If you’re a shopper, then you’re probably always looking for great deals. Online shopping can provide a bunch of these if you know how to find them. The more you shop with savings in mind, the better you’ll become at tracking down the discounts and the best prices. Here are a few ideas to get you started saving money while shopping online.
Shopping online can have one pretty significant drawback. Items have to be shipped to you, and this often costs money, plenty of money depending on how much you buy. So to save some money, look for free shipping or at least discounted shipping rates, and purchase from stores that offer them as much as possible. Some businesses provide free shipping for orders over a particular amount. Others might periodically run discounts for a limited time. Know these things, and take advantage of them.
One of the best ways to save money when shopping online is to compare prices. Don’t merely assume that you’re getting the best deal from stores you regularly use. Rather, check several options. You might find a lower price for the same product, better shipping rates or ongoing promotions. That said, there is a benefit to shopping consistently at one place, especially when you’re getting good, fast service. You may even pay a bit more for that sometimes. But it never hurts to shop around.
Do be cautious, however. Make sure that any new store you try has secure check outs and a good customer service program. Try new stores with a small purchase first, and see how things go. If you’re satisfied, you can buy it again.
Sales can naturally save you money, so watch for them. Get on email lists so that you can find out about promotions from your favorite online stores. Frequently visit stores’ website and social media sites for the latest news, too. Check around for the best sales and discounts from your favorite shops, and keep an eye out for coupons. Sometimes you might even wait for a sale to come around if you don’t need to purchase an item right away.
Being a loyal customer can save you money, too. If you shop at a store quite a bit, see if it has a customer loyalty program. If so, sign up. You can often earn discounts or have access to special promotions and coupons. You’ll also get the latest news on price changes, shipping rates and other possibilities that can save you money.
These days there are apps that actually reward you for shopping online. Ibotta, for instance, will let you search for qualifying items that you can buy online and then reward you with cash back or gift cards. Over 300 stores are associated with Ibotta, so you’ll have plenty of shopping options. Take the time, though, to read all the fine print and fully understand how the service works so that you don’t run into surprises later on.
You might also earn cash back through your credit card. Some companies offer up to 5% for certain purchases with a sliding scale for others. Again, thoroughly study all the terms and conditions involved, and try to pay your credit card bill in full each month to avoid interest payments.
Finally, sometimes you can save money by simply waiting to purchase an item. Try to avoid impulse buys if you can. You might see something you like, think that you absolutely have to have it, buy it at once and never actually use it. So before you buy, take a step back. Think about whether you really need and will use whatever the item is. If the answer is “no,” don’t buy. If the answer is “maybe,” wait for a bit, and see if the price comes down.
There are plenty of ways you can save money when shopping online. Many of them take extra time and effort, but they may be worth it if you can keep a little more money in your bank account.