Frequenting the Web saves students money

Spinnaker

Saving money never hurt anyone, especially college students who are almost always strapped for cash and looking for any way to spend a dime less.

Jonathan Lieberman, an entrepreneur in California, is making it a little easier for college students to save money. All that is required is the Internet, which hosts thousands of money-saving tips and services.

“I’ve always been a fan of getting a deal, and I wanted to create tools to help consumers do the same,” Lieberman said.

Three particular services Lieberman has created and operated for two years are ways to save money on shipping fees, gift certificates and products on eBay. He has generated three separate Web sites that each keep students in mind, as they tend to buy and sell online often, he said.

Cheaper snail mail

Mailing or receiving packages can be a pain, especially since the cost to ship something is almost the same price of the object being shipped.

UPS’ Web site allows one to determine the estimated cost of shipping, as the cost rises with the weight of the package and how quickly it needs to arrive.

But Lieberman’s Web site, freeshippingon.com, allows for free shipping on items purchased on the Web through a price comparison engine.

The Web site lets online shoppers find products with free shipping. It breaks down items into categories such as appliances, clothing and software and features more than 500 stores with free or discount online shipping.

Senior secondary education major Branden Adams is pleasantly surprised by the idea of a company taking interest in the financial struggles of students.

“I think it’s swell that a company is helping college students pinch pennies,” Adams said. “The shipping site will definitely be helpful.”

Gift card deals and steals

Another site, courtesy of Deal Locker, is buy-discount-gift-cards.com, and the deal is just as it sounds.

It searches through the thousands of gift certificates and gift cards people are selling for less than the value they’re worth on eBay. From clothing stores to movie theaters, gift certificates can be bought for up to 80 percent off and all are at least $5 less than the value they are worth.

The site is updated about every hour, by a code database.

Shop eBay for less

Students love finding necessities – especially textbooks – or just quirky wants on eBay at extremely low costs. Lieberman’s site, typobuddy.com, helps them find them even cheaper.

It works as a search tool to find misspelled eBay and Craigslist postings, which are often missed by other searchers and result in fewer bids. It’s also a nifty way to buy misspelled items and then re-sell them with the correct spelling to make money back, Lieberman said.

E-mail Sarah Gojekian at [email protected]