7 Ways to save money shopping online
Online shopping has heavily increased over the past ten years and now accounts for a huge percentage of all shopping. We all know the benefits of shopping online instead of going to a brick-and-mortar store, but are you always getting the best deal? Here are some ways to save money while shopping online.
This is the same advice I would give if you were going to a traditional retail store: always compare prices. The Internet has made this incredibly simple; there are browser extensions that, in the spirit of billcutterz.com, will do the work for you. Price Blink has an extension for both Firefox and Chrome and is one of the best rated shopping extensions. You can also use Google Shopping to compare products and prices from many different online merchants.
Try before you buy
One of the downfalls of online shopping is that you don’t get to try products before purchasing them. There are no floor models and no test dummies. If you are trying a new product and want to get a feel for it, take a trip to a local store and see the product in person. This will cut down on costly returns and wasting time on products that won’t work for you.
The internet is filled with promotional codes and coupons for various retailers. To take advantage of these great discounts, look on Retail Me Not, Slick Deals or any number of other coupon sites. If you can’t find anything, search Google for “merchant promo code” or “merchant coupon”. Also check out FreeShipping.org to find free shipping codes.
Take advantage of rewards programs, whether it be through your credit card, debit card or places like Swag Bucks, eBates or FatWallet. You can earn points or cash back while purchasing something you were going to buy anyway. The trick is to make sure you don’t overbuy just to get the rewards or you’ll end up spending more money than you meant to.
Wait for sales
If your purchase isn’t time sensitive, you will really benefit from waiting for a sale. There are many websites that will watch a product until it goes on sale and then notify you of the price drop. Shopping Notes and Shop it to Me can watch any products across the web, but Price Needle only searches the Amazon haystack.
Many online retailers will price match with themselves if the product you purchased goes on sale within a certain time period. Use a service like Price Protectr to be notified if an item you bought goes on sale.
Sign up for newsletters
Almost every online merchant has a newsletter, whether it’s daily, weekly, or periodic. Sign up for newsletters of stores you frequent to be notified of great deals. Often, they’ll send you a promotional code to save even more. It definitely pays to subscribe to these newsletters.