Team Clark’s goal is always to help you save the most money. Of course, that includes when you shop online.
In this article, we’ll share some of our favorite tips and strategies to help you get the best deals, discounts and prices on the web.
This article was updated in October 2023 and I review it every 12 months.
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 find the best possible price before making a purchase. Retailers know the competition is heavy online, which means they’re eager to make sales 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 get an email with a promo code or coupon to encourage you to go back and follow through.
Consider shopping a few days before you actually want to make your purchase. Sign in to websites as you shop using your email address, and add your potential 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 who are signed up for emails. Create an account and join loyalty clubs at places where you shop 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 new email account just for online shopping.
3. Choose Free In-Store Pickup
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 program members or loyalty club members.
Making the actual purchase online, though, is a great way to get the lowest price. Stores are often able to advertise lower prices online since there are fewer overhead costs. 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 the 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.
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.
CapitalOne Shopping is another great app and browser extension. 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 download apps for the stores where you shop 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 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 sales available across the web. If you’ve found something you like, you can search this site specifically for the store where you found the item 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 you can redeem 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 track our spending habits, make assumptions about our lifestyle or mark up the prices to targeted 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 usually 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 considering. 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:
Google Shopping is a great way to compare prices online quickly. If you’re about to make a purchase, search for the same product on Google Shopping. (If you’re shopping for electronics, try using the product number to make sure you’re looking at the same model.)
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.