Have you ever splurged on shopping in the middle of the night? I bet you have, because most of us have done it at some point. With the incredible convenience online shopping offers us, it is very easy to find yourself spending way more than you should.
When shopping in real life, you can save money by going to the cheapest store in vicinity or haggle, even. This can be very different (or downright impossible) when shopping online. The amount of items you find on the internet is impressive and overwhelming.
So…. how do I save money when shopping online?
There are a few simple tricks one can use to save a few bucks online. Here are 10 ways to save money when shopping online:
As I mentioned earlier, it can be very difficult to compare prices when you have such a large number of options. Luckily, there are ways how you can spot the best deal. Sites like Bizrate, list the different prices from different places of the item you are looking for. This way you can effectively compare the best offers on one site, you just need to search what you are looking for.
Price – drop refunds
Using sites like Camelcamelcamel (a free amazon price tracker), you can add your wanted items on a wish list, then you get notified when there is a price drop for the item. If you are eyeing something but it’s out of your price range, add it on the site and it will let you know when you can get it at your desired price.
Use coupons or get cash back
Coupons are a basic way of saving money when shopping. Websites like Vouchercloud and Retailmenot, offer a number of coupons from different retailers. Just like in real life, most retailers will only let you use 1 coupon per sale but there is a way around this. When buying your next order try entering a percentage off coupon first then add a “dollar” off coupon. This way both coupons should be allowed and you get 2 discounts. (p.s. This method might not work with every online shop. An other option is to use sites like Ebates and Topcashback to get a percentage of your purchase money back.
Look for sales or day deals
An other traditional/basic way of saving money when shopping, is to wait for sale periods. Buy you new winter clothes in January or your Summer clothes in September and you’ll be sure to get the same items for half the price (or double the clothes ;). Keep on the look for day deals throughout the year. Day deals are a type of sale or offer one day per week every week, for example 20% off books every Thursday.
Online shops also have online mail. By subscribing to their news letter, you will most probably be sent exclusive discount codes and will be alerted about new offers and sales. One downside of this is that your email might be full of clutter. (Thankfully, unroll.me comes in and sweeps it up for you!).
Join loyalty programs
Some retailers offer loyalty programs, which are basically a point reward system. Each time you purchase something, you get rewarded a predetermined amount of points. Once you have enough points, you can redeem them and get discounts/items from the brand. You can ask your favourite retailers (through customer care) if they offer this service and if so, they’ll guide you on how to apply.
Save on shipping
When shopping online, you need to keep in mind that there will most probably be added shipping costs. When exceeding a certain amount, some retailers offer free shipping to selected countries. Sellers on sites like Ebay might also offer free shipping. But if free shipping is not an option, you might want to consider joining orders ( from different people) and splitting the shipping costs. This is only useful if the shipping charge is constant, no matter the weight of the package.
Follow on social media
Social media is everywhere, you know it, I know it and the brands know it. Brands tend to share offers and deals through their social media. So like and follow to get the best exclusive deals.
Leave the cart open
I don’t know about you, but whenever I add stuff to a cart I get this urge to finish the purchase instantly. Well, don’t do it! When you’ve added your items to the cart, save it and leave it open for a couple of days. Not only will this help you cool down and not buy the unneccessary stuff, but you might also get a discount from it. Shops want to sell so if you leave your cart open they will be prompted to send you a code or a freebie to seal the deal. Believe it or not this actually happens.
Deals don’t just happen to anyone. Sometimes you have to go ask for them yourself! Reach out to customer care by sending a polite email asking whether they have any offers or where you can find discount codes. Most sites will definitely answer your questions.
Shopping doesn’t have to be an extravaganza , you just need to find a balance. Use the above strategies to decrease your shopping expenditure to a point where you can add it to your monthly budget.
Do you need help coming up with an achievable budget? Follow this simple method.
Do you have any other online shopping tricks you’d like to share? Or have you tried the above? Let’s talk in the comments!