This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

10 Rules for Back-to-School Online Shopping

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The heart of back- to-school shopping season, the second biggest shopping time of the year, means everyone is out to score a great deal on clothing, notebooks, electronics and the usual necessities that come along with the new school year.

It's no surprise that more and more consumers are hunting for those back-to-school deals online. Almost 40% of consumers will shop online during the back-to-school shopping season, compared to just over 21% in 2007, according to the National Retail Federation. But just because the migration to the web for outfitting today's student is now established, it doesn't mean consumers have learned the best ways to find online deals.

Whether you're shopping for a grade school kid or a college student in need of a new laptop, TheStreet has compiled 10 must-know rules for finding the best back-to-school deals.

1. Coupons now come in 140 characters: use Twitter

Retailers are taking to social media sites to offer special coupons and alert consumers to sales. Aside from following your favorite stores on Facebook and Twitter, the website aggregates tweets with links to coupons. You can search by retailer, which features coupon-related tweets from Macy's and Sears, to name a few. Additionally, use the site to search for the money saving tweets based on what category of merchandise you're looking to purchase, whether it's apparel or electronics.

2. You get what you pay for, and you often can't "see" it, so look harder

When shopping online you're at a disadvantage in the sense that you can't physically see the product, as you would at a traditional bricks-and-mortar store. To get the most for your money when shopping online, it's important to learn as much about the product as possible.

"Sometimes products will have similar prices, while their specs are on opposite ends of the spectrum. To combat this, use sites such as to compare similar electronics and appliances side by side and determine which gives you the most for your money," says consumer savings expert Andrea Woroch .

3. Timing a sale means being a historian

If only we could purchase everything at a discounted sale price, instead of discovering an item went on sale five minutes after we bought it. If you haven't been too successful lately at predicting when an item hits the sale rack, use history to help.

To get over that hump, the website tracks prices of items on and will show you a graph of the historical prices of the item. You can see what months the specific item has gone on sale in past years, and time your purchases accordingly.

If you deduce from that the LED television you're eyeing has gone on sale in November for the past two years, it might be wise (though a tad risky) to hold off until November to catch the next sale.

1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs