The holiday shopping season is in full swing, which means online shopping will be at an all-time high!
To help you get the best deals, discounts and prices, here are some tips and strategies that will help you save the most on your online purchases — any time of year!
How to Get the Best Deals While Shopping Online
Table of Contents:
- The Top Three Tips for Saving Online
- Apps and Online Tools for Saving
- Price Comparison Tools
- Payment Methods for Additional Savings
The Top Three Tips for Saving Online
Shopping online is convenient and it’s a great way to get the best possible price before making a purchase. Retailers know the competition is heavy online, which means they’ll be eager to make a sale and more willing to offer discounts to online shoppers.
Here are a few ways you can save big while shopping online without even having to leave a store’s website:
1. Keep Items on Your Wish List or in Online Shopping Carts
When you add a product to your wish list or online shopping cart, it’s clear you’re interested. If you act like you’re going to buy something and then back out just before you make your purchase, there’s a chance you’ll receive an email with a promo code or coupon to encourage you to go back and follow through.
Consider shopping a few days early. Sign in to websites as you shop using your email address, and add your future purchases to your online shopping cart. Then simply close the browser. Check your email over the next few days and see if you were able to score a better price!
2. Join Email Lists and Loyalty Clubs
Throughout the year, many retailers offer online (or in-store) exclusive deals, especially to shoppers signed up for emails. Create an account and join loyalty clubs at places that you shop at often. If it’s your first time creating an account, you may even get a discount on your next purchase!
These emails can pile up, so it may be worth your while to create a second email account just for online shopping.
3. Choose Free In-Store Pick Up
If you shop online often, you could save big over the course of the year by avoiding shipping fees. Most stores offer free in-store pickup that’s typically available the same day. Many stores also offer free shipping to rewards members or loyalty club members.
Still, actually making your purchase online is a great way to get the lowest price. Stores are often able to advertise lower prices online since there’s no overhead cost. It’s also easier to find discounts, deals and the overall lowest prices.
Apps and Online Tools for Saving
While you’re most likely going to find a lower price online than in-store, you can also get additional discounts, promo codes and rebates from third-party apps and websites. Here are a few of our favorite programs for saving big online:
There are several apps and extensions available to help you find the best price online or earn cash back on a purchase you’ve already made. For example, Ibotta is an app that works both online and in-store. It allows you to browse select offers before you shop and then earn cash back on eligible products.
Paribus is another great tool. It links to your email account, finds your receipts and gets a refund for you if the product you purchased is ever on sale for a lower price. This would be a particularly great option if you have a crowded inbox!
If you haven’t already, be sure to also download apps for the stores that you shop at most often. You’ll find tons of exclusive savings when you download apps like Target and Walmart. You may have to create an account or sign in to see the deals, but that’ll only help you save more in the long run.
In addition to apps, there are quite a few websites that can help you find the best deals, promo codes and coupons.
Retailmenot is a great way to browse current promo codes and promotions available across the web. If you’ve found something you like, you can search specifically for the store it’s available at to see if any discounts are available.
Coupons.com offers great coupons for everyday purchases. You’ll find a collection of discounts directly from companies that can be used at a variety of stores as well as coupon codes that can be redeemed online.
Groupon is another popular option for finding some of the best deals online. While a lot of Groupon’s offers include local entertainment, you’ll also find some great discounts on apparel, games and more.
When it comes to getting the best prices online, sometimes it isn’t about the discounts at all. Price gouging happens when companies are able to track our spending habits, make assumptions about our lifestyle or generally markup the prices to select shoppers. Ultimately, your browser of choice can influence what you pay online.
To make sure you’re always seeing the best price, consider shopping with a browser you don’t typically use, like Firefox or Google Chrome. It’s also a good idea to make your final purchase in incognito mode. Be sure to also clear your cookies so that websites can’t track your shopping history.
Consider downloading a browser extension like Honey. Once downloaded, Honey will compare prices and promo codes from across the web on products you’re checking out. When you add the product to your shopping cart, the best savings are automatically applied.
Price Comparison Tools
Before you make any final purchases, don’t forget to price compare. There’s nothing worse than buying something only to see it for a better price at a different store. Take the time to visit one of these websites to ensure you won’t miss out on a better deal:
Using a tool like Google Shopping is a great way to quickly compare prices across the board online. If you’re about to make a purchase, search for the same product on Google Shopping. If you’re comparing electronics, try using the product number to make sure you’re looking at the same model.
This tool allows you to see how much it’s available for at different stores on the web including Amazon, eBay, Walmart and more. If you find a better price, consider making the purchase there instead!
If you aren’t familiar with Google Shopping, here’s how to use it:
Preparing for seasonal trends is another great way to avoid missing the best price. Tools like Camelcamelcamel track the price history of products online, which can be a great way to figure out when to make your purchase.
Camelcamelcamel tracks the prices at Amazon.com. If you have an item in mind, find it at Amazon (whether you plan on shopping at Amazon or not) and search for it on Camelcamelcamel.com. Look at the price history graph and determine when prices are likely to drop. Wait until then to make your purchase!
Check out this video for a quick tutorial on how to use Camelcamelcamel:
When it comes to shopping online, it’s important to remember that you have both time and resources. To take advantage of the opportunity, be sure to follow these quick tips before making your final purchase:
- Add items to your shopping cart while still browsing.
- Stock up on loyalty club memberships.
- Compare prices at different retailers and throughout the year to get the best price with apps and online tools.
- Choose how to pay. Using discounted gift cards or cash back credit cards is a great way to save.
- Avoid shipping fees by choosing in-store pickup when necessary.
What are your best online shopping tips? Let us know in the comments below, and follow Clark.com for more money-saving tips! Be sure to follow ClarkDeals.com for the best deals online.