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Last Updated on January 10, 2018

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 September 17, 2018

                                                              How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

                                                              How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

                                                              Achieving financial success is not something that just happens. Maybe if you win the lottery or something, but for the average person like you or me, it comes from a series of small steps you take over a long period of time.

                                                              With each step, you form a new smart money habit. And with each smart money habit, you build towards financial independence.

                                                              So what sort of habits can you form to get on that path? Let’s take a look at smart money habits you can start today to get you closer to a financially independent future.

                                                              1. Avoid being “penny wise but pound foolish”

                                                              It’s tempting to try saving a couple cents here and there when buying small items. However, that’s not where the real money is saved. You’re putting in extra effort for something that doesn’t move the needle.

                                                              You get the most bang when you’re able to cut down on your bigger bills. For example, finding a lower interest rate for your mortgage could save you $50+ per month. And cutting your transportation bill by purchasing a cheaper car or taking public transportation can provide large gains as well.

                                                              So, look at your recurring expenses such as housing, transportation, and insurance, and see where there’s wiggle room. It’s a much better use of your time than trying to pinch pennies here and there on smaller purchases.

                                                              2. When you want something big, wait

                                                              Impulsivity can get you in trouble in most aspects of life. Finances are no different.

                                                              It’s human nature to see something and want it right then and there. It starts as a kid in the checkout line at the grocery store, and it continues on through adulthood.

                                                              We get an idea in our head of something we want, and it’s hard not to go out and get it right then.

                                                              A good example is wanting a new car. Perhaps you’ve had your car for several years. It’s crossed the 100k mile mark. Maybe maintenance is due, and you’re annoyed that you need to replace the timing belt or purchase new tires.

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                                                              So, you get the itch.

                                                              You start digging around online, and you realize you could trade in your current car for something newer and more exciting… all for a few hundred bucks a month. Then you get obsessed.

                                                              Here’s where you have to take a step back.

                                                              Your newfound obsession is clouding your judgement. Rather than giving into the impulse, wait it out.

                                                              Set a timeframe for yourself. Maybe you come back to the decision three months down the road. See if the obsession lasts.

                                                              It might, but often, a funny thing happens. Often, you forget about it. And often, you find that the new car wasn’t a need at all.

                                                              The impulse faded. And you just saved yourself a ton of money.

                                                              3. Live smaller than you can afford

                                                              You finally get that big raise. And you want to celebrate – and why not?

                                                              You’ve been looking forward to this forever. And after all, it was all due to your hard work.

                                                              That’s fine, splurge a little. However, make it a one-time deal and be done.

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                                                              Don’t get caught in the trap that just because you’re now making more money, you should spend more.

                                                              Too often, people get more money and feel like they that gives them the means to buy a bigger house, a bigger car… you know the drill. Resist.

                                                              The fact is that living smaller than what you can afford is one of the fastest ways to build savings.

                                                              But if you constantly upgrade as you begin to make more, then you’ll never get ahead. You’ll just build up more debt along the way and have just as little wiggle room as before.

                                                              4. Practice smart grocery shopping

                                                              Food… it’s one of the biggest portions of any budget. And if you’re not careful, it can be one of the biggest drains on your wallet.

                                                              But luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you stay smart with your money when buying groceries.

                                                              Create a grocery budget

                                                              Set a strict weekly grocery budget. When you know how much you can spend on groceries, you can then plan your weekly menu around it.

                                                              Once you know what all you need, you can go shopping and keep a running tally as you shop to ensure you’re on track.

                                                              I tend to do this in my head, rounding for each item. However, writing it down as you go would probably work best for most people.

                                                              Make a list… and never deviate

                                                              Never go to the grocery store without a list. If you go to the store with a ballpark idea in mind, you don’t have a true ide of what you need.

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                                                              You’re not well-researched. You don’t know what the sales are. As a result, you’re going to make decisions on the fly.

                                                              These impulse decisions will lead to overspending, which will derail your grocery budget.

                                                              Eat before going grocery shopping

                                                              It’s also important to eat prior to going to the grocery store. Hunger is a powerful force.

                                                              If you’re shopping on an empty stomach, everything is going to look good. In particular, you may find a lot of ready-made, processed snacks will look enticing.

                                                              After all, you’re hungry now and that food is easily available. So subconsciously, you may lean towards those items.

                                                              Unfortunately, not only are those items typically less healthy, but they’re likely more expensive. You pay for convenience.

                                                              However, when you eat prior to shopping, then you’ll shop with a clear mind. Your hunger won’t cloud your judgement, influencing you to make poor decisions like a cartoon devil resting on your shoulder whispering in your ear.

                                                              This makes it much easier to stick to your grocery plan.

                                                              5. Cancel your gym membership

                                                              Now that you’re all set on your food, it’s time to get smart about managing your budget in terms of physical fitness. And let’s begin by avoiding the gym. The gym bill, that is.

                                                              The average gym membership costs around $60 per month. That’s $720 a year.

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                                                              Yet, two out of three gym memberships go unused. That means two-thirds of people who have a gym membership are literally giving away almost a thousand bucks a year. It’s crazy!

                                                              I recommend seeking an alternative. One good alternative is to look into fitness streaming services.

                                                              Streaming services allow you to stream hundreds of workouts like Insanity and p90x, right in your own home for around $10-20 a month. That’s $40-50 less a month than the average gym membership.

                                                              Of course, then there’s the free option. The internet is full of free workouts that you can do on your own with minimal or no equipment.

                                                              For example, there’s the Couch to 5K program, that I personally used a decade ago to ease myself from couch potato to running my first 5K race. If I could do it, anyone could.

                                                              Then there are free resources like reddit that have limitless information on workouts. The Fitness subreddit has done all the research for you, populating workout tips and detailed workout routines for anyone to use in their wiki.

                                                              There are several routines that require no equipment. And you can join in on the subreddit to become part of the community, making it easier for those seeking comraderie and encouragement in their fitness goals. All for free.

                                                              It’s baby steps… And baby steps can start now!

                                                              I’ve never met anyone that can’t stand to be a bit smarter with their money. And on the flip side, anyone can get smarter with their money. But remember, it doesn’t happen all at once.

                                                              Begin by fighting your impulses. Prepare for the week and be smart at the store. And cut monthly expenses like gym memberships that are overpriced and you probably aren’t getting your money’s worth out of anyway.

                                                              The devil is in the details. And the details can change your lifestyle and prep you for a financially independent future.

                                                              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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