6 Ways to Save Money When Shopping Online
There’s a lot to like about shopping online. It’s quick and convenient. You don’t have to deal with driving to the store, pushing through crowds or settling for merchandise in less-than-perfect condition. The downside is that online shopping can be almost too easy, and may lead to overspending.
The key here is to shop only when you really need something, rather than doing so out of boredom or for stress relief. And of course, when you do choose to shop online, you want to save as much money as possible. These six tips will help you save more money when shopping online.
Find Promo or Coupon Codes
Never, ever hit ‘submit order’ before you check for a coupon code. Whether it’s a percentage off, BOGO deal, free shipping or even just free samples, you always want to take advantage of any offers available. Sites like Retail Me Not, Coupon Cabin and Savings.com keep constantly updated lists of current coupon codes for thousands of shopping sites.
Get Cash Back
Install a browser extension such as Ebates or Honey to receive cash back on purchases from participating retailers. All you have to do is remember to activate the extension at the start of each shopping trip and you’ll get your cash back credit, along with savings from any active coupons or promotions.
Use Store Pick-up or Ship-to-Store
If you need items quickly, or can’t get free shipping, consider ordering online, then picking up your items at the store. Some stores even offer same-day pickup on in-stock items. It’s like getting the best of both worlds. You can shop online for savings and convenience, and then pick up your items to begin using them right away.
Stack Your Savings
You’ll save the most money shopping online when you stack your savings. What does that mean, exactly? You’ll want to make your purchases when the items you want are on sale, and when you can add additional savings with a coupon code and get cash, back too. Also, be on the lookout for stores that allow you to use more than one coupon code at a time to save even more.
Shop with Discounted Gift Cards
This strategy takes a bit of advance planning, but it’s well worth it. Sites like Gift Card Granny and Raise offer discounted gift cards to thousands of retailers. The discounts vary, but as of this writing, Target gift cards were available for almost 3% off, while J. Crew gift cards were an impressive 13% off. Shopping with discounted gift cards is one more way to stack up the savings when shopping online.
Hit the Clearance Section
Just like brick-and-mortar stores hide their clearance sections in back, online retailers don’t always make their clearance areas easy to find. But rest assured they all have one. Sites will always dazzle you with the latest and greatest on their home pages, but if you can find what you want on clearance and use coupon codes, you’ll save the most. Just be aware that you may run into ‘final sale’ items in the clearance section, so be sure it’s what you really want before you order.