Ask A Bay Area Expert: Tips On Finding Deals Shopping Online

August 19, 2014 5:00 AM

(credit: Thinkstock)

credit card online shopping Ask A Bay Area Expert: Tips On Finding Deals Shopping Online(credit: Thinkstock)

If you need to supplement your personal shopping trips with online shopping, here are some tips to keep in mind before that parcel arrives at your front door.

annchao headshot 2  Ask A Bay Area Expert: Tips On Finding Deals Shopping Online

Ann Chao, an ecommerce expert at
(Courtesy of Ann Chao)


Ann Chao
Senior Marketing Manager
333 Bryant St., Suite 250
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 908-2200

Ann has six years of savvy e-commerce experience under her belt. Currently an online shopping expert and blogger at Ebates, Ann shares know how on getting the best deals and developing a strategy to tackle the infinite fashion and style options offered by online shopping. Based in San Francisco, Ebates rewards consumers with cash back on purchases and provides access to thousands of coupons, discounts, promotions and special deals, including free shipping. In all, there are over 1,600 retailers, including Macy’s, Nordstrom, Amazon and J. Crew. Ann’s personal must-have fashion accessory are timeless brown leather boots that suit every fashion style while being the perfect choice for walking in San Francisco. Ann walks us through some e-commerce tips.

Shop The Sales

Click on any link that says “sale” or “final clearance” to find some amazing designer brands for 75-percent off or more. It’s easier to browse sale merchandise online than in a brick-and-mortar department store or boutique because online retailers even provide brand/style/size filter options. And, the items are fresh and clean since they haven’t been picked over or tried on time and time again. If you prefer to pass on sale items but still want more bang for your buck, try Ebates for cash back on all clothing retailers, both sale and full price items.

Use Apps On The Go

Days jam packed with office commitments, fitness regimes, errands, school runs, fixing meals and monitoring homework do not leave parents with much free time. When shopping is more of a chore than a diversion, something’s got to give. Getting quick and easy access to your favorite stores and brands online makes the best use of time, and eliminates nasty parking tickets, too. Ebates has built mobile apps for iPhone, iPad and Android that make it super convenient to find deals online anytime, anywhere, even during a few moments stolen during a lunch hour.

Fill Up Your Costume Box

It’s party and parade time! From Bay To Breakers to Pride to Dia De Los Muertos, a closet well stocked with sequins, neon, tulle and shiny stuff will get plenty of use throughout the year. Follow your favorite online retailers on social media sites and register for their e-newsletters to stay informed about sample and warehouse sales on one-of-a-kind goodies. Recently, Triple Threat Dancewear hosted a warehouse sale for Facebook fans with costumes starting at $3. And in a big event that got re-tweeted by folks up and down the Bay Area, the San Francisco Opera’s Costume Shop Sale tweeted their sale, resulting in hundreds turning up before the doors were unlocked.

Check Size Charts By Brand

Have you ever noticed how nothing fits the kids following their summer growth spurts? When it’s ‘Back to School’ shopping season, every penny counts. But so does every minute. Avoid the battle of wills with summer-obsessed kids who’d rather do just about anything than go shopping for fall. Just measure them up and use the reference size charts found online for each brand. If you’re going to have to hit the shops for children’s properly-fitting shoes at some point, at least you can avoid time spent in the fitting rooms.

Know The Return Policy

Look at the return policies, just in case. Online retailers are usually quite flexible, but the fine print will differ from store to store, even on the same shopping site. Have a closer look if you’re shopping the sale items or cosmetics. There’s a lot more than just clothing online. So, if you’re buying anything larger than a breadbox, including furniture, curtains and bedding, measure first and have a schedule in mind for securely receiving your delivery.

Laurie Jo Miller Farr loves walkable cities. A tourism industry professional and transplanted New Yorker by way of half-a-lifetime in London, she’s writing about the best of the bay and beyond for Yahoo, USA Today, eHow, and on

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