Thanks to the accessibility of the Internet, we can now shop online for virtually everything. From groceries and fast food delivery to car parts and clothing, leaving the house to shop is fast becoming a thing of the past. Because of how easy it is, many of us often point, click, checkout, and rush to the mailbox every morning in eager anticipation of our goods.
However, that tactic may actually cost you more money than you realize, making the instant savings of online shopping null and void. With the economy still on the mend, many of us struggle to make ends meet, which means we need to be extra savvy when shopping to guarantee we get the best bang for our buck.
Comparison Shopping Sites
Take advantage of comparison shopping sites. The next time you’re shopping for a specific item online, type it into search engines like Google Shopping, Nextag, Bizrate, and Yahoo! Shopping.
All four search engines bring up a great list of competitive prices from different retailers. A quick scan through those retailer deals can give you a good idea of not only what to expect, but where to find the best deals.
Seek out coupon codes. Numerous retailers offer great coupon codes that give you a certain percent off your final purchase amount that may knock the price down lower than the lowest retail offer.
You can find coupon codes on money saver websites like CouponFollow, who aggregate coupons from shoppers, retailers, and social media.
Your favorite department stores and retailers send out weekly and monthly newsletters letting you know what’s on sale both online and in stores. Many times, they often include coupon codes or printable coupons you can use when shopping that lower your final costs even more and you can’t beat that.
So make sure you sign up.
Some companies, like Amazon, offer affiliate programs that allow you to shop through your own affiliate link, which earns you cash back from your personal purchases and purchases from others who shop through your link.
Overstock sites like Overstock.com are the online equivalent of those stores in the local mall that garnered their merchandise through buyouts from other stores and companies that took on more merchandise than they can handle. Because they lose money, they sell the merchandise to overstock sites for far less than it’s actually worth, meaning they can pass the savings on to you.
Online Auction Sites
Online auction sites can be tricky because many people will overbid on items they want, often paying far more than they should. The trick to auction sites like eBay is watching the items that have low or no bids as they near expiration and then placing the minimum bid. Even if you don’t happen to win, you save yourself a lot of money avoiding an inflated price.
Shop on the Right Day
Even though a lazy Sunday afternoon may seem like a perfect time to log onto your computer and browse around various retailers, you actually may want to wait. Most stores are known to roll out discounts and deals on Wednesday.
However, if you’re looking for cheap airline tickets, Sunday is the best day to purchase flight tickets.
Last, but not least, ask yourself if the items you’re shopping for online are things you actually need. Since we can get such great deals online, we start buying a bunch of stuff we have no use or need for. If this becomes a trend, you can quickly spend your way into a dark corner — and no one wants that.