A year or so back I had to buy some tyres online for my vehicle.
I had to buy them online because I required 2 different sizes and they had to be run-flat tyres...which were proving impossible to source by my local tyre dealer at the time.
I purchased a weird brand based on reviews which overwhelmingly said they were value for money. They were cheaper by some margin, not perfect, but good value for money. SOLD!
So flash forward to a a couple of months back and our other car needed new tyres. I went straight online to the same place I bought the last tyres but this time the savings weren't clear cut.
I prefer to buy local and support small business. So I rang my local guy and amazingly he was able to do what I wanted for near-as-damn-it the same price (read "slightly cheaper" when fitted etc.). SOLD!
For a long time I have noticed that online auction sites like eBay and so on really haven't been cheap.
In the early days everyone was excited about being able to get what they wanted for an amazing price.
But when I looked into it a bit, I could see that items that should really have had a reasonable value, in a global market, really didn't and that rubbish items were terribly overpriced.
Good if you are selling rubbish, not so good if you are selling a collectable.
My reasoning is that your "rare collectible" isn't so rare when you plug it into a global market. It probably was and is when you buy or sell at your local antique store, but compared to the whole world there'll usually be at least a few competing items.
As for crap, it is hardly worth the effort to sell online. But people do and as a result the prices tend to be inflated "just because"...just because everyone needs it, just because it really is still cheap (though not as cheap as you'd probably see it in a store)...then add postage.
A friend of mine is a bit of a tight-arse. He admits it. I am not saying anything about him that he hasn't said.
He told me that whenever he gets to an online check-out that has a promo code field on it, he Googles promo codes for that shop and plugs them in. He often gets a discount.
I guess I knew this but I am not quite that tight i.e. I am usually at the checkout when I am already happy to pay the price.
But recently i tried it. US dollar rates and all, and I managed to get a 20% discount on some items I needed. 20% off the whole cart.
That's not to be sneezed at no matter the status of your arse!
However, you need to be quite careful with your hunt for these codes and their ilk.
It is in the realms of greed and "too good to be true" that bad things lurk. Viruses, malware, malicious web sites and so on.
So be skeptical and careful with your Promo Code hunting.
Don't sign up for anything that promises you anything. Don't enter private details, email address or phone number on the promise of a discount.
If the promo code isn't in plain sight, then give it a miss.
If you are unsure, give it a miss.
The few bucks you save (probably won't though) could end up costing you a lot more in computer virus clean up, time and lost data.
Online isn't always cheaper. Shop local. Support your community :-)