Karl Lohnes on finding great decor deals online
Karl Lohnes, Canada AM home and decor expert
Published Thursday, February 17, 2011 7:12AM EST
Everyone loves a great bargain on home decor items and there's no easier way to find deals during the winter than sitting at the computer; in our jammies and sipping a latte! No slushy roads, crowds, stuffy stores and fighting for the 'one and only' deal that might be available.
Yes, online shopping is now easy, safe and most of all convienient. I purchase clothing, shoes, bedding, dishes, lighting and even my groceries online! What great convenience; I can shop when and where I want, plus have items delivered where I want (work, home, cottage or elsewhere).
Finding a good website:
When starting off, shop the websites of large, reputal retailers. If visiting non- retail e-sites then use referrals from friends who may have experienced a positive shopping experience with them.
Shop online with real stores, not just e-commerce style sites when starting out too. The real stores will often use their e-sites as clearance sites for outdated merchandise whereas sites that do not support a retail business usually do not have the clearance stock.
Shop online with stores who you have physically shopped at before.
That way you will know how that particular retailer's clothing fits you and you'll have a good idea about the quality of their products.
This is very important when buying things like bedding, clothing and shoes.
Always shop with a website that offers a customer care contact phone number on their site. If you have any questions do not hesitate to use it.
What to look for when you go on the site:
Look for pop-up banners promoting special items and promotion that are happening on the site. Look for extra-specials like additional discounts off seasonal items or free shipping incentives.
Right now www.gapcanada.ca is offering free shipping anywhere in the country with a purchase of $50 or more and Sears Canada will Twitter you daily deals on their outlet site.
What to buy: end of season items (they'll be like new next year!); holiday decor; product you might already have but need more of like additional china or flatware, bedding. See a favorite framed poster that you liked last year in a favorite retail store? It may be out of season in the store and has been moved on to the website and is on sale.
Paying for the goods:
Use your gift cards online! Its a safe way to pay for the items without having to give the website your credit card.
Ask a friend who has already shopped on the site and has an established account. This is great for ebay or Kijiji where you may not want to register all your information in order to shop around.
Never click on the box that allows the retailer to keep your credit card information. Punch it in new each time you shop.
Some retailers will charge a large shipping fee to cover off the duties and brokerage fees. In that case you should be spending at least 4 times the fee in order to make it affordable.
Deals of the day:
- JCrew: Free shipping on orders more than $100 and women's cardigans from $88 to $26.
- Urban Outfitters: $40 flat rate shipping and $8-12 holiday tree ornaments are now 99 cents.
- Disposable guest hand towels (100 pack), reg $13, now $2.89 Restoration Hardware has items in clearance (up to 60 per cent off) then add addtional 10 per cent.
My favorite places to shop:
- www.sears.ca -- all the necessities like bedding, pillows, tablecloths and home tools.
- www.urbanoutfitters.com - funky decor items, floor mats, decorative hooks and ipod cases.
- www.restorationhardware.com -- always great furnishings and lamps on sale.
- www.anthropologie.com -- very unique tabletop items and drapery panels.
If you have a decorating question that you would like Karl to answer, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. For great decorating tips you can now follow Karl on Twitter @karllohnesCTV