My work in the incontinence arena involves many different aspects. One of the best things, I think, is that I get to hear about all kinds of creative new medicines, surgeries, and devices for incontinence. In fact, next year The Simon Foundation is hosting a conference titled, “Innovating for Continence: The Engineering Challenge” to bring together enthusiastic engineers to brainstorm new ideas for aiding those with incontinence. Everyone chooses to handle their incontinence a little differently, because every person leads a slightly different life and has slightly different needs. There are so many different ways to manage incontinence that I’ve decided to write a “Product Overview” every six weeks or so. I can’t possibly cover all the products and treatment or management options in one blog, so I ask your patience in bearing with me, as I try to write about this one piece at a time.
I love shopping online and what could be better to order from the privacy of your own home to have delivered right to your door than incontinence products? As with anything on the Internet, figuring out where the best deal can be found for online incontinence products isn’t always easy. In today’s blog, I’m going to write a little bit about how to comparison shop online.
When shopping online there is seldom a clear “best choice,” because it all depends on what your specific needs are. To get started with shopping online, try going to a search engine, such as Google or Yahoo, and typing in “incontinence products” in the keyword search box. Many different companies and Web sites will show up on your screen. Before you start clicking away, take advantage of the information presented by the search engine to figure out the best options before you waste time waiting for a page to load. Almost every search engine will give you a short description of the Web site listed. The search engine Ask.com has a special feature that’s great. When you do a keyword search, ask.com lists all the Web sites just like any other search engine. But next to each listing (on the very left) is a pair of binoculars. If you just hover over the binoculars a little picture of the homepage for that Web site will appear. Don’t click on the binoculars or you’ll go directly to the page.
Generally, the more specific your keywords are, the better the search engine results. If you are just starting out with shopping for products and don’t quite know what you want, I suggest you try the keywords “incontinence products,” as I mentioned above. If you know what products you like, use the name of the product in the keyword search. If you know you’re looking for absorbent products, type in “absorbent incontinence products.” If you know what brand you like to use, type that in as well.
When you start to actually comparison shop between sites, the first thing you should consider is the ease with which you can navigate the Web site. If you go to a Web site that looks overwhelming, or you can’t quickly locate the products you are looking for, simply go back to the search engine and try another site. Once you find a few sites you like that carry your product, jot down the prices from each site on a piece of paper. Many companies ship by the case, but each company might have a different number of products in the case. I usually divide the cost per case by the number of pieces per case so that I can see how much each piece is costing me. This makes it much easier to compare prices between Web sites. Of course, if you are dealing with incontinence on a temporary basis, or want to try a new product, you may want to order a smaller case to save money overall, even if the per-piece price is slightly higher.
Don’t make a decision based on the listed price alone. Once you’ve priced your products on a few sites, “pretend” to purchase the product. Click whatever buttons you need to for adding the product to your cart and proceeding with the check-out. Usually the check-out procedure is how you find out about special deals or incentives, sales tax or shipping charges. Just don’t give out your billing information! Take these extra prices or incentives into account when comparing prices. Some Web sites will ship for free, and others charge up to $15 or $20- this can make quite a difference in the overall cost of your order.
Finally, follow your gut. Unfortunately there are some companies and Web sites out there that are trying to scam people. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. Look for a phone number for the company on the Web site and try calling it before you give out any personal information online. If you’re not comfortable giving out your credit card info online, you can still use the Web site to see product lines and pictures of products and then call the company to place your order. Most companies have a toll-free line for placing orders. And of course this wouldn’t be a complete blog by Jasmine if I didn’t mention my old mantra… “See your doctor!” It’s easy to order products online or by phone without ever talking to anyone about it, but that doesn’t mean you should do it. If you’re experiencing incontinence talk to a doctor who is interested and knowledgeable to get everything checked out. Once you get the go-ahead from the doc… happy shopping!
Published On: June 07, 2006