Before you buy, first make sure you really need the item and if so how quickly you need it.  Think about it—impulse purchases can cost you a lot of money over time.  Spend a few minutes doing research on the Internet or talk to your friends before you buy.  Stores have a lot of pluses; primarily you can physically see an item and/or try it on.  Neighborhood stores are also easy to get to and return an item if necessary.  You also know who you are dealing with.  Hey, shopping with friends can be fun too!  There are lots of different types of stores you can purchase from.  Become familiar with your choices before you decide which one is right for you.  You will probably purchase from different store categories based on your budget, what they carry and which is closest to you.  Check out your different options, you might be surprised at what some stores carry.