Everyone loves saving money, but not everyone knows exactly how to save money while shopping online. The number of people choosing to shop online increases daily, so finding online deals is more important than ever.
You probably have that one friend who always gets the best deals on everything. Perhaps he or she knows some of the tips included below. Keep reading to learn how to become the person that everyone else envies for your money-saving skills.
Your smartphone can be your greatest source of online shopping deals. Nearly every major retailer and restaurant has an app that includes coupons and other money-saving deals. Some apps keep track of your purchases and reward you with free merchandise when you spend a certain amount at their stores. Apps can also be handy for finding the nearest location of your favorite shops, as the devices use beacon technology to pinpoint your location.
If you prefer not to download an app or do not have room for it on your phone, then sign up for emailed newsletters or fliers from your favorite stores. Many include weekly coupons and all of them notify you of current sales and deals. Email notifications to members who have signed up often receive first notice of the best online coupons.
The internet is full of coupon sites that include coupon codes, free shipping and other offers that you may not find otherwise. Before clicking “submit” on any online purchase, do a search for the store’s name plus “coupon code” and the current year to see what pops up.
Coupon sites include codes for all types of online purchases, from personal and home need items to travel and entertainment. Most coupon sites offer a free subscription service, where deals appear in your inbox on a regular basis. Many coupon websites have their own apps that can be used like other apps described above.
Bargain bloggers make a living through ad revenue by sharing money saving tips online. Some bloggers update their sites several times a day with the most current online shopping offers, coupon codes and deals in brick-and-mortar stores, informing followers of the best times to shop online or in person. Many bargain bloggers and other “dealhounds” also tweet new deals throughout the day, so if you do not have a Twitter account, this is the perfect reason to create one. If you do have an existing Twitter account, then you may want to open a new one and use it only to subscribe to bargain-hunting bloggers.
Another way bargain bloggers help you save money is by offering contests and product giveaways on their blogs. Many bargain bloggers receive free products to review and companies often give them additional products, tickets or other merchandise to give away to their readers. Be sure to enter as many giveaways as you can. Sometimes these contests have a surprisingly low number of entries, which increases your chances of winning the prize.
Your favorite credit card may provide access to special, members-only deals online. These could be discounts on certain items, earning airline travel miles or receiving cash back on certain purchases. In addition to taking advantage of the special deals, you can often earn extra credit card reward points for purchasing these items with your card. In that way, you essentially double your savings.
This may not be possible if you are pressed for time, but it can be a legitimate pathway to online savings. As you may have noticed if you have been shopping online for a while, many retailers will email you an offer to come back and purchase items that you left in your cart. You can use this common practice to your advantage. Simply go to the website, put what you want into the shopping cart, then close the browser window without completing the purchase. Wait a day or two, then return to the site. Chances are that you will find an offer in your inbox to sweeten the deal. Most commonly, these offers provide a discount on the specific products in your cart, sometimes doubled with free shipping or with rebate or cash-back offer. Reload your cart, apply the offer, check out and enjoy the savings.
As shipping costs creep up over time, the value of getting a free shipping code increases. One of the latest online saving strategies is to look for purchases with free shipping. Not paying for shipping can be the equivalent of a 10 percent discount on your overall purchase. However, this is not always the case. You may be able to find the same product at another online retailer for a lower price that beats the value of a free shipping offer.
Many large online retailers offer flat-rate shipping subscription services when you pay an annual fee to receive “free” shipping on every purchase. Naturally, this can be a good deal for some people. However, it can also be a waste of money for those who fail to shop frequently enough at that website. How can you determine if an annual shipping fee plan is right for you? Divide the fee by 12 and see if that figure represents how much you normally spend each month on shipping products from that retailer. Note that certain subscription services offer a lot of benefits other than shipping, including free music and video streaming services, discounts on merchandise and the convenience of one-click shopping.
Many retailers offer special discounts to new customers. If you can only find your favorite brands at a certain retailer, then sometimes you can obtain “new” customer discounts by using a different browser. For example, if you normally use Firefox to shop online, then try visiting these stores on Chrome. The company may recognize you as a new customer, but you often have to complete your purchase with a different email and credit card than the ones you normally use. Clearing your cookies after shopping can also help you receive new customer discounts.
Signing up for regular emails from your favorite retailers can save you money because subscribers learn about sales and discounts before the general public finds out. If this results in an overstuffed inbox, then create a separate email account exclusively for shopping deals.