                beauty

                                                  You want to get the most popular beauty products recommended by makeup artists? You’ll find them at this website, which offers free shipping on orders over $35, free returns, and free samples.

                                                  For example, Urban Decay’s Naked palette is sold for $54, but we’ve already made peace with the fact that high-quality beauty products cost more than we expect.

                                                  Electronics/gadgets

                                                  25. AliExpress

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                                                  aliexpress

                                                    If you’ve tried shopping at this website, then you know it’s full of risks in terms of the quality you receive. However, you can still make a safe purchase as long as you read the comments and choose a seller with high rating. AliExpress can be listed in all other categories, since there isn’t a product you cannot find, but I recommend it mostly for electronics, accessories, and gifts.

                                                    It’s difficult to talk about the prices, since there are many sellers with different offers, but you can get a decent tablet for around $100 at AliExpress.

                                                    26. Pricewatch

                                                    pricewatch

                                                      When it comes to computers, drives, and electronics, you always want to get the best product for the best price. The price comparisons at Pricewatch will help you get there!

                                                      For example, if you choose the category Desktops, you’ll get a huge selection of products with prices from $99 to $1300.

                                                      27. Crutchfield

                                                      crutch

                                                        At this website, you can get recommendations by tech experts who know how to help you get the best product. Each purchase comes with free tech support.
                                                        The thing that attracted me to Crutchfield was the offer of LED TVs of the best brands (Samsung, Sony and LG) for an average price of $300 for the 32’’ models.

                                                        Presents

                                                        28. Gilt

                                                        gilt

                                                          Willing to spend a bit more on presents for kids, babies, women and men? Gilt has exactly what you’re looking for. The Home and Travel sections of the website are pure magic.

                                                          The prices in the Kids section are especially pleasing; you can get nice sets for under $30.

                                                          29. MoMA

                                                          moma

                                                            If it’s time for some real, unique presents. MoMA online store enables you to get great items on sale, including toys, games, jewelry, watches, dining items, posters, and much more.

                                                            The prices are not that affordable, so you can expect to pay over $50 for a nice scarf. However, the quality of all products is impeccable, and everyone would be thrilled to get a present from MoMA.

                                                            Antiques

                                                            30. Junkables

                                                            junk

                                                              It might take you a while before you land the perfect collectible at this website, but the result will be totally worth the effort. Junkables features antiques, collectible books, magazines, glassware, dolls, and much more.

                                                              Since these are antiques, the quality is inconsistent and you need to be careful with the purchase you make. The prices vary depending on the type, age, and appearance of the product. For example, you can get a nice piece of wall art for around $100.

                                                              Why spend hundreds of dollars on a piece of jewelry when you can find affordable, but stylish items at Baublebar? Although the prices are relatively cheap (with an average of $40 for a statement necklace), you won’t find any kitschy, flashy items here.

                                                              You’ll definitely spot the perfect necklace, bracelet and ring in the huge selection of diverse inventory of decent quality.

                                                              Featured photo credit: Young man drinking coffee in cafe and using tablet computer via shutterstock.com

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                                                              Published on May 7, 2019

                                                              How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

                                                              How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

                                                              When it comes to stocks, I bet you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing.

                                                              Everyone who’s not a financial expert has been there. I’ve been there. But, time is passing and you need to be crystal clear with how you’re investing for your retirement.

                                                              Otherwise, it’s back to work until you can afford not to. So, how can you invest for retirement when you’re not a financial expert?

                                                              You take the time to learn the fundamentals well. If you do, you can grow your wealth and retire happy. The best part is that you don’t need to be a financial expert to make smart investment decisions.

                                                              Here’s how to invest for retirement the smart and stress-free way:

                                                              1. Know Clearly Why You Invest

                                                              Odds are you already know why should invest for retirement.

