You’ve cut coupons for years. You stick to your grocery list (well, mostly). You buy things when they’re on sale.
Yet did you know there are more ways you can save money, especially when shopping online?
While using coupons, promo codes and following sales are the most common practices and strategies in pursuing the best deal online, greater trends in online shopping means more opportunities for savings.
But you don’t have to be a pro shopper to master these deal-saving skills. With a variety of free services, apps and sites that exist to help save you money, finding the best online deal can be simple and convenient.
You can discover the best online deal, with just a little bit of prep. Here, we share 10 strategies so you can get that best deal.
10 Strategies to Get the Best Online Deals
What’s better than saving money with one coupon? Saving money with multiple coupons! While not all retailers will allow you to layer your coupons when online shopping, it’s worth a try. Utilizing both manufacturer and store coupons can often get you stacking those savings. While you’re planning your list and matching coupons, be sure to read the fine print, noting any purchase requirements or limitations of use. This will save you a big headache when trying to check out online. Some retailers allow you to use an unlimited amount of coupons, while others limit to one or two.
Connect on Social Media
You might be on social media a lot anyway, so why not find some deals while you’re at it. When you follow and track with retailers on their various social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram, you may hear of intriguing deals. These social media alerts are often short, simple and sweet, so you can be one of the first to know about a sale or other promotion.
Abandon Your Cart, Then Return
Add items to your cart, then leave. While it may be tempting to just finish your order in one swoop, retailers may notice that you still have items sitting in your cart and will want to remind you. These reminders, in the form of email, may include extra deals or savings opportunities you hadn’t known about before. Retailers want you to come back and finish your order and will send you rewards with benefits in order to do so.
Outsmart Dynamic Pricing
When it comes to shopping for that great hotel or airfare deal, there’s often no one, set-in-stone price. Usually, airlines and hotels adjust their prices online based on what they perceive what people are willing to pay. But you can outsmart them. Things such as tracking the price over the course of a few days and beginning your search in a new, fresh browser can help. Since the best deals often go to customers the site views as new, act like a new customer by browsing the site from a clean source.
Ask About Price-Drop Refunds
Have you ever completed a purchase online only to find out the next day that the price of that same item is 20% lower than what you paid? Don’t freak out. Many times, you can get a refund of that price difference. There are even apps, like Paribus, that do the searching for price differences for you. All you have to do is connect the app to your inbox and Paribus gets to work scanning through and cross-referencing prices from retailers that are compatible. If it finds a lower price, the app automatically requests a price adjustment claim and gets money back in your pocket. Some retailers and other services may also offer price-drop refunds directly. If you notice a drop, contact customer service and ask if you can get the price adjusted and earn a refund.
Get Email Alerts
Rather than scouring the internet and searching for deals, coupons and savings yourself, let the retailers do it for you. Sign up for email newsletters from your favorite stores. In your inbox, you’ll receive announcements of sales, exclusive coupons and other opportunities to save. Some retailers have also started incorporating more value-adding email content with things like blog posts, style tips or other noteworthy news. And, you may even receive extra savings just for signing up for their newsletters and email alerts. Just enter your email and let the deals come to you.
Find Coupon Codes
Coupon codes are easy to use when online shopping. It’s a combination of letters and/or numbers that allow you to redeem a percent off, a dollar amount off or other benefits they may offer. Even better, you don’t have to search too hard to find coupon codes on the things you purchase. By checking out their website, signing up for their rewards programs or using resources like DealNerd that provide coupon codes for you, you can save big.
Don’t Trash Expired Coupons Just Yet
For some retailers, expiration dates on coupons may be more like general guidelines rather than a hard and fast rule. So before you toss your 60% off coupon that can save you a lot on your purchase, double check their coupon policy. Often, the retailer just wants to make you a happy customer, and they may be willing to bend the rules and provide a grace period for you to use your coupon. While it’s not always the case your coupon will be accepted, it’s worth a try.
Opt for In-Store Pick-Up
You finish up your order and are ready to submit only to realize that the cost of shipping all your purchases directly to your house is 30% of your entire order. Yikes. If you’re looking to save some money and get some great deals, opt for in-store pick-up rather than delivery if they offer it. It may create another stop for you as you run your errands, but you’ll also be saving a lot.
Become a Member
Does your favorite retailer have a membership or rewards program that you can join? While not all online sites have programs worth joining, some offer great deals and benefits to you as a member. Your credit card may also include rewards or cashback as you shop online. Celebrate your status as an online shopper and look into joining your retailer’s membership or rewards program.
If you’re serious about saving money and finding the best deals, there are great strategies to implement into your regular online shopping routine. While some methods may require a little more time and research to get set straight, following these strategies often have a great payoff at the end of the day.