Who doesn’t like to save money when shopping? Nowadays you should never pay full price for an item. Whether you use a promo code that you find online or a coupon to save, it all equals out to more money in your pocket.
I have to admit that I find it a bit thrilling to see how much I can save by just taking an extra step or two when purchasing an item online. It’s almost as good as finding that random $20 in your pocket that you didn’t even know that you had.
Some people think that it is a little too time consuming to search for a good deal or discount. If you are one of those people then this blog post is for you. We have compiled a list of some easy ways to save money when making online purchases. Do one or try them all and save to your heart’s content.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning we will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase through our link, at no additional cost to you.
There are a few sites out there that offer cash back for online shopping. When you are ready to shop and make a purchase online visit one of these cashback websites first.
From the website follow a link to the store that you want to buy from and then make your purchase. The cashback site will track your purchase and pay you a percentage of what you spend, usually ranging from 1% to 10% (sometimes more).
The percentage that you get back will vary by store and can also vary between the cashback sites, so I recommended checking with at least two different sites to see which has the highest payout. Or, even better, check out Cash Back Monitor. This site automatically compares all of the cashback sites for you so you know that you are getting the highest percentage back possible.
So how does it work? The cashback site gets a commission from the store you purchase from and they share a percentage of that commission (or all of it, as with TopCashBack) with you. Just by using a cashback site, you will never pay full price for an item.
The cashback sites that we use are:
- Rakuten (formerly Ebates). Did you know that “Rakuten” means “Optimism” in Japanese?
- $10 sign on bonus after placing a qualifying purchase of $25+ within 90 days.
- How do you get paid?: Two choices. You can choose to receive a “Big Fat Check” in the mail or payments can be sent to a PayPal account of your choice.
- When will you get paid?: Your combined cash back for all purchases must add up to more than $5.00. They pay out the funds automatically every quarter. If you do not meet the $5.00 cashback minimum then the money will continue to carry over and remain in your account until you have enough.
- Promises to be the highest paying cashback site on the market, even matching other sites. 100% of the commision goes to you
- How do you get paid?: You can choose direct deposit into your bank account, a transfer to your PayPal account or an Amazon gift card.
- There is no minimum payout and once your funds become available you can cash out without having to wait.
- Other sites you may want to check out: Mr. Rebates, BeFrugal, Ibotta
There are several online deal sites that help you to never have to pay full price. These sites provide you with the best deals on everything from electronics to travel. Some sites also allow you to create deal alerts so that you know exactly when a particular item goes on sale.
How it works: You visit one of the online deal sites and search for an item, a brand, or a store that you are interested in. You will then be shown the current available deals.
The online deal sites that we use are:
- Members of the site post deals
- Members can leave feedback and comments on each deal posted, which gives you additional information about the deal or a chance to ask questions to other members.
- Multiple categories to choose from including “freebies.”
- Brad’s Deals
- Deal experts scour the web daily to find you the best deals on just about anything.
- Search by brand, category, or store
- Provides mobile coupons, promo codes and cashback offers from many different stores.
- RxSaver: Compares different pharmacies to find the best prices for your prescriptions. We have not used this part of the site but I thought it was worth mentioning. It is one thing that sets it apart from the other online deal sites.
There are also other sites that we do not use as often but that you can check out such as Groupon, LivingSocial, and Woot!.
- Price Matching
- Many stores allow you to price match within a certain window of time, say 14 to 30 days. If you find the same item at the same store or a different store for a cheaper price it is worth asking if they will refund you the difference.
- Usually as simple as a phone call or chat on their website.
- Examples of stores that I know offer a price match: Dicks Sporting Goods, Bass Pro Shops/Cabelas, Bed Bath & Beyond, Home Depot, Best Buy, Lowe’s, Kohls, Target, Staples
- Outsmart Dynamic Pricing
- Dynamic Pricing is the practice of varying the price of a product or service to reflect a change in market conditions. If there is a higher demand for a product then the price will go up and continuously adjust to meet real time supply and demand.
- How does it affect you as a shopper? Sadly, retailers often use this on consumers who frequent their website. They are able to monitor your searches and tailor the prices to reflect your demand for the item. This is especially common when searching for hotel or airline deals.
- So how do you outsmart dynamic pricing? Simply clear your cookies before searching for an item or service and use your browser’s incognito mode.
- Abandon your Online Cart
- So this is not a given with every store but it has worked for me. It is worth a try if you do not need to purchase the item right away.
- Make sure you are signed into your online store account. Add items to your cart but don’t make the purchase. I have to admit that I often do this, not because I am looking for a discount, but because it just takes me awhile to pull the trigger when making purchases. And sometimes it works in my favor.
- Some stores such as Plant Therapy, Bed Bath & Beyond, Dicks Sporting Goods, Williams & Sonoma, and Overstock may send you a discount (through email) when you abandon your cart.
There are so many ways to save money with online purchases. If you are going to purchase an item anyway, why not save a few dollars? Bottom line, you should never pay full price for an item.
What is your favorite way to save a buck? We would love to hear your feedback so please share your methods and tips with us in the comments below.
Looking for additional ways to save? Check out our One Month Challenge to Save Money and Transform your Finances. Take advantage of 4 weeks worth of easy strategies and recommendations on what you can do to keep more money in your pocket.