Online shopping is the only way to shop nowadays. You can browse hundreds of products from different manufacturers at any time of day, all while never leaving the couch or even getting out of your pajamas.
You can also find some fantastic deals online without having to stand in long queues.
And while we all want to get a great deal when we shop online, you still need to be careful, or you could quickly end up buying more than you need to. So, just how do you find the best deals online?
In this article, we’ll give you some tips and tricks from the pros on how to get the best bang for your buck when shopping online.
What are the Smart Ways to Get the Best Deals When Shopping Online?
Finding the best deal online can be a time-consuming endeavor, and you might end up spending more time searching than is worth the savings.
There are some tips and tricks, though, that you need to know that can save you quite a bit of cash without putting in too much extra effort.
1. Know the item’s full price and do not buy it at that price
To know if you’re getting a good deal, you need to know what you’re about to buy would typically retail for. Be sure to plan your purchases, educate yourself on the full price of an item, and only buy online when that item drops in price.
Suppose it’s an item you use regularly and doesn’t spoil, such as toilet paper or shampoo.
In that case, you can consider stockpiling these products when they go on sale or find a coupon for them online so that you aren’t forced to buy them only when you need them but can choose when to spend based on the price of any special offers.
2. Outsmart Dynamic Pricing
Dynamic pricing is when online stores adjust their pricing according to your location, search history, or the device you’re using.
To outsmart dynamic pricing, be sure to clear your browser history and cache before shopping online, sign out of any email accounts and social media, and online shop in incognito mode.
3. Try Price Matching
Many stores will match the price of the same item at their competitor’s stores. You can use online shopping to benefit this way by searching competitor prices while in-store at your local Walmart or Target.
Some stores, like Walmart, also offer price matching tools on their apps. If these apps discover the price of an item you bought is cheaper elsewhere, they will refund you the difference as store credit.
4. Be wary of third-party sellers
Third-party sellers sell items on aggregate websites like Amazon. These items can be more expensive than buying directly from the seller as the third party still needs to put their mark up on the product.
Unfortunately, many third-party sellers sell fake products online. So if you see a deal that looks too good to be true, just remember that might actually be the case.
5. Get social
Online stores often announce special deals and exclusive coupons on their social media pages.
It’s, therefore, a good idea to follow your favorite online stores on Facebook, Instagram, and any other social media they use to stay up to date with the latest offerings.
6. Join Email Lists and Loyalty Clubs
Online stores often offer exclusive deals directly to customers that have created an account, signed up to their email lists, or joined their loyalty club. To take advantage of these special offers, be sure you sign up.
Loyalty club members can sometimes get an additional 5-10% off their purchase.
If it’s your first time signing up, you may even get a new shopper reward such as a free gift or discount offer; however, these emails can become annoying, so you may want to start a new email address solely for this purpose.
7. Talk to the Chat Box
When you see the chat box pop up, don’t be afraid to ask if there are any special offers or coupon codes you can use. This is an effortless way to find extra savings.
The chatbox is also a great tool to use if you have an expired coupon, as they may be willing to extend it for you.
8. Shop on the right day
Know what daily deals your favorite online stores offer, and be sure to shop on these days. For example, some stores have tech deals on Tuesdays or Thursdays, while Sunday is the best day for getting great deals on flights.
Also, remember those special days throughout the year when many online stores offer unmissable deals, such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Green Monday.
9. Buy discounted Gift Cards
Discounted gift cards can be a great way to save money at your favorite online stores. You can pick up discounted gift cards for supermarkets like Costco at spas, retail outlets, and restaurants or search online for people selling unwanted gift cards off for cheap.
This is a wonderful way to save on your cart at the online stores you regularly shop at.
10. Use a Coupon Code
Most online stores offer coupon codes, so try not to buy anything online without looking for one first. You can find coupon codes on the store website itself by signing up for a newsletter, doing a quick Google search, or searching coupon apps and websites.
You can save 10-25% of your order with a coupon or get free shipping.
11. Keep items on your wish list or in online shopping carts
Many stores will offer further discounts or coupons on abandoned shopping carts or wishlist items to try and entice you to complete your purchase.
If you don’t need an item straight away, it’s a good idea to add it to your shopping cart or wishlist for a few days and see if you’ve sent any coupons to complete the sale.
12. Find Free Shipping
You might find an online deal that is spectacular but be sure to budget in the shipping cost, which can push the price up beyond reasonable levels. That is why Amazon Prime is so popular, as you never have to pay extra for shipping.
That said, many other stores offer free shipping, especially if you spend over a certain amount. Some stores also have free shipping codes that you can use at checkout.
13. Choose Free In-Store Pickup
As mentioned, expensive shipping costs often negate the great deals you find online; however, many major retailers allow the option to pick up your goods in-store for free.
This can be more convenient as you don’t need to make sure someone is at home to receive your parcel.
14. Use Apps for extra savings
Several online stores have apps where you can find exclusive savings and limited-time deals.
There are also online apps that offer discounted deals on holidays, household decor, and more. Some cashback apps also offer rebates when shopping at your favorite online stores.
15. Check out deals sites and let someone else bargain hunt for you
There are some exciting apps that you can add to your web browser that will search the online store you’re looking at for any available coupons.
Apps like Honey automatically apply these coupons to your cart, so you don’t have to make any additional effort. It’s essentially like employing someone to bargain hunt for you, except it’s free!
