More than 80% of people in America live with a spending budget. Having a budget can help you to keep on top of your spending and will help you build savings. However, staying within a tight budget can be challenging, especially if you have to support a family.
While online shopping has made getting what you need easier than ever, it has also made over-spending far too easy. In that, 41% of Americans say that shopping online causes them to regularly overspend.
Fortunately, help is at hand. If you want to use the internet to your advantage then knowing how to find the best online deals available is key. This will help you transform from a big spender to a smart shopper in no time at all!
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So what are you waiting for? Read on now to find out our top tips for deal hunting online.
Use Consumer Review Sites to Compare the Best Online Deals
When it comes to smart shopping, it is a good idea to head over to consumer review sites, such as PriceGrabber and Bizrate. These sites offer quick search services and price comparisons across the internet.
This means that you can search for individual products and find out the different prices that online vendors are offering. This gives you a good idea of which major suppliers are offering the best prices for their products.
If you are buying a single product, then you can go to the cheapest vendor. Or you can use consumer reviews sites to calculate where it is cheapest for you to shop overall, based on the products that you need.
It is worth noting, however, that most consumer review sites give you the sticker price for the items that you are looking for. This might not include:
- Handling fees
- Shipping costs
So the final price for a product might be higher than you expect. Because of this, it is worth checking out the shipping and handling fees that different vendors offer. This will ensure that you get the best final price for the items you need.
Check Out E-tailer Recommended Credit Cards
Choosing how you pay for your online goods can also up a whole range of possibilities when it comes to securing great online deals. This is because a lot of large retailers offer deals for customers that use certain credit cards. This might include free shipping or double points when you purchase through them.
Some of the best credit cards for shopping online in the US include:
- Citi® Double Cash cards
- Chase Freedom Flex℠ cards
- Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature cards
- PayPal Cashback Mastercards
- Capital One® Walmart Rewards® Cards
If you don't want to dedicate yourself to using multiple credit cards that is completely understandable. In that case, it's a good idea to do some research into the best credit card to suit the majority of your purchases. Then you can tailor your online shopping around places that will save you the most when you pay using your credit card.
Sign Up to Reward Programs
The most successful online businesses thrive on customer loyalty. This gives you as a consumer a certain amount of power when shopping. It means that most businesses will want to offer you incentives to keep coming back to their business and this is where rewards programs come in.
These programs reward repeat purchases over time with discounts and even free items. The best part of this is that the majority of them are free to sign up for! All you have to do is put in your details and, possibly, fill out a basic questionnaire.
Of course, you won't collect the rewards unless you do repeatedly shop at the same businesses. So to make the most of your rewards it is important to keep going back.
Because of this, rewards programs are most effective for businesses that you have to make regular purchases with. This might include, for example, grocery shopping or prescription services. Planning your shopping in advance will make sure that you make the most of the rewards that you have accumulated.
If you shop in-store rather than online, you might be able to collect points for your rewards scheme as well. So make sure to ask about these when you reach the checkout.
Always Check for Discount Codes
Discount codes and coupons are a must for any savvy online shopper. These might reduce the price of particular items or they may offer additional items for free.
A lot of magazines and newspapers still contain discount coupons for your shopping. However, you no longer have to cut these out in order to make the most of the deals on offer.
In fact, going online makes it easier than ever to find discount codes for your purchases. There are now plenty of websites that collect internet coupons for you so that you can trawl through them for suitable deals. These sites include places like RetailMeNot, CouponMom, and CouponCabin.
Some websites, such as Honey, let you download browser extensions as well. While you shop, these will alert you to any coupons that could save you money on your purchases. So you can save as you go!
Make Sure That You Apply Your Discounts
To entice customers in, some businesses will advertise discount codes on their websites. Some websites, such as the Lenovo deals page, will automatically apply these at the checkout.
However, with other sites, you have to collect the codes from one page and apply them at the checkout yourself. Forgetting to do this manually could result in you losing out on the discount altogether. So before you pay, make sure that you have applied all of the discount codes available.
