One of the simplest ways to save money when you shop online is to hit the cash back websites, or bidding fee auction sites like DealDash. Once you’re signed up to these sites you can start bidding on items you like, or on cash back sites you can search through thousands of stores to see how much is being offered in cash back.
We thought we’d put together a list of 5 easy ways for you to save money online.
1. Outwit the Pricing Trap
Dynamic pricing is a strategy that many online merchants use to show different prices to customers according the user’s location, browsing patterns, and online spending habits, as well as the demand of the product you are searching for. How often have you found a great price for a top-notch hotel, only to find it’s anywhere between 20% - 40% higher the next day? That’s dynamic pricing. It’s a sophisticated technique and many retailers are well aware of customer’s price points, potentially presenting you with a higher price compared to someone else who may spend less than you online overall. The trick is to clear your cookies and browsing history, log out of all your accounts, and even use incognito browser mode so that retailers can’t pick up on your history and you can look forward to more favorable pricing. You can also try using localized website versions of the sites you are shopping on, like choosing less developed countries to get better price points.
2. Make Use of Online Coupons
If you’ve just rolled your eyes at the word, “coupon,” give us a minute. Yes, snipping out dozens of squares from magazines and newspapers is tedious, but the online concept is a great deal simpler. There is an array of sites that offer discounts daily on a wide range of products, services, and other types of offers. Some sites offer codes that work for a selection of retailers. All you do is pick what you want, and on checkout, enter the promotional code. It’s as easy as that and you can look forward to some great rewards. Amazon, in particular, has an entire section just dedicated to online coupons where you can find discounts in categories like electronics, groceries, and even office supplies.
3. Sign Up for Email Alerts and Newsletters
Never miss out on the chance to save money online when you subscribe for email alerts and newsletters. There are websites that track certain site’s prices so you can see which stores offer the best prices on the products and services you are looking for. What’s more, there are loads of retailers who offer discounts when you sign up to their newsletters, and they’ll notify you of special sales – just for subscribers. If you’re worried about promotional emails hampering your inbox, just set up another email account especially for such notifications.
4. Leave Items in Your Online Shopping Cart and Come Back in a Few Days
This is a fantastic way to save money online. Almost all retailers want to close the deals that remain open – in other words when you leave items in your shopping cart and click away, so, they will usually send you an email notification to try and complete the sale. They usually find ways to sweeten the deal, too, either offering you a coupon with some money off your purchase or another type of incentive that will help you save money. You will need to have a user account with the online store, though, so that they can email you.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Bargain
Sometimes, our email inboxes do get clogged and we come back a little later to check on offers we may have missed out on. So, what happens when you find an incredible deal you’ve been waiting for, only to realize it expired a couple of days back? There’s a solution. Just call the hotline and ask if they are prepared to extend the coupon as you want to place your order now. Sales reps always want to close a deal, so they’ll probably give you a new promotional code or even extend the one that landed in your inbox. While this tactic may not work every time, particularly with heavily discounted items, it’s always worth a try. You could also try using a site’s live chat function – it usually pops up when you enter a site. Ask a couple of polite questions about the product you are interested in, and then ask if there are any discounts on offer. Believe it or not, chat support is sometimes authorized to issue promotional codes.
Bonus Tip: Watch the Data on Your Smart Phone
We all know how much power smart phones pack these days. You can use Skype to talk to friends and even live chat support, you can make use of GPS, and while these are great features, they also eat away at your data. If you’re not on an unlimited plan, you could run out of data before the next billing cycle, and buying more data just to see through the month can add up quickly. So, try to secure an unlimited data plan, especially if you use your phone for online shopping and to catch the latest deals or make the latest bids.
Put These Online Money-Saving Strategies Together
The best way to truly save money online is to see how many strategies you can put together. Find a discount on a coupon site for, let’s say, a new bakery you’d love to try, then head over to a site to get cash back on it, and then combine it with your coupon and you have yourself a fantastic deal.
If you prefer to bid on items you have had your eye on, then go for it! If you are quick off the mark, you could find yourself with some exceptional offers. Whether you use apps or sit in front of the computer, there are plenty of ways to save some serious cash when shopping online.