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Shopping Online Or In-Store, Is There A Difference?

4:21 PM, May 10, 2013   |    comments
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Undated -- Chances are you will buy something, at some point in time soon. But does it matter whether or not you shop online or in the store?

Our friends at Consumer Reports Shop Smart magazine went shopping! They chose 10 different items at 10 major stores and priced them in store, on the retailer's website (factoring in shipping costs). They had several shoppers price the items at two times of day using Mac and PC computers and three different browsers, and rounded to the nearest dollar. They found a big in three items.

The Macys, they priced a pair of Levis Jeans - the 512 Perfectly Slimming Bootcut jeans. They were $40 on sale in store, and $64 (including shipping) online, so there's a $24 difference.

At JCPenney, a set of queen size Royal Velvet sheets cost $60 on sale in the store and $78 (including shipping) online. Shoppers noted that while they were $18 dollars less in store, the color selection was better online.

At Barnes and Noble they priced the hardcover book "wild" by Cheryl Strayed. It cost $26 in store and $19 (including shipping) online. You can order the book online and pick it up in store, but you'll still pay the higher in-store price.

The shoppers didn't find any difference in the other seven products they checked.

Target - Conair Infinity Pro Three-quarter-inch flat iron - $40

Nine West - Sally Pump - $99

Best Buy - Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Tablet with 16GB memory - $500

Williams-Sonoma - Le Creuset Heritage Stoneware Rectangular Covered Casserole - $90

Walmart - Mr. Coffee 12-cup coffee maker - $35

Nordstrom - Kate Spade Berry Street Elise tote - $158

Sears - LG range - $1,900

So the Shop Smart bottom line? Don't assume you'll pay the same price! If you know what you're going shopping for, check the price online, print it out, and take it with you to see if they'll honor it in the store.

Of course, technology makes this easy.  Consumer Reports compiled their list of the five best apps for comparing prices on the go!

Price Check By Amazon - Android/ Apple

RedLaser - Android/ Apple/ Windows

Scanlife - Android/ Apple/ Blackberry/ Windows

Shopsavvy- Android/ Apple/ Windows

Smoopa - Android/ Apple

Consumer Reports/Shop Smart

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