                                                              But, maybe you know the wrong reasons. It’s time you get clear on why you’d like to retire. Here are some questions to help you get started:

                                                              • Will you spend more time with your family?
                                                              • What does retirement mean to you?
                                                              • Are you looking to launch that business you’ve been holding off for years?

                                                              Everyone wants to retire but not for the same reasons. Once you’re clear for why retirement is important for you, you’ll focus on making it happen.

                                                              Investing in the stock market allows you to take advantage of compound interest.[1] All this means is that your money earns money on top of its interest. A reason why investment in the stock market is one of the best ways to plan for retirement.

                                                              2. Figure out When to Invest

                                                              “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”– Chinese Proverb

                                                              It’s true if you’d had started investing when you were 10 years old, you’d have a lot more money than you do today.

                                                              The reality is that most people don’t start investing until it’s too late. So, if you’re currently waiting for the perfect time to start an investment, it would be today. Open your calendar and block out 2 to 3 hours to choose how you’ll invest for retirement.

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                                                              A quick way to get a snapshot of where you stand is to use Personal Capital. Input all your personal information and spend some time setting your retirement goals. Once completed, you’ll know where you stand with your retirement.

                                                              Having a savings account for retirement isn’t planning for retirement. Why? Your money loses value when you factor in US inflation.[2]

                                                              3. Evaluate Your Risk Tolerance to Create the Perfect Portfolio

                                                              Investing your money well depends on your emotions.

                                                              Why?

                                                              Because when the market drops most people panic and withdraw their money. On average, the US stock market yields an annual 6% to 7% ROI (return on your investment.) But, this won’t happen if you’re worried about short-term loses.

                                                              Before you invest your next dollar, know your risk tolerance.[3] Your risk tolerance determines the number of risky and safe investments you’d have.

                                                              Regardless of your investing style, you need to view investing for retirement as a long term game. Know that some years you’ll lose money but recoup this in the long-term.

                                                              Avoid watching market-related new. Also, create a double authentication to log in your investment account. This way you’re less likely to withdraw your money.

                                                              4. Open a Reliable Retirement Account

                                                              Depending on your circumstance, you may need to open a new brokerage account. This is the account is where you’ll invest your money.

                                                              If you’re currently working for a company, odds are that they offer a 410K investing account. If so, here’s where you’ll invest most of your money. The only problem with this is that you’re limited to the stock options that are available.

                                                              You do have the option to open a separate IRA (individual retirement account.) Here are some of the best brokers:

                                                              1. Vanguard
                                                              2. TD Ameritrade
                                                              3. Charles Schwab

                                                              5. Challenge Yourself to Invest Consistently

                                                              Committing to invest for retirement is hard, but continuing to do so is harder.

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                                                              Once you’ve started investment for your retirement, you run at risk from stopping. Often you’ll want to contribute less, so you’d have more money in your pocket.

                                                              That’s why it’s important that you create a budget that allows you to invest each month. If you’re working for a company, you can set a percentage for the amount you’d like to contribute each month. Most people by default contribute 1% but aim to contribute 10% to 15%.

                                                              Be the judge for how much you can afford to contribute after covering important expenses. To stay motivated, use Personal Capital to view your net worth.

                                                              A benefit to contributing money to your retirement account is not taxed. For example, if you earn $100 and invest 10%, you’d contribute $10, then get taxed on the remaining $90. As of 2019, the most you’re able to contribute towards your 401K is 19K but this can change.

                                                              6. Consider Where to Invest Your Money

                                                              The most common way to invest your money is in stocks, but it’s not the only way. Here are other ways to invest:

                                                              Robo Advisors

                                                              Robo-advisors[4] are fancy algorithms that’ll choose the best investments for you. Sites like Wealthfront make it easy for first-time investors to invest their money. You’d input information about yourself and set your risk tolerance.

                                                              Then, set your monthly contribution amount and your robo-advisor would do the rest. Robo-advisors charge a fee to manage your money, but less than regular advisors.

                                                              Bonds

                                                              Think of bonds as “IOUs” to whomever you buy them from.

