Oh hi, shoppers! If you’re anything like me, you want the best deal available, whether it means hunting online, in the mall or through bargain bins. The internet often houses the best of the best deals, right alongside the very worst. How do you weed through all the junk and make sure you’re getting a great deal? And – what else is in it for you?
Here are my tips for scoring some savings online.
1. Ship it for Free
Many sites offer free shipping after a minimum spend, or even free shipping on any order. Try and stick to sites that will ship your order free one way or another. If you’re tacking an extra $5, $10, $20 on to your order for shipping, what was once a good deal now has you saying “meh”.
2. Click and Collect
When you can, consider using click and collect. If you’re shopping with a store that has a brick and mortar location near you, they may offer this service free of charge. Not only will you save on shipping, you can try the item out right at the store and return it if necessary.
3. Get Rewarded
If you can get paid to shop, why not?! You may have heard this a thousand times, but…get on the Ebates train! Ebates is a shopping hub that has become wildly popular, and for good reason. Visit Ebates first, follow the link to the site of your choice and make your purchase as usual. You’ll find that many of the sites you enjoy have partnered up with them. When you make a purchase, the store pays Ebates an amount for referring you to their site, part of which they pass along to you. Win-win!
Make use of apps that give you cash back for purchasing specific products:
Keep in mind that some sites offer rewards programs of their own with a free signup. These rewards translate into free store credit.
4. Be Picky
Shop sales (sounds obvious, but hear me out). I’m a believer in never paying full price, particularly online, as sites are always trying to entice us with promotions. Look around, add items to your cart but, if you can, hold off on making the purchase until they run a promotion.
Simply window shopping can pay off. Sometimes when you log in to a site, add items to your cart and then navigate away, they will email you with a discount code to encourage you to make the purchase.
5. Consider Return Policies
This is especially important when you’re buying clothing or shoes. How easy or difficult will it be to return the item if it doesn’t work out for you? The most ideal scenario is when the store has a physical location in your area that accepts returns. If you’re required to pay to ship the item back to the company, you may end up being stuck with items you’ve paid for but won’t use.
6. Use PayPal and a Side Hustle
This next tip won’t be for everyone, but is bound to cushion your online shopping fund. Consider setting up a PayPal account and filling it with money earned through a side hustle. I belong to several paid survey websites which either pay me directly via PayPal, or I can cash out and put in my PayPal account. The most profitable site for me is UserTesting. In a typical month, I earn about $20-$40 on surveys. Since this gets put into my PayPal account and I never actually see it in my bank account, it feels like free money. Use this “side hustle money” first when making purchases online.
7. Compare Prices
There are several sites making it super easy to compare prices online. These sites are tailored to Canadian shoppers:
Just search for the item you want to purchase and these sites will let you know where you can find it for the lowest price.
8. Buy With Intent
It’s clear that you’d really like those kitschy cactus salt and pepper shakers. Before pulling the trigger, analyze your current situation.
- Is this actually a good deal? Could I find the same item or something similar for less somewhere else?
- Is this a need or a want? Does that matter right now?
- Can I picture exactly how I will use this item, or even, does this item add value to my life? How often will I use it?
- Did I set out to shop for this particular item, or did I simply stumble across it?
- Is this a gift for someone else, or a purchase for myself? Does my current financial situation allow me to spend x amount of dollars on this particular item right now?
I hope this list has given you some ideas for how to save when you spend online. It all adds up! Comment below and let me know your best tip for saving money when shopping online.