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Christmas shopping online from the comfort of your own couch is the best! Gone are the days where you have to wait in long lines and fight over the latest toy or gadget. Now, finding great online deals and buying anything your heart desires is just a few easy clicks away.
Online shopping is awesome, but it can be dangerous for your budget if you aren’t careful.
Luckily, finding great savings online has never been easier. You can find plenty of bargains if you know just a few tricks! Here are some great ways to find the best deals while shopping online:
1. Use a Coupon Code
Make it a policy to never purchase anything online without first finding a coupon code to use. Do a simple Google search or try sites that gather coupon information like RetailMeNot.com or Coupons.com. Search for the store you’re planning to shop from and boom! You have a long list of coupon codes rated by other users.
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With only a few minutes of effort, you can find online deals that could save at least 10–25% off your order! Not too shabby!
2. Let Someone Else Bargain Hunt for You
There are plenty of sites out there that comb through online sales to help keep you in the loop of the best online deals. To name a few, DealNews.com, Offers.com, Slickdeals.net, and MoneySavingMom.com will do the searching for you. It may take some digging around, but you’re bound to score deals you might not find elsewhere. Be careful and make sure the security information on the site shows you’re shopping on a secure URL (https) so you’re not giving away any personal information.
3. Try Bargaining
Sometimes a little chat with customer service may provide some extra savings. Use the live chat to talk down the price or ask for a discount. Did you forget to use a coupon before it expired? No problem. The store still might honor it. Some companies will give you the discount because they want to keep you as a customer. And while you’re at it, see if they offer free gift wrapping to save you even more. You’ll never know if you don’t ask!
4. Shop on the Right Day
Keep an eye out for sales that drop on specific days of the week. Many stores roll out special discounts and deals on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. And if you’re looking for a deal flying the friendly skies, Sunday is typically the best day for purchasing airline tickets.
If you love the thrill of hunting down a good deal (once a year) be sure to mark your calendar for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Green Monday. These shopping days happen once a year, but they can sometimes be overhyped. But if they’re offering the kind of items you’re looking for, you can walk away with a great deal!
5. Find Free Shipping
With all the online promos these days, you should rarely have to pay for shipping. It’s just not worth it to have to pay high shipping prices—even if the online deal is spectacular.
If you’re willing to look around and be patient, you can buy just about anything online without paying for shipping. Many stores offer free shipping year-round on a minimum order amount, or they offer free shipping codes at various times. Check out FreeShipping.org to find free shipping codes and offers available at thousands of stores online. Follow the brand on social media to stay in the loop as well.
6. Outsmart Dynamic Pricing
What the heck is dynamic pricing anyway? It’s simply when retailers hike up the prices on online items based on your zip code, search history, and even whether you’re shopping on a mobile device or laptop.
If you want to keep that kind of price gouging at bay, here’s what you need to do: Before you make an online purchase, clear your browsing history and cookies, sign out of your social media sites, and switch to private browsing in your browser (sometimes it’s called incognito mode). Try this next time you shop online and see if it saves you a little bit of cash!
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7. Buy Discounted Gift Cards
If you know you’re going to spend money at a specific store, buying discounted gift cards can be a great money saver. Sites like Raise.com and CardCash.com let users sell gift cards at a reduced rate. If you already know you’re going to do all your Christmas shopping at Old Navy, why not buy a discounted gift card to the store? It could save you 10–15%!
8. Use Apps for Extra Savings
Popular online shopping sites like Groupon, Living Social, and Price Grabber all have apps that compare prices and offer exclusive limited-time deals. They include a wide range of offers like discounted pedicures at a local spa, household décor items, and everything in between!
While you’re at it, look into cash-back apps like Ebates that work with online stores to offer a percentage of your total purchase back as a rebate. While it might not seem like much, it can really add up over time—especially if you factor in all the Christmas presents you’re buying. If you’re already going to be making an online purchase, why not get a little money back too?
9. Price Match
It never hurts to ask! Stores like Kohl’s, Target and Walmart all participate in price matching with competitors. Speaking of Walmart—their app offers a Savings Catcher that is pretty much a price-matching tool. You scan your receipt, Walmart compares prices, and if an item is advertised cheaper at a competitor’s store, they’ll refund you the difference in a digital gift card. Not too shabby!
10. Resist the Impulse!
Just because you’ve caught that giving, Christmas spirit and put the item into your cart doesn’t mean you have to buy it right then. If you abandon your shopping cart, many sites will send a savings offer in a follow-up email. This is a great way to score a 10–20% off coupon code with little effort. Instead of acting on impulse—just be patient!
Create a shopping list and add your favorite items, then wait. You’ll get updates when they’re on sale.
Okay, all this talk about shopping is great, but remember—you still need a budget! And don’t worry, we’re not trying to rain on your parade. Despite what you may think, a budget actually gives you freedom to spend your money. You simply need to tell that money where to go before you spend it.
You can get a great online deal and feel good about it because you budgeted for it! Our free app EveryDollar will help you stick to your budgeting goals!