Do you remember when the idea of home shopping first hit the Internet? We were promised the land of milk and honey ... with a cherry on top! What we got was a confusing set of offers on products and services that we really didn't want or need at prices not much better than we could get at our local store. Let's take the confusion out of home shopping and find out what to look for in a good home shopping club.
WHAT IT SHOULD BE
A home shopping club is supposed to make your life easier and better. They are supposed to SAVE YOU MONEY. They should offer you deep discounts. Don't accept a low percentage off today with the promise of a substantial discount on your next purchase.
They should bring you offers on BRAND NAME products and services. Anyone can save you money by selling you products mostly found at flea markets. But when you are expecting quality and used to quality you deserve quality.
They should offer you a WIDE SELECTION. If they are not talking BIG numbers of items, just say no. And be sure they aren't just a grocery store on the net. Look for a site that meets all (or almost all) of your needs. After all, leaving the house can be good too. ;) One way to know if they are cutting edge is to look for them to offer things like health care as well as traditional products.
They should be EASY TO USE offering you an interface that makes selection and checkout easy and safe. They should offer help where it's needed but not intrude into your life with unwanted offers or tacky banners.
Their service should be FREE. If they want to charge you to join up, watch out. The ones that charge will tell you that you will make up the signing fee while they are in the Bahamas on all the signing fees they have collected. Make them earn YOUR business by offering their services for free.
They should be STABLE. Be cautious If they have been in business for less than three years. And be VERY cautious if they are a pre launch.
AS AN ADDED BONUS.... wouldn't it be great to extend all these discounts and offers outside the online mall? Yes, such a possibility does exist! By being a member of such an online mall, you should be able to enjoy vacations and wonderful discounts for products that are on AND off the Internet!
A CHERRY ON TOP, PLEASE
Last but not least, they should offer you the chance to SPREAD THE GOOD NEWS to your friends if you so desire. If they offer it and you want it they should make entry easy for you and support you with an experienced team every step of the way. Far too many opportunities only want to help you AFTER you have done all the work.
Remember, technology is supposed to make life easier. Reject any shopping club that is simply a computerized version of your local paper. Find one that is free to you and offers you serious discounts on a wide variety of brand named products run by a stable company with an easy to use site. When you do, you will have found a winner and will laugh all the way to the bank.
Picking a great online shopping club (with lots of off-line benefits, too) allows you to save mounds of cash, pick up great quality items at bulk volume pricing, and easily congregate with your friends to save even more. Following the above checklist will allow you to shop even smarter.
Oh, and it wouldn't hurt if they gave you a cherry on top!