One of my favorite things to do is online shopping. It’s easy and convenient. Is there anything better than having your purchases arrive on your doorstep, without having to deal with traffic and crowds to get them? With all of the advantages of online shopping, there is one disadvantage: saving money. It can be hard to shop without using a discount code or keeping track of how much you are spending. However, never fear, there are ways to add money to your wallet while shopping online.
- As with any type of shopping, always look for coupons first. Websites like couponmom.com and retailmenot.com are places to search for discount and promotional codes to use. Also, see if there is an option for free shipping. Sometimes when you sign up for a free trial membership on a website, there is free shipping for a certain amount of time. Another tactic is googling the online store with the words “coupon code.” Try finding several codes and then decide which one will help you save the most.
- Speaking of shipping, try to avoid the fees. If you spend a certain amount, the store will offer free shipping in return. Try to think of everything you might need and purchase at one time. If you can’t avoid the extra cost, add the shipping into your budget for the site. That way you won’t overspend.
- See if a retailer is on social media and give them a “like” or “follow.” Many merchants will post special sales and promotions on the sites.
- Sign up for a store’s email list for coupons and special offers. Some retailers will give you a discount just for signing up. Also, there are online only coupons.
- Some sites will allow you to “subscribe” for items you purchase often. In the future, you’ll save time with reordering and the site will give you a percentage off for being a frequent buyer.
- Just because you favor one website over another, doesn’t mean that site will always have the best buys. Research the product’s name on the Internet before making your final purchase. This way you’ll know where you are getting the best buy and a possible discount code could pop up. Also, don’t get hung up on one certain brand, especially if it is popular. Similar products can be just as good or better and might be less expensive.
- Plan out your shopping to where you shop a few days ahead of purchasing your items. For example, add the products to your shopping cart and then leave it alone for a few days. During that time, the retailer could let you know you haven’t completed your purchase. They might also provide you with a discount to persuade you to spend money on their site. Being patient can pay off.
- If possible, buy used. With items such as toiletries, food, and others, this is not an option. But with books, games, clothing, etc. most of the time, buying used will be a lower price than brand new. One time in college, I bought a used book for two cents, compared to over a hundred dollars brand new.
- If you do a lot of online shopping, create an alternative email address for that purpose only. Check the email often for deals and coupons. Also, this prevents junk mail from clogging up your main email address. Also, stores can give your address to other businesses to send you promotional material.
- When it comes to booking trips and cruises, there is a chance for last minute deals. Last minute booking sites will offer prices at low rates, due to it being the off-season or based on cancellations received.
- Lastly, if online shopping is your most common method of shopping, ask for gift cards during the holidays and for your birthday. It is like asking for a gift certificate to your favorite store, just online. Stack up your gift card with discount codes for extra savings on your favorite sites.
Online shopping can be fun, time-saving, and stress-free. Just don’t let your final total get away from you. The tips above will help prevent that and give you more chances to save.
Article originally published in Forsyth Magazines.