Tag Archives: Walmart

Ask Amazon, Walmart online customers for product info

I do a lot of online shopping. While it is a convenient way to find affordable products, it does have its downfalls. One is that you cannot see or try out the product you are viewing on the Internet. In some cases, you can find the same product at a local store and examine it there, but this is not always the case. That’s why I’ve been excited to discover helpful tools offered by Amazon.com and Walmart.com.

Both retailers have an “ask-a-question” feature on their product pages that allows you to post an inquiry about a specific product and get answers from other customers. I have been amazed at how quickly questions I posted on Amazon get answered and by how many people take time to share their input. Often, I will get an answer within one to two hours of posting my question on Amazon.

Answers come more slowly on Walmart.com, sometimes taking a few days or even weeks.

Both websites give you the option of being notified by email when your question is answered, so you don’t have to keep revisiting the product page to look for a response.

It can be a bit tricky to find the “Ask a question” feature on Amazon. You have to click on the link to customer reviews found just below the product name at the top of the page (behind the product’s star rating). Once the reviews page loads, you’ll see this heading on the right side of the page: “Questions? Get fast answers from reviewers.” Type your question in the box provided.

On Walmart.com, it’s not readily apparent where this feature is, either. After you open the product page, scroll down to the “Item description” section, and look for this wording at the end of the description: “Do you have questions about this product? Ask a question.”

I’ve only encountered one instance where customers disputed the correct answer to my question, and that involved a technical specification on a specialty electronic device. While there are no guarantees you’ll get a right answer, I’ve found the responses I receive to be generally helpful, friendly and accurate.

Are there other websites where you have found helpful customer question features?

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Walmart offers cheap personal checks

While online bill payment is an efficient way to pay your utility company, mortgage holder and other debtors each month, chances are you still need a supply of paper checks to meet some financial obligations. Purchasing them directly from your bank can be costly business, but a host of online companies offers cheaper alternatives. These are often companies that specialize in address labels, business cards and other printed materials.

But you might be surprised to learn that one of the nation’s largest retailers also sells checks online—Walmart. Its checks are affordably priced, and a recent order I placed confirmed the company provides fast, reliable service.

Walmart check prices start as low as $5.96 for a box of 150 single checks and 30 deposit tickets. I chose checks with a decorative pattern in this price range, then paid $1.95 to add a fraud-protection package to my purchase. Shipping cost me $3.25. My total purchase with tax came to $11.83. I ordered my checks on Wednesday, Feb. 22 and received them on Friday, March 1.

Walmart emailed me a confirmation after I placed my order, then followed up with an email to notify me my order had shipped. The company’s correspondence included a picture of the type of packaging that would be used to ship my order. The company does not ship checks in a traditional check box, so would-be thieves would not easily recognize what’s in its packaging. A check register was included with my order, and the print quality of the checks was great.

In addition to single checks, Walmart sells duplicate checks, business checks and extra deposit slips and check registers. Available check patterns range from landscape scenes and floral designs to Disney characters and checks you design yourself.

Walmart’s prices are very competitive with other check-printing services. For example, Walmart sells a box of 150 single checks with a mountain scene for $5.96. Similar checks sold by Current cost $9.99, and you only get 125 checks in your order. A box of 125 mountain checks from Checks in the Mail is priced at $14.99.

I’ve ordered checks directly from online retailers for years and never had any issues with them being processed by my bank. Walmart claims its checks save you up to 50 percent off the costs of checks ordered through your bank. If your bank doesn’t provide you with free checks on your account, consider this retail giant when ordering your next box.

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Where to find substantial savings on brand-name batteries

From singing stuffed toys and toddler learning tables to MP3 players, alarm clocks and remote controls, the demand for batteries around your home may seem endless. The cost to run all those gadgets can add up quickly, with a four-pack of brand-name AA batteries costing as much as $5.50 or more at your local drugstore.

