Shopping Online

Robyn Dixon knows how to find a deal on the Internet.

By: Kim Forrest, Caleb Hannan

Robyn Dixon spends about half the year in Silver Spring and half in Oregon, where her husband, Juan—a former University of Maryland basketball star—is a guard for the Portland Trailblazers.

No matter where she is, Robyn has her computer at her side; her favorite hobby is finding bargains on the Internet.

“I like to receive packages,” she says. “It’s addictive.” She’s even got her husband into the game: “He shops online now, too.”

How she saves money: “If I see a Diane Von Furstenberg top I think is pretty, I’ll go to Google, type in the style name, and often a discount pops up.”

Her favorite sites: Toutie.com and Grechenscloset.com, sites that offer discount codes and coupons for other online boutiques—you might get 25 percent off or free shipping. Jessicastyle.com, which directs shoppers to styles like those singer Jessica Simpson has worn and offers discount codes.

Best deal: “These cute Marc Jacobs shoes. Originally they were $380, and I got 25 percent off, free shipping, and no tax.”

What she’s learned: If you create accounts at department and other boutique Web sites, they’ll send information on promotions and online sales.

Favorite brands: True Religion, Paige Premium Denim, Diane Von Furstenberg, Catherine Malandrino, Ella Moss, LaRok.

Her weakness: “Bags and shoes. I haven’t counted how many I have. Sometimes you can’t find designer shoes and bags for a discount, but I’ve gotten a 20-percent-off code from Saks Fifth Avenue, and I could get a hot ‘it’ bag with that. I like the Fendi Spy bag, Fendi B bag, Chloe, and Louis Vuitton. Sometimes I’ll dish out money for those when I’m in the store.”

What she won’t buy online: Jeans. “If I’ve tried them already, sometimes I’ll buy them online, but I like to try them on.” Also, beauty products: “I like to touch things and play around.”

Her favorite shops: Emily Grace in Rockville; “I’m friends with the owner. I could spend all day in there.” Also Neiman Marcus, Barneys Co-op, Intermix. “I miss the store experience. Sometimes I’ll pay full price just to be in the dressing room.”

Downside of Internet shopping: “This really cute top was back-ordered a month, but the company still charged my credit card. Another month went by and it was still back-ordered. I e-mailed the company and went to their site, but the site had been taken down. I called my bank and eventually got my money back.”

Advice for Web shoppers: “Use a credit card and you’ll be okay.”