If you have repeatedly shopped with the same business, you may have accrued some discounts or vouchers for future purchases. These are usually stored in your online account wallet.
However, not every business will automatically apply these when you go to checkout online and they can expire after a while. Because of this, a lot of people miss out on great discounts or vouchers by simply not checking their online accounts.
So if you have an account, it is a good idea to check your wallet for discount codes before you checkout. That way you know you have made the most of everything on offer.
Leave Your Full Cart for a While
You may not be aware of this handy trick for getting money off your purchases but it's a good one!
Once you have filled your online cart, do not check out right away. In fact, you should leave the page for a while with the items still in your basket. Provided that you are logged into your account, these will stay exactly where they are.
However, the business will be aware that items are sitting in your items without being purchased. To this business, this looks like the potential sale is at risk.
Because of this, they will send you a notification reminding you about your purchase. More often than not, they will offer you a one-time-only discount code to use on your purchase to entice you back. After all, it is better for them to give you a discount than to lose your business altogether.
As a result, you will get your items cheaper and all you have to do is wait! And, of course, if nothing comes of this and you don't receive a discount offer it won't have cost you a penny.
Use Image Searching
If you have found a specific item that you want online, doing a reverse image search will help you find if it is available anywhere else. You can do this in three simple steps on your computer.
- Find the page of the product that you are interested in.
- Right-click on the image of the product itself.
- Select “Search Google for Image”.
Your Google image search will automatically load results relating to the image that you are interested in. This can help you save online in two ways.
First and foremost, it tells you if the product that you want is for sale at a better price elsewhere.
It also can flag up fake or poor-quality products on sale from very cheap deal websites. These sites advertise products using images that do not reflect how the items themselves look in real life. So reverse image searching will help you determine whether or not you are really getting a good deal.
Sign Up to Mailing Lists
Signing up for mailing lists with different companies is even easier than signing up for rewards schemes. They also offer a great number of exclusive deals for all types of shoppers!
To sign up to a mailing list, a company will often ask for your email address and which types of products you are particularly interested in. Then they will send you tailored marketing information about upcoming deals.
To make the most of this, you should check your emails regularly and make a note of any discount deadlines. That way you won't miss out on good deals!
Visit Social Media Pages
A lot of shoppers have favourite stores or businesses that they like to go back to over and over again. This can make your online shopping experience much easier.
For example, you might know which store's groceries you like best. Or you might have found a clothing store that fits your sizing perfectly.
In that case, you can keep up to date on the latest information about online deals by following their social media pages. Companies will often post information about upcoming details across their profiles to alert their customers to these opportunities.
If you do spot these deals on social media platforms, make sure that you save the posts to your profile. That way you can check on available deals when you next go online to do your shopping.
Some companies also use their social media pages to post discount competitions or giveaways. Taking part in these social media competitions is often free, so you have nothing to lose by joining in. If you really love a particular business then this is a great way to get your hands on some free goodies!
Pick When You Shop Carefully
When it comes to saving money, planning ahead is vital and this includes choosing when you shop online (or in-store for that matter!)
At different times of the year, companies may raise or lower the prices of certain products.
For example, after the holiday period, you will notice that a lot of stores have massive discounts on their Christmas products. If you have the storage space then this is a great time to stock up on wrapping paper and Christmas cards, for example!
On the flip side of this, shopping for in-demand products will always be more expensive. For example, shopping for a wedding outfit just before the summer wedding season will be much more expensive.
This is why it is important to plan your shopping in advance. Timing your online shopping carefully will ensure you get the best possible prices for the things that you need.
Keep These Tips in Mind to Make Affordable Shopping Easy
When it comes to finding the best online deals, there are plenty of ways to make the most of everything the internet has to offer. Keeping these tips in mind will help you save money on everything from everyday grocery shopping to big-ticket items. So get ready to make some serious savings!
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