Lately I haven’t exactly been living up to my full frugal potential, but that’s going to change starting this year. My goal is to save as much money as possible instead of having it spent before it even hits my bank account. I know, I know.. bad bad, which is why I wanted to emphasize on ways to save money when shopping online in this post. Let’s face it, some of us can’t get out of the house every time a good deal hits, but that doesn’t mean you can’t save money when shopping online.
1. Research. Research. Research.
Just because it’s advertised as a good deal, doesn’t exactly mean it’s a good deal. Check Google for comparison pricing on the certain item you’re looking for, this will give you a general overview if it’s worth it or not at the price point it’s being offered. There will be local pricing and online pricing if available.
2. Use Coupon Codes and Stack Them if Possible
This is an obvious no-brainer. If you want to save money online, use coupon codes that you can either get by signing up for the brands newsletter or by searching through Google. Often times you’ll find that the coupon incentive is much higher if you’re an actual newsletter subscriber. Another thing to note if you find a coupon code on Google, it may be an account tied coupon or a one-time use, so it’s best to sign up for the brands you do like so you can be reminded of current and future sales. Some companies even allow you to stack multiple coupon codes, so take advantage when you can.
3. Add Items To Cart and Leave Them If You Don’t Need Right Away
One thing I have noticed when I window shop online is that they’ll offer an incentive to give you a little push to make that purchase. You’ll receive emails like, “we noticed you left something in your cart, here’s a little discount.” etc. Now not every company does this, so don’t let the item sit if it’s a good deal as good deals usually have a limited availability and will go out of stock quickly. So jump on it, if it’s hot.
4. Use Cash Back Websites Like GivingAssistant
Giving Assistant is a free digital loyalty program, with over 1,100 of the largest retailers like Kohls for instance, and gives an average of 5% cash reward after each online purchase.
Not all cash back websites are created equal. Some will give you very little back and some will give you 100% of what they make off your purchase, and Giving Assistant is one of those websites if you’re a member. For non-member purchases, they retain the commission, and make a small donation to Feeding America to give one meal. You don’t have to wait months for a check in the mail like other cash back sites, and minimum payout is just $5.01, not $25+ like most other cash back sites which is nice because it can take a while to accumulate if you’re like me and not spending hundreds of dollars frequently.
If you make a purchase through their website and you don’t get credit for it, contact them and they’ll make sure you receive your full cash back amount. That to me is GREAT customer service!
I actually had an issue with the purchase I did through Walmart not crediting, but they put the 4% cash back in my account after confirming my purchase. It’s as simple as that!
5. Ask For a Price Drop Refund
Ouch, it stings knowing you just purchased something and then it drops to a lower price a day or a week later. Contact the company and ask for a price adjustment; the worst thing they could say is no. I know that Amazon does this when you contact their chat customer support people. It may be a hit or miss though depending on who you’re talking to, usually they will accommodate though and refund the difference.
Do you have anymore tips to save money when shopping online? I know there are lots more, but it will have to wait for a 2nd edition post.