Online shopping has become an everyday part of most peoples’ lives in today’s world. Not only has technology made online shopping more convenient, but the pandemic has also pushed consumers to avoid physical stores in favor of e-commerce sites. And similarly to traditional shopping, there is money to be saved for people who know how to do so. Here are seven of the best tips you can follow to save money when shopping online.
Follow Your Favorite Brands on Social Media
Social media is a powerful tool for both businesses and consumers. Businesses enjoy a free means of reaching potential customers, and customers can capitalize on the special offers businesses make through their accounts. Following your favorite brands through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter makes finding promotions and discount codes easier. You would also likely find these deals faster than people finding discounts and coupons through other means such as newsletters. By following a brand’s social media accounts, you can also enter to win giveaways and contests. Obviously, these are less reliable methods of finding deals, but someone has to win, which could be you.
Sign Up for Rewards Programs
Rewards programs are another simple way to save money when shopping online. The process is generally simple, and the amount of money you can save is pretty considerable. All it takes to start saving with most rewards programs is a customer account and an email or phone number. This is a fantastic method of finding deals for companies you shop with consistently. And on top of that, most businesses offer rewards programs because they recognize the importance of building customer loyalty. Most rewards programs give members points based on their purchases redeemed for many different rewards. This can include free products or services discounts on premium products, and you can even literally earn cash back in some cases.
Outsmart Dynamic Pricing
Dynamic pricing is a strategy many online retailers use to display different prices to people depending on attributes such as your location, browsing history, spending patterns, and the current demand for a product. If you’ve ever viewed a product on a website that increased in price the following day, then you’ve likely witnessed dynamic pricing in action. The algorithms dictating these price changes have become rather advanced; however, there are ways to outsmart them. Basically, you should remain as anonymous as possible when shopping at retailers that have implemented dynamic pricing. Clear your browsing history and cookies, log out of accounts you have used on that website before or view the product in an incognito window. This will ensure that the retailer has as little information on you and your patterns as possible. The most effective means to dodge dynamic pricing is to invest in a VPN. With a VPN, you can hide your personal data, online activity, and even your IP address.
Save on Shipping
One of the few downsides of online shopping is the additional fees for shipping your purchase. Fortunately, there are tools such as a USPS shipping calculator that can help you predict and even reduce the cost of shipping. Sometimes it can be worth it to forgo shipping your purchase in favor of picking it up to avoid additional costs. It would also be wise to ship as many items as possible in a single package whenever possible.
Leave Items in Your Cart
Though it may sound counterproductive, leaving items in your cart overnight can actually add to your savings. The reason for this is that some companies will actually give you special discounts to encourage you to complete the transaction. However, there is one caveat to this method: you typically must have a customer account to receive these offers. If the business doesn’t have your email, they’ll have no way to reach out to you with in-cart discounts.
Collect Online Coupons
Coupons are a common and familiar way of saving money in physical stores and digital ones. You would be hard-pressed to find a company that doesn’t offer some digital coupon code. Additionally, some websites allow you to use more than one coupon code per purchase, allowing you to stack your savings. There are several ways to begin collecting online coupons. Some of the most common sources for coupon codes are company newsletters and email campaigns, discount code tracking websites, and even browser extensions designed to find the best deal for your purchase. Remember only to use coupon codes you have found from legitimate websites, as some online scammers will hide malware in fake discount offers.
Buy Used Items from Amazon
Many people forget that you can actually buy used items from Amazon in some cases. Amazon Warehouse offers incredible deals on many products that have been hardly used. In fact, many of the products returned to Amazon have never actually been used, but they have been taken out of the original packaging. Amazon Warehouse then takes these basically new products and sells them at a huge discount.
Ivan Serrano is a web journalist living in the Bay Area of California. He mainly focuses on social media, small business, and finance. When he isn’t planted at his desk writing something up, he’ll be wandering around town practicing photography or watching his favorite sports teams with his friends.