Almost everything is cheaper online. But cheaper isn’t good enough. Finding the cheapest that gives you the best value can help your small business save money shopping online and make your bottom line bigger.
After all, purchases are just plain better when you know you’ve snagged an amazing deal.
The next time you’re shopping online, don’t take the estimated total at face value. There are a variety of sneaky ways to save money online shopping, even if the price tag seems like a sure thing. And considering how easy it is to dramatically lower prices online, there’s no excuse not to take advantage of these hidden shopping secrets.
It’s time to save big, no matter what you’re buying. Your personal finances will thank you. Here are 10 ways to save money online shopping.
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1. Download the Honey Extension
While coupon sites are worth your time – and they tend to offer more than just coupons — Honey can automate the process. It’s a browser extension that contains a dynamic list of coupon codes and other special discounts. Rather than finding them yourself, Honey can do the work for you.
Once downloaded, go ahead and make an online purchase. Honey will pop up and run a quick scan, applying any relevant discounts. Saving money is literally as easy and installing the extension!
2. Wait on Carted Items
Most retailers will save your online shopping cart. There’s no timeline to finalize your purchase. If you’re shopping online and come across something you wish was a bit cheaper, throw it in the cart!
You’ll likely receive a price drop notification through your email if one of the carted items goes on sale. Even better, some retailers offer exclusive discounts when you create a shopping cart but don’t go through with the sale. Give it a week or two and you could snag 10% off or more for your patience.
3. Enjoy Convenient Rebates
Rebates would be great if you didn’t have to worry about mailing in barcodes and waiting for your cash back.
You’ll still have to wait about a month for your check to arrive through the mail, but it’s faster and seamless than old mail-in rebates.
4. Check Out Through Ebates
Wherever you’re shopping, you can probably find a discount for the retailer on Ebates (affiliate link). This shopping portal gives you a tidy cash incentive for signing up. You sign in, choose the retailer of your choice, and enjoy the stated cash back rewards.
These vary from time to time, so it’s worth looking at the most recent offers. Typically, you’ll score 3% on most purchases. But some of the best deals can swing up to a whopping 40 percent.
5. Visit Coupon Sites
Why travel to a coupon hub if you have apps like Honey and Ebates? Some offers are exclusive to these sites. Groupon is by far the most popular.
With Groupon, the idea is these offers are only available if a certain amount of people sign up for the deal. That’s why it’s not something that can be applied to a checkout cart. You may not find exactly what you’re looking for on the front page of Groupon, but you can find unexpected deals, like 50 percent off a Sam’s Club membership.
6. Shop Seasonal
Don’t need something right away? Don’t buy it! The best way to shop online is to plan your purchases according to the season.
For example, you can expect massive discounts on most items after Black Friday. Now with Amazon Prime Day gaining popularity, it’s not uncommon for mainstream outlets to offer their own mid-summer sales.
If it’s not an essential purchase, save your money and enjoy bulk savings when the seasonal sales go live.
7. Become an Email Subscriber
As part of a popular marketing strategy, retailers encourage shoppers to sign up for their email newsletters. Incentives can vary, but usually, you can expect an exclusive one-time email discount.
Plus, retailers will always include the latest deals and newest products on their newsletters. This can help you stay on top of the latest sales without missing out on something worthwhile.
8. Skip Shipping
Shopping online is cheap. Shipping isn’t. But what if you could avoid shipping fees altogether?
Let’s say you’re buying something online from a popular retailer, such as Target. Don’t waste your money on shipping fees. Instead, order for an in-store pickup.
Well, why not shop at the store instead? Because most of the time, the online website will offer a lower price than the in-store item.
9. Compare Retailers
If you’re looking for something available from multiple retailers, how do you know you’re getting the best deal? It’s simple: compare them through a price comparison website.
Price comparison websites ensure you get the lowest price for generic items. Google Shopping is the most popular comparison website, but keep in mind some niche storefronts may not appear in the system.
Plenty of extensions offer price comparison tools, but it’s still a good idea to get a second opinion. These apps aren’t always as accurate as you’d like.
10. Use Your Credit Card
There are several ways to pay for online purchases. Gift cards, credit cards, and PayPal are all common options. But to save money online, you should prioritize your credit card whenever possible.
This assumes your credit card offers a flat cash back bonus. One percent cash back may not seem like a lot, but you’re leaving money on the table if you go through PayPal instead — especially if your PayPal is hooked up to your credit card anyway.
It’s Easy to Save Money Online Shopping
With these tips for shopping online in your pocket, you can always shave a little off the final checkout price. Taking advantage of rebates, coupons, or cash back is often as simple as downloading an extension or logging in through a shopping portal.
Who knew it was so easy to save money online shopping?