Shopping online can be quick and convenient, but it can also be pricey. Luckily, there are various tricks to help you cut costs. Take it from me—someone who’s on a first-name basis with the UPS man, but rarely pays full price or shipping costs when I purchase an item on the Internet. Here are 13 tips for getting the best deals when shopping online:
- 1. Hunt for coupons: Always search for coupons before making a purchase. Sites like couponcraze.com and couponmom.com have tons of coupon codes for all types of retailers, from small online merchants to large chain stores.
- My favorite coupon site is retailmenot.com, which posts codes for more than 65,000 online merchants. Recent codes included 20 percent off at bathandbodyworks.com, $10 off a $70 order at sears.com, and 30 percent off a purchase plus free shipping at landsend.com.
- 2. Use social networking: “Like” your favorite retailers on Facebook. Many merchants, including the Gap and Banana Republic, post special coupons or announce sales first on their Facebook pages.
- Use Cashback Programs. Most of the programs have minimum amounts before you can cashout. We limit the number of programs we use to keep the checks coming. Our favorites are Upromise, Mr. Rebates, Big Crumbs, and Ebates. You can also Join MyPoints for additional rewards.
- Maximize the cashback. Each store uses different programs, the cashback amounts vary, and the programs change over time. That’s where evrewards comes in handy! Search the store you are shopping at to determine the best program currently offered for each retailer.
- Locate the best Internet price. Use Froogle to search for your item by price. Watch out for shipping though (and Christmas Shipping Deadlines). Many times you need to actually go to the site, or place the item in your cart to find out the exact shipping cost.
- Use a rebate credit card. Use one that earns rebates to make your purchase.
- Find sales and coupons. Use Naughty codes to check for current offers by stores or DealHunting.com.
- Ship the gift directly. Send directly to the recipient to avoid paying to ship it again or travel with gifts. Many places offer gift-wrap, eliminating another step.
- Request a price adjustment. Watch the prices after you purchase and get an adjustment if the prices go down. Price Protectr, even does it for you! It will email you if the price drops.
- Utilize deal sites. To find rock bottom prices try slickdeals, Ben’s Bargains, and Fatwallet.
- Use a one-time use credit card number. If your company offers it, like FIA does, generate a one-time use number if you are concerned about purchasing items online.
- Watch your time. You could spend all day searching to make sure you get the very best price on each item on your list. Realistically, sometimes you just need to actually purchase the items and move on to other things on your list!
If you have more tips for getting great deals shopping online, feel free to post them in the comments!