You Paid How Much? 12 Ways to Save Money When Shopping Online
It's no secret that I love to shop and it's also no secret that I love to save money. So how do these two loves exist harmoniously you ask? Normally, a magician would not reveal secrets such as these but I like y’all, so I’m spillin’ beans.
Warning: These tips could lead to saving money and random fits of celebratory dancing.
- Search and Save: This is my number one money saving secret. I never buy anything online without searching for a coupon/discount code first. Don’t miss out on savings because you didn’t check! Search sites like retailmenot.com and verified codes for any available coupon codes for the website you’re shopping on.
- Get on the List: Sign up for the mailing lists of the brands you love and you’ll be the first to know about promotions and deals. Some retailers even offer pre-sale deals exclusively for members. This can get to be a little bit much if you shop online as much as I do. If you want the deals but don’t want to be bothered by the constant emails, you can either set email filters to send subscription emails to a specific box or (like I did) set up a completely separate email address specifically for subscriptions/memberships.
- Be Social: “Like” and follow your favorite retailers on the Facebook and the Twitters (yes, I meant to do that). Retailers frequently post special coupons or announce sales first via social media.
- It Pays to be Loyal: Join the loyalty programs for your favorite stores (and use your loyalty number every time you shop). You can earn points, cash back or discounts toward future purchases.
- Get Cash Back: Sites like Ebates and FatWallet offer gift cards and cash back just for shopping online. Also check out Ca$hReporter to find out which sites have the best rebate. A.K.A. getting money for doing what you were gonna do anyway.
- Reward Yourself: Most of us know that you can earn points or miles on purchases with most credit cards, but did you know that lots of banks have similar programs? Find out if your bank offers a points or rewards program and cash those points in for cash or other goodies. Hubs and I use our points for movie tickets and restaurant gift cards. #DateNight
- Do a Little Leg Work: If the online store has a location near you, opt for site to store shipping. Most retailers offer this option free of charge so you not only save on shipping, you get your item right away. #InstantGratification
- Stacks on stacks: “Stacking” coupon codes just means using more than one at a time (you can do this in-store as well but that’s another post). The key to staking is to enter the codes in the right order to get the most savings, for example: $99-15%-$15=69.15 vs. $99-$15-15%=$71.40. It’s not a HUGE difference but those couple of bucks can add up. Sometimes offers/coupon codes can’t be used together, but you might be able to stack coupons with sales.
- Compare: Search for the item you’re looking for on sites like Google Shopping. Compare in-store vs online prices.
- While you’re at it…: Check eBay for the item you’re looking for. You’d be surprised at how many incredible deals you can get on brand new, never been worn stuff. Case in point: This J. Crew Stone burst necklace is $165 on their site but I found it on Ebay for $60. #VoilaMagic
- Haggle: What? How do you haggle online? Ditch your shopping cart. If you don’t have any time sensitive coupon codes and the item isn’t on sale, you may be able to get a discount on items “forgotten” in your cart. Just add items to your online shopping cart and leave them there. Seriously. Log off and go on about your biz. Some sites will email you to let you know that you’ve left items in your cart and may offer you a little incentive to go ahead and take the plunge. #Winning
- Ask and ye shall receive discounts: If playing a game of shopping cart chicken doesn’t tickle your fancy, A lot of retailers offer discounts in store for military, AAA members, students, etc. but there’s no way to take advantage of those perks online. Solve this problem with a quick chat with customer service. Even if you don’t qualify for any special discounts, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Those are all the beans I've got to spill for now. Feel free to celebrate with a happy dance.
What say you? How do you get your save on when shopping online?
Let me know in the comments!