When it comes to how to save money shopping online, my motto is “shop smarter, not harder!” Shopping from the comfort of your home allows you to window shop, comparison shop, and score a whole variety of awesome deals you can’t find anywhere else. Online shopping literally opens the floodgates to unlimited choices. Most everything you can find at a brick-and-mortar store is available online, plus thousands of options more! Here is your personal resource for online shopping secrets. Bookmark this page or save it to Pinterest.
Disclosure: Bouquets of thanks to Groupon for sponsoring this money-saving resource! All opinions are my own.
When my husband and I bought our vacation home in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico we decided to purchase everything in the USA: furnishings, linens, artwork, kitchenware, high-capacity washer and dryer, kayaks and more. We shipped everything across the border from California to Mexico. All of the intense shopping activity for that condo took place within a two-month timeframe. The most important things for me during this process was that everything purchased be high-quality items, and that I stay on budget by finding rock-bottom prices. That experience turned me into an expert online shopper! Here’s how to get everything you want and need, and the brands you love, at a discount by shopping online.
Make Google Your Online Shopping Bestie
Use Targeted Keywords for Google Searches
Refine your Google search by using targeted keywords for the products, services and brands you trust. Your search results will show sponsored ads as well as numerous online stores that sell the product you’re looking for. Pull up at least four of these sites to comparison shop and research prices. Sometimes you’ll find a flash-sale on the specific item you want which means big online savings. Many times you’ll discover new products you never knew even existed. That’s part of the fun and reward of online shopping!
Read Product Reviews
Place a high value on product reviews. Sometimes you’ll find the item you want has major flaws or performs poorly. Part of saving money online is purchasing the best product within your budget so it will last longer than a cheaper version. Before making a final decision, read the best reviews and the worst reviews. In general, if an item has plenty of reviews and doesn’t earn a 4-5 star rating, then I won’t purchase it. I’ll look for a similar item under another brand.
Search Image Results
Can’t find the product you’re looking for? After making a query, look for the word “images” below the Google search box. Click on it and scroll through the images. If you see something you like click on the photo and you will have the option of being directed to the website. Although this method won’t always bring you directly to an online storefront, many times it does. Identical images of the item you want will often link to different sellers. This can help you discover the best online price as well as other unique items you didn’t previously know about. I’m all about finding things that are super special!
Add Items to Your Cart and Wait
If you’re not in a hurry to make a purchase, add items to your cart and “walk away” by opening up a new tab in your browser to continue shopping. This online shopping secret helps in three ways: If you regularly receive emails from that retailer, they can track your cart and know you’re hesitant to make a final purchase. Later in the day or possibly the following day they might reach out to you with a special coupon or offer. Sometimes it happens and other times it doesn’t, but it’s always worth a try. As you shop online Google makes note of your browsing history. You’ll notice ads for the products you’ve searched for appearing in the sidebars of websites you’re browsing. Take note of special savings and promotional offers. Leaving items in your online shopping cart and briefly walking away will give you more time to search and find a better online deal!
Use Online Coupons and Discount Codes
When shopping online always keep your eye out for an area on the check-out page where you can enter a “Promo Code.” Those two magical words are your signal to stop, open a new window and search for a coupon code. One of my biggest online shopping secrets: Groupon Coupons. I love Groupon because it’s a trusted, reliable source for awesome money-saving coupons and discounts on products and services. It’s fast and easy to search by store or category. The best part is knowing the coupons you find are valid and will work! Another way to find coupons is through a Google search using the store name plus “Promo Code”, “Coupon Code” or “Discount Code.” This method can often take a lot of time as well as plenty of trial and error. Sometimes it’s easy to find a working coupon code. Other times it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. So be easy on yourself! Start your search for online coupons and discounts on Groupon. My husband used Groupon to buy a MacBook. Last week I used it for a huge discount on wall art. Groupon Coupons is a big win for your pocketbook!
As tax season is upon us, here’s how to save money with Groupon Coupons right now: Turbo Tax
Clear Your Cookies
Scenario: You enter a retail site and see a large pop-up ad offering a discount code or free shipping in exchange for your email, but you decide to leave the site and continue price shopping elsewhere. Later you return to the site looking for that special deal, but to your great disappointment it no longer appears. Here’s how to get it back: Clear your browser cache to delete cookies and your online browsing history. Many websites have a special setting in place that directs the pop-up ad to appear only on your initial visit. But if you clear your search history and then re-enter the website, the site will look at your entry as a first-time visit. If the offer is still valid you will see the pop-up promotion again.
Look for Free Shipping Offers
Most retailers extend free shipping offers monthly, quarterly, or during holiday weekends. Other online stores will cover shipping costs when your order meets or exceeds a certain dollar amount. When you start making regular online purchases from particular retailers, you’ll start to notice a pattern in their timing for special offers and free shipping. Whenever possible, try timing your purchase to coupon releases.
Take Note of Return Policies
Before you hit a “Buy Now” button on any website, be sure you’ve checked out their return policy. If you’re shopping for clothing, shoes and other products that may or may not work out once you receive them, it’s always nice to know they can be returned for a full refund at no cost to you. Just yesterday I purchased two styles of bedding from a vendor that cover the cost of return shipping. It was hard for me to make up my mind from the photos online. But once they arrive I’ll check color and quality, choose one and return the other.Strategies You Need: How to Save Money Shopping Online Click To Tweet
Skip the Extended Warranty
If you do your homework on a product by reading reviews and find that it’s a high-quality item, skip the extended warranty. It’s highly likely you’ll never need the extended warranty within the window of time it’s in effect. If you’re purchasing a fairly cheap item, then skip the extended warranty because the amount you pay for the warranty is not worth it. It’ll be easier and sometimes less expensive to just purchase a new item later on and get the latest model. When you purchase a warranty on a product you need to be a very organized person so you can actually find the receipt and paperwork you need to file a claim.
Sign Up to Receive Emails from Retailers
When you join a retailer’s email list you can expect to receive periodic discounts and promotional offers in your inbox. But it’s important to keep this in mind: Your email address is super valuable to all retailers. Growing their subscription list is a huge priority. It’s an open door to your personal space where they can regularly deliver brand messaging as well as promotions for products and services. Never hand over your email without getting something back in return! Only give it up if you’re offered a discount code for significant savings on your next purchase or free shipping on your entire order. Leverage your online discount opportunities by having a second email address.
Connect With Retailers on Social Media
Consider “liking” your favorite retailers on Facebook or following them on Twitter. By following the social media feeds of stores and brands you love you’ll often get a heads up on their upcoming sales and promotions. Sometimes special offers and discounts are extended exclusively to their social media followers.
Join Customer Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs vary by retailer, but some of the best offer perks like these: a percentage of your purchase as a monetary reward that can be applied toward your next purchase; free shipping on every order large or small; special discounts; coupons and promotions.
Let’s Learn from One Another!
Do you have a fabulous online shopping tip to share? What was your latest online victory? Have you ever used Groupon Coupons before? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
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