If you’re willing to buy batteries in bulk and wait for a good deal on shipping, you can find substantial savings by purchasing batteries online. I got good pricing and service from a website called Medic Batteries. Check out these price comparisons:

AA batteries: Walgreens sells a four-pack of Duracell alkaline AA batteries for $5.49 online ($1.37 each), while Walmart sells a 24-count package for $10.97 (46 cents each). At Medic Batteries, you can get a set of 48 for $18.72 (39 cents each).

AAA batteries: Walmart sells a pack of 20 AAA Duracell alkaline batteries for $12.97 (64 cents each).  You can get 24 Duracell Procell AAA batteries for $10.08 at Medic Batteries (42 cents each).

9-volt batteries: The high cost of 9-volts led to my initial discovery of the Medic Batteries website. Five Rayovac 9-volt batteries cost $9.97 on the Walmart website ($1.99 each). Medic offers a 12-pack of the Rayovac UltraPro 9-volt batteries for $15 ($1.25 each).

Not every product sold by Medic Batteries offers you a great deal. If you’re looking for rechargeable batteries, Medic may not be your best bet; the company offers a limited supply of these. Also, the company’s pricing on some types of Energizer batteries may not beat what you can find elsewhere. However, if you buy quantities larger than those listed above, your cost per battery typically decreases—consider ordering with a friend to get better bulk pricing.

On a typical day, you have to spend quite a bit of money on the Medic Batteries website to qualify for free shipping. Sign up for the company’s e-newsletter, and you’ll occasionally receive free shipping offers. I recommend waiting for one of these, then ordering all the batteries you think you’ll use in the next year or two. This allows you to get the most bang for your buck. Avoid paying for shipping on this site, as doing so will reduce your overall savings per battery. Newsletter subscribers also receive promo codes that can wipe away most of the standard shipping cost.

Have you found better battery prices online or elsewhere? Share your tips to help others save.

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December 16 is Free Shipping Friday

It’s Free Shipping Friday on the Web, with more than 2,000 retailers offering the discount today. A minimum purchase amount may apply to qualify for the deal.

If you’re ordering an item for Christmas, be sure to check the site’s holiday shipping schedule and the product page to confirm your item will arrive in time with the free shipping method.

Sites offering free shipping with pre-Christmas delivery include Overstock, Walmart, Old Navy, Meijer, OfficeMax and Lowe’s.

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Save money by buying online and picking up items in the store

Whether you want a movie on DVD, a new vacuum cleaner, a replacement water heater or an Apple iPad2, your first inclination may be to run down to your local store and buy one. But taking this approach can lead you to miss out on savings you’d get by prepaying for the item online.

As I mentioned in a previous post, you can get cash back for transactions you conduct with many major retailers by starting your shopping at the Ebates website. By going to Ebates and purchasing your item online, you can get the cash back and still pick up the item at your local store. For example, this week I had to buy a new water heater. I went through Ebates to access the Lowe’s website, then purchased the item and elected “store pickup” at checkout. By doing so, I got $7.29 back that I wouldn’t have received if I’d simply driven to Lowe’s and bought the item off the shelf. If I’d preferred to earn miles for my purchase instead, I could have used the Delta Skymiles Shopping or a similar website to complete the same purchase.

Lowe’s isn’t the only company allowing you to buy items online and pick them up in the store the same day. You can also do this at Home Depot, AutoZone, ToysRUs, Finish Line, J&R and Walmart. Sears promises to have your item ready for you within five minutes. Best Buy says your order may be ready within 45 minutes. When possible, order early in the day or the night before you want to get the item so you can minimize your waiting time at the store.

Most stores send you an email confirmation of your purchase that you take with you when picking up the item, and they may send an additional email to tell you when the item is ready for pickup. Have your driver’s license handy in case the store wants to confirm your identity. Some websites give you the option of specifying other people who are authorized to pick up your order for you.

In addition to the cash back or frequent flyer miles you can earn for shopping online, you may also be able to apply Web-only discount coupons to your order.

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