7 Smart Tips to Cut Costs While Shopping Online

Mar 19, 2018 | 0 Votes by Aethyna - rate Your vote
Everyone wants to be a smart online shopper, but not everyone knows how. Here are 7 smart tips to help you cut costs when you’re shopping online. Time to Buy - 7 Smart Tips to Cut Costs While Shopping Online

Everyone likes getting a great deal on their purchases whether shopping online or off. However, not all the tips you’ve learned while shopping offline can be used while buying stuff online. Due to this, we’ve compiled a list of 7 smart tips that you can use to get the best prices.

Keeping Items You Want in Wish Lists or Carts


This is something that has been proven time and time again. Although it doesn’t work for all stores, it doesn’t hurt to try. Simply place the items you are really interested in into your wish lists (if available) or online carts and leave the site for a couple of days up to a week or so. This not only helps you prevent yourself from making some impulsive purchases; it also benefits you since some stores like Bed Bath & Beyond, Macy’s, JC Penney, and others send you discounts and special offers just for you to close your sale.

However, please note that you have to shop on such sites while you have your account logged in and not as a “guest”.

Coupons


Short of being in on the couponing frenzy which some of you may abhor, coupons can really come in handy in the case of helping you save some cash when shopping online…. Best yet, you don’t actually need to spend hours checking different sites in hopes of getting the coupons you want or need. Sometimes, all you need to do is to search the site itself for free coupons (For example, Shutterstock). At other times, all you need to do is to just ask. This is especially true for sites with live time chats. As long as you’re polite in your request, you might be surprised how happy the staff would be to provide you with a coupon that will close the deal.

Buying coupons to get a discount may sound ridiculous to some, but if you can spend a bit to buy the coupon and end up getting a larger discount, then it would probably be worth it. This is something that popular coupon-selling/discount sites, Groupon, Living Social, and many others, is offering.

Coupons


Another thing about companies though is that they love having their loyal customers following them and their brand. So much so that they may often send out special coupons, discounts and offers to customers who subscribe to their newsletters. Again, granted that not all companies do this, you may be surprised to know how many that do – Domino’s is one example. However, if you don’t like having too much spam in your inbox, you might want to create an email, or two (just so you can get 2 of the same coupons or discounts), specifically to receive these sorts of promotional materials.

Cashback Sites


If you use a credit card, you probably know about the types of cashback you can get if you use the card when making certain purchases at certain retailers. For online shopping though, there is another cashback that you can make full use of – cashback sites!

Sites like Swagbucks and InboxDollars not only provide their users with other ways to earn a bit of extra cash by filling up surveys, watching video ads or testing products – they also provide sweet cashback for some of the products you already intent on buying. However, we cannot emphasize enough on the part “products you already want to buy” because that’s the only way you can actually get cut some costs while shopping online. If not, you’ll simply spend more money buying stuff that you don’t actually need. So, beware of this little pitfall when using these sites!

Buying Directly from the Source


Although many avid users of sites like Amazon or eBay may not recommend this, it is a really great way to sometimes get cheaper prices. This is especially true for flight tickets and hotel rooms. Companies often prefer if you buy directly from them rather than through a third-party site like Expedia and co, but these sites do come in handy when it comes to price comparison. So, what we often do is to find out the cheapest prices via these sites, hop on over to the website of the airline or hotelier in question, and then check the prices there. Who knows? You might find better deals!

Cultivating a Thrifty Online Shopping Profile


As opposed to the popular urban myth that browser cookies are detrimental to you since marketers use it to hike up prices, these cookies may actually work to your advantage instead. As shown in a short experiment conducted by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in their segment, Marketplace, consumers who have a history of thrifty online shopping may get discounts that people with other online shopping profiles will not get… thanks to these inedible cookies.

Using browser cookies to your advantage


However, if you have always had incidences of impulsive buying when purchasing online, then it might be wiser to clear your browser’s cookies to get cheaper prices. Browsing for the best deals while in Incognito mode (Google Chrome) may help as well.

Automated Price Comparison


Last but of course not least, due to the sheer number of online shops that are available, it can be a truly daunting task to be able to do price comparisons… unlike what you’ll do at a brick-and-mortar store. Thankfully, the IT savvy has noted this need for a fast, efficient and accurate price comparison app that will scour the internet for all the prices of a particular product or service you are interested in and display all the pricing side by side for you to browse. As a result, they have come up with apps like PriceBlink and Pricegrabber.

This advantage, however, does come with a downside, which may especially concern people who love their privacy. These apps will have access to your purchasing habits and if their privacy policy isn’t as water-tight as you may think, they might be able to sell this information to marketers. Some unscrupulous apps may even be developed by marketers to sell only the products they want to push. So, it’s always wise to take what you see with a bit of salt when it comes to automated price comparisons. If you have the time, it’s best to do some price comparisons of your own too.

Request for price-drop refunds


Unknown to many, they can actually claim some refunds if the item they bought the day before turned out to be on offer today as long as they write in and ask. Again, not all companies will offer this (though Amazon is a good example of a company that does) but if you don’t ask, you’ll never know.

So, those are our 7 smart tips. Be sure to give them a try!

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