If you’re an active online shopper, chances are you’re here because you’re searching for some ways to save money shopping online.
Online shopping is the most popular method of shopping in the 21st century.
In fact, according to Oberlo, more than 1.8 billion people worldwide purchase goods online. 63 percent of shopping occasions begin online. Nearly half of the consumers shop more on mobile than in-store.
And you won’t be surprised when you know that 20% of online shoppers prefer buying products online because they can get a better deal than in-store shopping.
So if you’re an active online shopper, it may be worth it to look for some tips and hacks to save some dollars online.
In short, the 18 proven ways to save money shopping online are:
- Use Price Comparison Websites & Apps
- Use Coupon & Deals Websites
- Add the products to your cart without checkout
- Add products to your wishlist
- Wait for seasonal promotions
- Use retailers mobile app
- Sign up for retailers newsletters
- Use cash-back websites
- Search deals on Google
- Use price tracking tools
- Price-drop refunds
- Buy second-hand or Refurbished
- Buy 2 and Sell 1
- Try less known shopping websites
- Try other brands
- Avoid the “Free shipping trap”
- Buy online and pick in-store
- Follow YouTube channels
Do you really save money shopping online?
Before getting into the details of these ways, let’s answer this popular question that a lot of people are searching for: Do you really save money shopping online?
The short answer is Yes
The long answer is it depends.
It depends on what?
It depends on many factors like:
- What are you buying
- Where are you buying it
- And when are you buying it
Deals and price reductions are different from product to product and from one category to another.
For example, you can save up to $200 on a smartphone if you’re lucky enough to visit that page at the right time. However, you can save up to $1000 on a dining table or a 4K TV from the same retailer.
Because products don’t have the same price margin.
A $1000 smartphone is not like an $8000 TV!
The second factor is “where are you buying it”
Brand loyalty is overrated!
No one is obliging you to buy from BrandX or RetailerY.
So don’t confine yourself by building walls you don’t need!
Search online for the best retailer, look for the best price, and get the best deal! Even if it’s from a less known seller (as long as it’s secure and legal).
The third factor is “when are you buying it”
Buying products on a regular day is not like buying it on Black Friday or Holidays.
Companies usually reduce their prices in seasonal days. So if you can live without that product until the next promotions season, you can postpone your online shopping to that day.
And now let’s back to the main question: Do you really save money shopping online? The answer is Yes as long as you know what are you buying, where are you buying it, and when are you buying it.
What are the advantages of online shopping over traditional shopping?
There are mainly 5 advantages of online shopping over traditional shopping:
- Saving time
- More convenient for most people
- Cheaper than traditional
- Bigger and better selection
- Shop whenever you want
So let’s start talking about these advantages one by one (without getting a lot into the details).
1- Saving time
No matter if you’ve ever tried buying something online or not, you can’t deny the fact that online shopping is a lot easier and faster.
You don’t need to get out of the couch, change your clothes, and then go outside for the nearest store to buy new shoes or a smartphone.
All you have to do is an internet connection, open the retailer website, add everything to your basket and checkout. All that without leaving the bed!
2- More convenient for most people
Online shopping is the most convenient way for most people to buy anything online.
You can’t leave your job to go shopping in-store, but you can do that online (as long as your boss is not around).
You can’t go outside when it’s cold or raining for quick shopping for a new pair of wireless headphones, or to get the latest Galaxy S20. But you can do that online.
In short online shopping suits most people’s lifestyles.
3- Cheaper than traditional
When you shop in-store you need to visit that place physically in order to buy anything. Which means you’ll be limited by a number of stores to buy from.
However, when you shop online you can open 40 tabs in your browser for 40 different retailers and compare prices and buy from the cheapest seller even if it’s in the other half of the world.
4- Bigger and better selection
Online stores are not limited by the size of their buildings. In fact, 22% of online shoppers think that this is the best advantage for online stores, and this is the main reason why they buy online instead of in-store.
5- Shop whenever you want
I don’t need to explain this advantage as it’s clear for most people.
Where can you find a store that’s open 24/7? That’s a killer advantage for online stores over traditional ones.
Does more frequent shopping save money?
This is a tricky question because the answer depends on the context of “saving money”.
If the context is saving money in general, then buying more stuff especially when you don’t need it is never a saving technique. But if you mean getting better promotions and more deals then yes more frequent shopping will save you more money. But only in one case.