                                                              Essentially, you’re lending money and charging interest. Like stocks, not all bonds are equal. Some will be riskier than others depending on their rating.

                                                              Here are the different types of bond categories:[5]

                                                              1. Treasury bonds
                                                              2. Government bonds
                                                              3. Corporate bonds
                                                              4. Foreign bonds
                                                              5. Mortgage-backed bonds
                                                              6. Municipal bonds

                                                              Mutual Funds

                                                              Picture a group of people dumping all their money in a jar that’s managed by a professional. This is how mutual funds work. The fund manager manages the money looking to earn capital gains (interest.)

                                                              One of the best types of mutual funds is index funds. Since these funds don’t try to beat the market and instead follow it, they need less research. Because of this they often charge the lowest fees and yield the best long-term results.

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                                                              Real Estate

                                                              Yes, buying a home is an investment when done correctly.

                                                              Imagine buying a home and using it as a rental property. After repairing it, you receive a monthly surplus check of $100 to $200.

                                                              This may not sound like a lot, but repeat this process enough times and you’d earn a large amount of passive income. That’s why real estate is one of the best investments to not only retire but become wealthy.

                                                              But, it requires a lot of money to start and you should expect losing money along the way as you learn the process.

                                                              Savings Accounts

                                                              Your money can still grow in a savings account. Nowadays most online banks offer a 2% annual return. Although the average inflation is higher your money will be available when you need it.

                                                              7. Master Disincline to Dodge Short Success

                                                              Investing for retirement is a long-term strategy. That’s why you need to master delayed gratification. All this means is delaying short-term pleasure for something bigger in the future. Research shows that those who have delayed gratification are more successful.[6]

                                                              So how can you master delayed gratification?

                                                              By building your discipline.

                                                              Think back to what retirement means to you. A clear purpose will help you avoid withdrawing your money during a market downturn. It’ll help you contribute more towards retirement when you’d want to waste it instead.

                                                              Your journey towards retirement will be long, so reward yourself along the way. Choose a reward that’s relevant and meaningful, so that you reinforce positive behavior. For example, after contributing more towards retirement, treat yourself to dinner.

                                                              8. Aggressively Invest on This One Investment

                                                              I’ve mentioned several types of investments but haven’t covered the most important one.

                                                              It sounds cliche but here’s why you’re your best investment towards retirement. The more you know, the more money you’ll be able to make. The more good habits you adopt, the more secure your retirement will be.

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                                                              More importantly, investing in yourself is an investment that no one can take away. There’s no market downturn nor tragic circumstance that’ll wipe your knowledge and experience.

                                                              But, how can you invest yourself?

                                                              Reading books, blogs, and anything that’ll help you learn new topics daily. Listen to podcasts and audiobooks on your commute to/from work.

                                                              Save money to buy courses and hire coaches. I used to believe hiring coaches was a waste of money when I could learn the subject alone.

                                                              But, coaches see your blind spots and hold you accountable. Hiring the right coach will help you achieve your goals faster than you would’ve alone.

                                                              Retire Happy with Excess Money

                                                              The key to a secure financial future doesn’t only belong to financial experts.

                                                              It’s possible for you and I. What if you were able to retire earlier than most people and weren’t a financial planner? What if you were able to focus on what you enjoy doing the most while your money was working hard for you?

                                                              I know this sounds impossible now, but the truth is you’re capable of taking charge of your retirement. I’m not a financial expert but I’ve learned how to invest my money by reading books and learning from others.

                                                              Investing your money is scary. So start small and invest a small amount of your money with a robo-advisor. Feel your money drop and rise for a month or two. Then, invest more and keep this up until you’re aggressively saving for retirement.

                                                              One day, you’ll wake up with a net worth you’re proud of – confident about your retirement. You now know a few strategies you can use to invest in your retirement. Will you take action to retire happy?

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                                                              Featured photo credit: Matthew Bennett via unsplash.com

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