Some websites list the best deals currently available online. The people who manage these online deal sites will do the hard work for you; all you need is to log on and see what you can buy that day.
16. Track Price Drops and Sales
Some apps, such as Lyst, allow you to track products you want to buy, and they will send out alerts when the price of that item falls. Other apps also allow you to compare prices across numerous stores to see if the product you want is on sale somewhere else.
17. Negotiate the price
You might not have thought you could negotiate prices you find online, but you can.
Browser tools like PriceWaiter allow you to haggle the prices you see online, alerting you when you can make an offer on a product you find online. Offers you make using a tool like this go to the retailer who can either accept, decline, or counter your suggested price.
18. Get the refund
As mentioned, some stores offer refunds on items that are found cheaper elsewhere as part of their price matching initiatives. While price matching yourself can be a hassle, there are several apps that you can use to do the dirty work for you.
What are the Best Apps, Websites, and Browser Extensions for Finding the Best Deals and Discounts?
Various online deal sites, apps, and browser extensions can make finding a great deal even more straightforward. These apps and extensions speed through deals in a matter of seconds to ensure that you’re never spending more than you should.
Let technology help you shop online, and you’re guaranteed to save money.
For Daily Deals
Many apps offer discounted deals on hotel stays, adventure activities, spa treatments, meals, household items, and more. Deala.com is also an excellent resource for finding daily product deals from various retailers.
On the other hand, the app Honey, which we previously mentioned, will search a site for any coupons available on the day.
In addition, Honey will also track down the lowest price among different sellers on sites like Amazon and notify you if it finds another seller offering your item for a lower price. It even factors in the shipping costs.
For Deals on Gift Cards
Some websites allow customers to sell off store gift cards they don’t want at discounted rates. Check out the likes of Raise and CardCash to buy gift cards at a fraction of the price.
GiftDeals is another online gift card exchange where you can find online gift cards for cheaper than buying them directly from the retailer. What’s even better is that the cards found on this site have no expiration date and come with a guarantee, so you have some assurance on your purchase.
GiftCardGranny also offers gift cards at discounted rates as well as cashback offers. You can earn cashback at big retailers like Uber and Apple or even search for gift cards for smaller local businesses based on your zip code.
For Coupons and Promo Codes
There are many great coupons or promo codes to be found online. These promo codes can either be used to pay for things online or can be printed to use in-store.
There are also a variety of browser extensions that automatically search for coupon codes while you shop, automatically applying the one that will get you the most significant savings.
Some of these extensions even offer ways to score cash back on your online purchases.
For Cash-Back Rebates
Cashback apps like Ibotta and Rakuten partner with many online retailers to offer rebates on your daily purchases. You can earn up to 40% in cashback by signing up for an account and linking the extension or app to participating stores. You can get money back on everything from your daily groceries to travel bookings made on the likes of Expedia.
You can also get cashback credit cards that you can use for your online purchase to get even more cashback. Just make sure you pay these off straight away after you shop, or you could end up spending more than you save.
For Free Shipping Deals
As mentioned, you want to try and get free shipping on any great deals you find online. FreeShipping.org is a great place to look to find any free shipping codes.
This aggregator finds free shipping codes from various online retailers, from the big guys right through to the smaller retail outlets. The codes also sometimes come with additional discounts.
For Deals on Travel
You can use several resources to search for the best flight deals online; these include the likes of Cheapflights.com, Hopper, and Scott’s Cheap Flights.
You can also set up alerts on some of these tools so that you’re automatically notified when your flight price drops below a certain amount.
Kayak.com is another fantastic place to search for travel deals on flight and train tickets, hotel stays, and even car hire. A simple Google travel search will also allow you to compare hotel prices across various platforms quickly.
For Deals on Insurance
Several online tools can help you save money on your insurance, whether that’s for your car, home, jewelry, or boat.
Policygenius.com is one website that will allow you to compare insurance quotes from a range of underwriters for life insurance, car insurance, and homeowners’ or renters’ insurance.
AccuQuote.com is another fantastic tool for comparing life insurance policies online.
For Price Comparisons
It can be highly time-consuming to keep comparing prices online.
Browser extension Popcart will take the hassle away by sending you a notification each time you’re looking at something that can be bought cheaper elsewhere.
If you’re a regular Amazon shopper, also be sure to install the Amazon Assistant extension so that you can compare their prices to their competitors online.
Walmart’s Savings Catcher app is a great price matching tool that will compare the prices of items you bought in-store to their competitors and refund you the difference.
Earny is a similar app that scans your receipts of what you purchased against other stores, and the app even gives you the savings back for items found cheaper elsewhere.
The Best Deals Online Need a Budget Too
As you can see, there are many ways that you can save money when shopping online, from leaving items in your cart to signing up with loyalty clubs, price matching at various retailers, or using cashback schemes and gift cards. There are also multiple tools you can use to help you score the best deal online.
As with all online shopping, you’re not getting a deal if you end up buying something you never really needed or wanted in the first place. Be careful of being tempted with impulse buys when you see a great deal pop up in your email or social media.
It’s a good idea to track your savings and budget to ensure you aren’t spending more than you should.
Do you have any great tips for shopping online? If so, we would love to hear them. Feel free to share your shopping tricks with us in the comments below.