People who buy more products end up spending more money. These people are what retailers want. That’s why people who buy more get better deals. And because they got a better deal they end up buying more products with the money they saved. And so on.
Do you see how it goes?
The only way to save money by shopping more frequently is to plan your shopping list in advance and then stick to it.
How many times did you end up buying something you don’t need and you were not thinking to buy just because it was on sale?
Chances are a lot.
Deals can save you money. But they can also turn into a big spending bill in the long run.
It’s a psychological thing. It’s exactly like an addiction.
Buying products you don’t need because they’re in sale doesn’t lead to satisfaction or happiness, that’s why you continue shopping. Your brain is looking for that dose of dopamine but it can’t find it in any of the unnecessary stuff you just bought. So it ends up wanting more!
As consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow, Ph.D. explained in Time magazine, “Consumers fixated on deals and discounts often purchase things that aren’t truly satisfying — and because they aren’t satisfied, they continue to shop.”
The solution is to never buy something you don’t need or you didn’t plan to buy. If you follow these steps you can really save money shopping online.
18 Proven Ways to Save Money Shopping Online
It was a long article! And now you’re here, let’s move into the main part of this article.
Here are the 18 proven ways to save money shopping online.
1. Use Price Comparison Websites & Apps
Remember when we talked about brand loyalty at the beginning of this article? The same thing goes into retailer loyalty. You’re not obliged to buy from a specific store. The internet is full of retailers and stores from all over the world.
And with small research, you can find the cheapest sellers for any product you want.
One way to find cheaper retailers is to use price comparison websites.
Price comparison websites are a type of e-commerce website that collects product listings from many different retailers then group similar products and sort them by cheapest.
In fact, according to KPMG International, 54% of people prefer online shopping over in-store because they can compare prices before buying.
Price comparison websites and apps allow you to shop for products from different retailers all in one place. So instead of opening 10 chrome tabs to find the best price for your dream 4K TV you can just use a price comparison website and save a ton of time.
So if you want to try it, here’s a list of the best comparison shopping websites around the world:
Best price comparison websites in the US
Best price comparison websites in the UK
Best price comparison websites in India
2. Use Coupon & Deals Websites
You can get some decent price reductions on products and services (like Web Hosting).
One strategy to try to save money is to combine different coupons and promo codes at the checkout. You can find different promo codes for the same product on different coupon websites, so why not use both of them?
For example, if you have 2 coupons: One 20% OFF, and the other $10 OFF and you want to apply these coupons for a $100 product.
You can apply the 20% coupon so the price becomes $80 then apply the $10 coupon and you’ll get that product for $70.
3. Add the products to your cart without checkout
This is a less known hack to save money.
Create an account in your favorite merchant (like Amazon or Walmart), then add your wanted products to your “Cart” and don’t checkout. You’ll be surprised after a few days with an email reminding you of your forgotten cart and offering a better price if you checkout now.
There are many websites that offer promo codes and price reductions for their customers who didn’t close the sale, like Amazon, Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Macy’s, JC Penney, Office Max and much more.
4. Add products to your wishlist
Adding products to your wishlist is a great hack to get some decent deals especially in seasonal trends.
Many companies offer personalized deals and price reductions on customers’ wishlists. These deals often happen during special days like holidays, Black Friday, and so on.
5. Wait for seasonal promotions
Seasonal promotions are where most people get their deal of dreams.
Merchants reduce the price of their products on these seasonal days to boost sales and win more clients. Products that get these deals usually depends on the occasion.
For example, tech products are highly discounted on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Outdoor furniture and outdoor tools like lawnmowers and grills are often highly discounted in the fall.
6. Use retailers mobile app
Believe it or not, prices on the retailers’ mobile apps are often cheaper than the website. The reason for that is to encourage their customers to shop using their mobile app to be able to send them notifications.
It’s no secret to you that people spend more time on their smartphones than laptops. So when merchants can reach these customers anytime they want they can increase the chances that customers buy from them. And because contacting smartphone owners through notifications is a lot easier and more effective than contacting them on their laptops.
So if you want to get better deals try to check the product you want to buy on the retailer’s app before you checkout.
Some examples of these apps are Amazon Shopping, Aliexpress Mobile, Walmart App, and more.
7. Sign up for retailers newsletters
Newsletters are annoying sometimes.
