Back to School at FamilyEducation.com
Home > Mom's Life > Family Finances > Saving Tips > How to Buy Online -- Without Getting Ripped Off
|

How to Buy Online -- Without Getting Ripped Off

Consider Shipping Cost Versus Sales Tax

The biggest drawback to ordering online is the item has to be shipped to you. That means you'll have to wait a few days, which a lot of us aren't very good at. More important, you often have to pay shipping and handling charges.

You'll find some listings have a very low price for the product, but exorbitant shipping fees. This happens a lot on auction site eBay.com. Bulky and heavy items, such as televisions, can cost more than $100 to ship.

In the end, all you should care about is the total price. So, always add together both components of an online purchase -- the purchase price, plus shipping and handling. Often, you'll find online prices to be so much lower that it's still cheaper to buy online, even if you have to pay for shipping and handling.

One advantage of online shopping is you won't necessarily have to pay state sales tax on the purchase. If the retailer has no locations in your state, it is not required to collect sales tax on checkout. Technically, most states require you to pay sales tax on Internet purchases, presumably by keeping track of purchases and accounting for the tax on your state income tax form. But almost nobody does that, which essentially makes Internet purchases from out-of-state retailers cheaper.

I'm not saying that avoiding state sales tax on Internet purchases is right or wrong. I'm just saying that's how it is. Still, this is a fluid issue, as state governments try to fill their coffers by collecting sales-tax money from Internet sales. So, stay tuned.



More on: Family Finances

|

From The 1-2-3 Money Plan Copyright © 2009, FT Press. Used by permission of FT Press, and Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

To order this book go to Amazon.


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

get ready for school!

We’ve got your
shopping list,
lunch menu,
and more.

GO

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

14 Back-to-School Fashion Trends for 2014
Send your kids back to school looking sharp! Check out 2014's hottest back-to-school fashion trends, from clothes to shoes and accessories.

Put a Stop to Bedtime Struggles
Steer clear of tears at bedtime with these helpful bedtime tips and this printable bedtime routine checklist for kids.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!