You can buy about anything online these days. From cars to groceries, the world can be delivered right to your doorstep! And while some people think they don’t have the time to fumble through websites to buy stuff, there are a few tricks I’ve learned to getting a GREAT deal, sometimes better than walking through the mall.
1. Sign up for emails. When there’s a store you love, there’s ALMOST always an online store as well. Signing up for your stores’ email club will give you advance access to deals they’re having. They send online coupon codes, let you know when there are extra markups and my favorite, free shipping!
2. Be patient. Just like mall browsing, if there’s something you love, wait until it goes on sale.
3. Factor in shipping. Sometimes the price looks better than the shipping. You may want to buy that $0.50 pair of socks, but if you have to pay $5 in shipping and handling…it negates your good deal. I usually wait until they offer free shipping on everything! That way you don’t have to hit a price minimum.
4. Coupon codes. These are like paper coupons. Instead on handing over the paper coupon like you do in the store, you have to enter in a series of numbers/letters online in a special coupon/discount code section. Make sure you find the discount code area BEFORE you complete your order! There are tons of ways to find the latest coupon codes online. My favorite sites include Mommy Saves Big and Retail Me Not. You can always google a coupon code. It only takes a few extra seconds to be sure you’re getting the best deal.
5. E-bates and Shopathome.com. This can get confusing. Let me know if I lost you!! These sites actually pay you money in a check, just for using their site. You sign up for free. Then you search for the website you want to shop from. Then you click the link through their website. They instantly track your purchase. You can get anywhere from 1% – 51% of your purchase mailed to you quarterly. Why do these sites give you money? They receive a fee for referring their customers to use stores’ websites. They just pass the money onto you 🙂 E-bates right now is offering a free $10 giftcard for signing up and making a $25 purchase with any of their vendors! If you use my link, I also get $5. (Thanks in advance!). Shopathome.com is very similar to E-bates, with the exception of you needing to earn $25 before you can cash out.
6. Tying it all together! The easiest way to explain the online shopping process is through an example. Say you found a really cool pot set for $100 at Kohls.com (not that I ever would buy a $100 pot set…but the math is easy). You find a coupon code at Mommy Saves Big for 10% off. You sign into your E-bates account and click the link to Kohls.com. E-bates is offering 1% cash back for your purchase. So you add your pot set to your “cart.” $100 – your coupon code entered at checkout = $90. Add shipping for $0.99 = $90.99. Your E-bates check gets mailed to you for $9. In the end your $100 pot set is now $81.99. You saved $18.01!!
You do have to put in a little work to get your deal. Online stores want you to be frustrated with the process so you don’t take the extra steps to save money. But just like couponing (see my previous blog posts), with a little effort, you do see an end result!
Check out my facebook page where I post some great online deals! I’ll remind you to use your E-bates or Shopathome site, post the coupon codes for you and give you your new total, putting in most of the leg work for you! (But no, I will not enter my credit card info for your purchase 🙂 ).
Was this Saving Said Simply? Please, please, please let me know what you think! Drop me a line on my facebook page!