But merchants usually send exclusive deals to their email subscribers that don’t show to non-subscribers. So one hack you can try is to create an email only for retailers’ newsletters instead of subscribing using your personal email.
This way you can get up to 15% OFF the products you’re interested in.
8. Use cash-back websites & Apps
Cash-back websites reward their customers when they make a purchase. These rewards (points) can be redeemed into coupons or cash when you become a loyal customer.
Cash-back apps like Ibotta rewards their users from 10 cents cash back for grocery items, all the way up to $15 for gift card purchases, and with over 300 retail partners,
9. Search deals on Google
63% of shopping occasions begin online.
This is what most people do, they start with a simple Google search.
Even if this is a traditional way to find deals and cheaper sellers it’s one of the most effective methods.
If you learn the right way to search for deals you can get some great price reductions or promo codes in 5 minutes.
Let’s suppose you’re looking for an iPhone 11.
You can begin your search with “iPhone 11 deals February 2020” and you’ll get a lot of fresh deals.
The best thing about this method is that you’ll filter all the old finished deals and avoid wasting time on old blog articles that no longer work.
Another tip would be searching for coupons online.
You can type for example “Dining tables free delivery coupon code” where. There are often delivery codes online that you can use – and you’ve saved money all for a few clicks!
10. Use price tracking tools
Price tracking tools are programs that monitor product prices and alert you when the price drops below a threshold you set.
11. Price-drop refunds
Let’s say you bought a Nike shoe for $250 and the next day you found that the price dropped to $200, in this case, you can ask for a price-drop refund from some retailers.
Of course, not all companies do that, but for those who do, they will refund you the price difference if you contact them directly within a certain amount of days.
Amazon, for example, will refund you the difference if you contact them within 7 calendar days. You can also use price tracking tools to be notified when the price drops.
12. Buy second-hand or Refurbished
Used products are not as bad as you think.
Manufacturer Refurbished products come with a guarantee from the company itself. Used products are also a good idea if you can’t pay the full price. And if you want to save more, you can check websites like eBay and Facebook groups that sell second-hand items that may well be perfect for you.
If you do some deep research online you can drop on great second-hand products that are in perfect condition (like new).
Websites that sell these second-hand products include eBay, Amazon, and Swappa.
13. Buy 2 and Sell 1
Buy one get one 50% OFF.
Have you ever passed by one of these deals?
One smart hack you can do is to buy 2 products (one in full price and one half the price), then keep one and sell the other for the full price. You’ll earn 50%.
Let’s say you’re buying a $20 shirt from Amazon and you came across one of these deals. If you buy 2 you’ll pay $30.
You can then keep one shirt and sell the other for $20. And keep 50% in your pocket.
14. Try less-known shopping websites
Not all retailers are equal.
It’s true that popular merchant has better services, faster shipping, and more products to choose from. However, their prices may be higher (sometimes).
So it’s a good idea to have a list of less-known shopping websites to visit before you make any purchase.
15. Try other brands
Brand loyalty? Again?
Yeah, no matter how many times we talk about this it’s still not enough.
Brands do not always have better quality, but they always have a higher price.
So try another brand that’s known for good quality and affordable price. Maybe start with asking a friend about it. Or watch a review on Youtube to make a clear idea about that new underrated brand.
16. Avoid the “Free shipping trap”
The free shipping trap is when a merchant increases the price of a product and then put a “Free Shipping” logo on it.
For example, you find 2 dining tables. Both are the same.
The first table: $300 + $20 shipping.
The second table $330 + Free Shipping.
Most people think that the second table is a better deal, but it’s not. That’s the free shipping trap. So be careful.
17. Buy online and pick in-store
You can’t imagine how much money you’ll save by picking up in-store instead of shipping it to your house.
Many people prefer home shipping because it’s easier and more convenient for their lifestyle. And that’s ok.
But if you want an additional saving tip, this is definitely worth it.
18. Follow YouTube channels
Who doesn’t watch Youtube!
Some Youtube channels will have videos about the best deals you can get right now. And more often big channels would have exclusive promotions for their subscribers. So try following some big channels that do this type of video.
And to show you an example, let’s take a look at this video from the UrAvgConsumer channel:
And here are the 18 proven ways to save money shopping online.
Our advice is to not try to apply all these tips at once. But instead, pick 2 or 3 and try them when you shop online next time.
Did you try any of these tips before? Or do you have an additional tip we didn’t talk about in this article? Please share it in the comments sections below.
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