The web is full of tools that help you compare prices and find the best deal. You can save a lot of money while shopping online if you order the product from the right place and comparison shopping is one of the best methods to find out which website has the lowest price for an item. By comparing the prices of two or more websites, you can easily narrow down where you want to make your purchase. Today, we’ve put together 7 distinct tips to help you get the best deals and save money when you shop online.
Create an account ahead of time.
Before you start shopping, create an account with the retailer you’re going to purchase from. You’ll save time by not having to fill in the same info over and over again, and some retailers give discounts or special deals if you create an account ahead of time. Also, try signing up for a cashback account with a company like Rakuten, which lets you earn extra cashback on your purchases.
Do your research.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when shopping online. There are so many stores, so many sales, and so many options for each item. Sites like Amazon and eBay are great places to start because they have a ton of products, but you’ll also find that other lesser-known sites sometimes have better prices. This is where research comes in.
To get the best price, you need to compare prices on different websites and make sure that your total cost (including shipping) at one store is lower than the listed cost of the same item at another store.
Maximize your credit card rewards.
If you’re going to be shopping online, it makes sense to use a credit card that gives you the best rewards. There are lots of different credit cards out there, and they all have their own rewards programs. For example, which of your Credit cards pays you 1.5% cash back on every purchase with no annual fee? The Capital One Venture Card pays you double miles for every dollar spent and has no foreign transaction fees.
Check for discounts within the store.
You can find a collection of active coupon codes for a variety of retailers in-store or on their website. This is where you should look first to grab any coupons you may have missed. Some coupons are site-wide, or they can be specific to the type of purchase you’re making. To use these coupons, copy the code and paste or type it into the coupon or discount code field at checkout.
Another option is looking within the store itself for discounts. Plenty of retailers offer their own promotions that can save you money without having to search for coupons.
Many department stores offer cashback savings on certain items and departments, like clothing or furniture. These discounts will be automatically applied when you make your purchase, so no need to hunt down a coupon code here; simply add qualifying items to your cart, and watch as they magically become less expensive.
You can also check out tools like Honey that can automatically find coupons and apply them to your online shopping cart when you’re at checkout.
Skip the shipping fees with in-store pickup.
If you’re worried about shipping costs, you might want to look into in-store pickup options. Before you go through the checkout process, make sure your store of choice has this option and that it makes sense based on location. For example, someone in Toronto, Ontario probably can’t get their order picked up at a store in Vancouver, British Columbia.
If the item is available for pickup (and doesn’t have to be shipped), the next step is to figure out if there are any fees associated with picking up your order in-store. Some stores will charge a small fee for picking up an item from the store itself and some will give you curbside pickup (they’ll bring it out to your car) for free. However, even these small fees are usually cheaper than shipping costs— just keep an eye out for them before completing your purchase.
Get cashback savings.
You can get cash back when you buy something online, but not all credit cards offer the same amount of cash back, and they aren’t all easy to use. Look for a card that offers cash back on your typical expenses and has a high redemption rate.
You might earn 1% to 5% cash back on gasoline purchases, which will help you save money if you drive a lot.
If you take public transportation, find out if your card offers more cash back when used at grocery stores or department stores.
Look for promotions that offer higher than normal rewards on certain products and services in order to streamline your shopping process. This can help you save even more money.
Save with a student account or educator discount. Takeaway: Shop online to save money and time
If you’re a college student or an educator, you could be eligible for special discounts at some retailers. Many stores offer registrants with a student email address a discount on laptops, and some also offer educator discounts on computers. This can be helpful when homeschooling, or buying textbooks and other materials that you use in the classroom. Make sure to check with your school to see if they already have this type of arrangement in place.
Finally, remember that price matching can take up an enormous amount of your time if done improperly. The best way to avoid wasting precious hours when you shop online is by only doing this for items worth more than $25 each.