17
Aug

Log Rhythms: Favorite Online Vendors…

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While the hubby and the rest of the family have worked on the more skilled and engineered part of the cabin, I have been spending a lot of time finding various fixtures and features for the cabin. Because of my varied work history, I am a rather savvy Internet shopper.

I can take one look at a site and tell if I’m about to be scammed. I have little patience for slow loading sites with few filters and no way to compare items. If a site doesn’t post the item prices, I’m irritated by such Internet snobbiness!

Today I’m noting some of my favorites and why I love them. Here are my “idea sites”:

  • For just giving me ideas on everything “cabin,” I love houzz.com. It’s the architectural version of Pinterest, but also allows you to shop for things seen in various photos. Some of the lighting for the cabin is, indeed, coming from houzz.com. The app is also easy to use!
  • Houseofantiquehardware.com is great for figuring out what is typical of a particular style. I am in love with the Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired arts and craftsman style. So, when I want to know what would have typical in the arts and craftsman era, I go to this site for learning what was typical of the style. You can do that with just about any “retro” theme there. The prices are high, but if you want the replicated real deal, this is the site.
  • Signaturehardware.com is also expensive. But similar to houseofantiquehardware.com, I often find the one and only thing I can’t live without there.

 

Often I don’t know the proper search term for the item I want. By using the sites above, I often learn the term. This happened just yesterday when I learned that I was hunting for a barn light without a goose neck. Yes, I’m serious. I would never have known that otherwise!

For the cheapest price, I highly recommend these sites:

  • Build.com has: lighting, plumbing, HVAC, cabinetry, hardware, decor, flooring and appliances. I just recently joined build.com’s loyalty program and I am already at the Silver level. This gives me a 1.5% discount on lighting, a 5% discount on non-lighting items, $ 25 towards two-day shipping (even though standard shipping is free after spending $49), and $ 25 off my next purchase. I’m 40% of the way to their next level and it was pretty effortless. Build’s sister sites, lightingdirect.com and faucetdirect.com are also worth visiting.
  • Lowes.com – Everyone is familiar with Lowe’s, but their programs and web site are also worth the time. If you already know what you want, you can easily research and compare features and get things shipped to your building site, home or nearest store reasonably. Also, if the closest store doesn’t have the entire number you need, you can easily find how many are in other nearby stores. While this number isn’t always accurate, it keeps you from putting fruitless mileage on your car.

 

Lowe’s 5% off credit card program has been worth the hassle of another card. It often makes Lowe’s the cheapest. If you join the MyLowes program, Lowe’s will keep a record of everything you purchase there.  Thus, it’s easy to find the brand name and color of what you purchased 5 years ago. It’s your “home improvement brain.”

  • Efaucets.com has more than faucets–they feature all kinds of lighting and anything needed for a kitchen or bath. With free shipping on anything over $ 99, it’s easy to save a bundle. Like many online sites, your builder may be able to secure bigger discounts at efaucets.com and they often suggest calling them for the best price.

 

For specific items, I like:

  • Buyfloorregisters.com is just for floor register covers. Who knew? While not a glamorous site, one can easily find odd sizes and decorative register covers at reasonable prices.
  • Marbleandgranite.com allows me to find unusual colors and patterns I never knew existed. However, when serious about buying, I recommend visiting the marble/granite place of your choice and inspecting the slabs personally.
  • Cliqstudios.com will step you through building semi-custom cabinets in a user-friendly way. If nothing else, it’s smart to check their prices and to find styles and colors you like.

 

These two sites are my mega-search engine faves and they are no surprise to most:

  • Smile.amazon.com! After installing the Amazon button in my browser bar, Amazon automatically searches for the very same item on its site as I’m investigating that item elsewhere and pops up its price on my current screen with no effort! They have “won” quite a few of my purchases since I’m a fan of their Prime program with 2 day free shipping and beat the price of their online competitors. If the price is the same, I just “X” out of their small bar. But honestly? It’s so small that it’s not usually in my way.

 

Why smile.amazon.com? Because a portion of your purchases go to your favorite charity just by shopping on their site! May I suggest that you select Compassion Counseling Center as your charity? But you have to go to the smile.amazon.com site in order for this to happen, so make sure you do!

  • On Google.com I type in “cheapest price on xxx” (as detailed as I can be) and Google pops up (on the right side of my screen) the cheapest prices on the net. Plus, the search results allow me to discover even more sites to consider.

 

The hubby (quite the bargain shopper himself) signed up for a Discover card so we could get their rebates on everything we buy and through September 30th, that goes up to 5% back! So wherever I can use a Discover card, I’m also getting 5% back on top of the discounts above! Let’s just say we’re making a lot of purchases via Discover right now.

In my mother’s day, I would have worn out multiple pairs of sneakers and used a lot of gas looking for this stuff; now, it’s a keystroke away. Is it time-consuming? Oh, heck yes. (I don’t just search these sites–I have others!) The savings are significant–One site sold an item for $ 419. With loyalty discounts, it was $ 370. Amazon popped up with its’ price at $ 286! I used Discover and saved a total of $ 147.30 with free two-day shipping in just a few short minutes!

Now I’m using my sneakers on my treadmill from being an Internet couch potato. 😉

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 17th, 2016 at 2:30 pm and is filed under Log Rhythms. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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