One of the best things about online shopping is the affordability. Most of the time, you can find items online for a much better price than in stores, even when you take into account the shipping costs. Furthermore, you can get even better deals when you know a few tips and tricks.
1. Purchase Items Used
Many items are as good used as they are brand new. For example, if you have your heart set on a new iPhone, you can save up to $200 by purchasing a lightly used phone. Be sure to do your homework before making the purchase, however, to ensure that the phone is in good condition and will be worth the investment.
2. Seek Free Shipping Deals
It’s often more affordable to buy items online than in person, but if you’re slapped with a $5 shipping charge per item, you won’t save any money. Look for online deals on company websites that offer free shipping. You can also subscribe to websites like FreeShipping.org, which offers thousands of free shipping coupons for major retailers like Target and Best Buy.
3. Shop on Deal Sites Rather than Company Websites
Many websites, like Overstock.com and AliExpress.com, take the surplus of a store’s stock and sell it at a discount. You can find great deals on brand name items without ever paying full price.
4. Know Where to Find Online Coupons
You don’t have to be a major couponer to find excellent deals. Simply subscribe to websites like Groupon, DealNews, Ben’s Bargains, Brad’s Deals, and Offers.com for current coupons and promo codes. These websites offer thousands of deals every month.
5. Track Prices for Items Before Buying
Try to eliminate the impulse-purchase mentality by always tracking prices before you buy. Most manufacturers sell products on different websites, so if you see a pair of shoes on the Macy’s website, check sites like Amazon and JCPenney to see if they have them for less. Don’t forget to take shipping costs into account!
6. Use Amazon’s Price Guarantee Services
A very little known shopping tool is Amazon’s Price Guarantee. This service promises that if the price drops on an item you purchased within a week of the transaction, the company will pay you the difference.
7. Purchase Gift Cards at a Discount
Gift cards aren’t just for friends and family on holidays. Many stores offer special promotions on gift cards, such as $5 dollars off a $25 gift card or a free item, when you purchase a card. If you shop there often, this is an excellent way to save.
8. Chat with a Sales Representative
Some companies have deals running that you might not know about. If you get on live chat, you can often convince the representative to share a coupon code that you can use at checkout.
9. Put the Credit Cards Away
A popular money-making scheme for retailers involves asking customers to apply for a credit card or rewards card in order to get a discount on their products. Avoid this temptation. This is a great deal if you know you can pay off your credit cards before the monthly deadline, but most people are unable to do so, and when they miss a payment, they’re hit with a high interest rate.
You’ll save much more in the long run by sticking with low-interest cards from your bank and paying full price for items.
10. Frequent Consumer Review Websites
Sites like PriceGrabber, Nextag, Epinions, and Bizrate can show you the current pricing for multiple online vendors. In addition, they can offer reviews for each item, so you know you’re getting the best bang for your buck. It only takes a few minutes to perform this research, but it can save you big on your online shopping endeavors.