As Christmas is approaching this week, you may, like me, be considering purchasing several presents online. I order almost 80% of presents online since most sites offer free shipping and I can avoid all the holiday stress of trying to hunt down that perfect gift in the store. If you will be ordering gifts online this week, I hope these helpful tips may help you.
- Before placing the order, always look for a promotional or discount code online. Most sites have promotional codes that are available for you to use if you look for them. I never pay for shipping and usually always find a code for free shipping by typing in Google the store name and discount code. Also, some sites offer major discounts if you are able to find the right code online. com is a great website to help you find a discount/promotional code.
- Also, before placing the order online, make sure you understand and know the return policy. You don’t want to have gifts ordered online to discover that you are unable to return them if the receiving party does not like the gift. Some sites offer extended return dates but you may have to pay shipping costs to return the product so be careful.
- If you make a lot of purchases online through Amazon, then becoming an Amazon Prime member may be very beneficial to you. Amazon offers a free 30 day trial that you can extend for $99 for a year. The benefits of being an Amazon Prime member include:
- Getting free two-day shipping on qualified purchases
- Access to unlimited movies and tv shows
- Unlimited music streaming
- Free unlimited photo storage
- Access to over 500,000 free books
- Try to use the same debit card/credit card to make your purchases so your spending does not get out of control. If you use multiple cards, it is very easy to lose track of how much you are spending.
- Never place your online order on a public WiFi. Believe it or not, there are hackers that look for your financial data (credit card numbers) on public WiFi networks and will use them in the future to make fraudulent purchases.
- Keep in mind that in Alabama, a use tax (usually 4%) is due on any online out-of-state purchases that you have shipped to Alabama. Currently, the Alabama Department of Revenue is not doing much to monitor these purchases, unless you are one of the unlucky ones chosen for an audit by the State of Alabama. I like making my purchases through Amazon because you are able to review all orders made in the prior year to account for those purchases on your Alabama tax return.
From all of us at Bond & Botes, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Mary Pool is a shareholder of the Bond & Botes Law Offices in Montgomery and Opelika, Alabama. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Auburn University at Montgomery, and a Juris Doctorate from Faulkner University’s Jones School of Law. She has represented thousands of clients over her more than 11 years working in the bankruptcy field. Read her full bio here.