13 Ways to Save Money on Online Shopping

November 16, 2015

6:00 pm

No matter if you are purchasing your products online or in-person, you still want to save money. Since online shopping is a relatively new concept (when framing it on the entire timeline of commerce, in general), most people don’t know how to take advantage of deals online-retailers offer which can cost you hundreds. When shopping online, consider the following tips to save yourself money:

Shop on the Right Day

Retailers know when customers make the most purchases, and adjust their prices accordingly. Most people shop on Sundays, so prices usually go up as the weekend approaches. The best deals occur early in the week, so it’s best to purchase things on a Tuesday or Wednesday to get the best deal.

Buy at the Right Time

Just as retailers know what day(s) people make the most purchases, thanks to black box algorithms, they also know the time of the day most people shop. This allows them to raise and lower their prices throughout the day to maximize profits. Depending on the product, prices can fluctuate up to 15% in one day! Since black box algorithms are difficult to understand, download a program that monitors a variety of websites and alerts you to when the products you are interested in are at their lowest price.

Ask for Price Drop Refunds

It can be really upsetting when you purchase a product at full price and then see it go on sale the next day. In some cases, you may be able to get a price drop refund, which essentially refunds the difference between the sale price and what you paid.

Bargain with Customer Service

Most companies are more than willing to honor expired coupons, so if you have one, be sure to contact customer service and ask. If you don’t have a coupon, take advantage of the “live chat” option many retailers offer and ask the rep if there are any discounts on the item you are interested in.

Use One Merchant

If you are making a lot of purchases at once, try to purchase them all from one company. Purchasing this way allows your retailer to ship all your purchases together and can save you hundreds in shipping costs.

Leave Products in Your Cart

Putting an item in your cart lets the retailer know you are interested, but if you leave it in your cart for a few days, the retailer begins to panic. Rather than lose the sale, they will often send you discount offers to get you to purchase from them. Leaving an item in your cart is also a great way to avoid wasting money on impulse buys.

Subscribe

Most companies give you the option of subscribing to their newsletter to get product updates and discounts. In order to stay up-to-date on every offer, sign up for as many of these as you can. Worried about filling your personal email address with spam? Simply create a second email address and direct all the newsletters there.

Coupon Codes

The days of clipping coupons out of magazines and newspapers may be over, but that doesn’t mean coupons are dead! Nowadays, coupons come in the form of codes that you enter when making an online purchase. Although sometimes retailers will send you these codes, the best place to find them is a coupon website that has a list of codes. In order to avoid endless searching, choose a website that offers discounts from many different retailers, such as Coupofy to find the one right for you.

Research It

Be sure to shop around before you purchase; even if you are buying a “sale” item, you might be able to find it cheaper at another retailer. Research is easy; simply google the product name and compare prices. Always be sure to check the manufacturer’s website too, as they might offer perks such as free shipping or additional savings.

Use the Right Credit Card

Credit card companies often charge the retailer a fee on transactions, which is why so many large companies offer their own credit card programs. In order to encourage you to use their credit card, companies will often offer cash back programs.

Eschew Dynamic Pricing

Dynamic pricing looks at your previous purchases, emails, and even your location to determine what your ideal price point is. Avoid this dynamic pricing trick by closing your email, deleting your history, and using “incognito” browser windows when making a purchase.

Use Coupons Wisely

If you are applying two or more coupons to the cost of a product, make sure to use them in a way that saves you the most money. It’s always best to use a “percentage-off” coupon before a “money-off” coupon.

Reward Services

Online retailers offer coupons and other discounts in exchange for taking online surveys. These surveys usually only take a few minutes to complete and can offer deep discounts, so make sure to take the time to fill them out.

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My name is Pravin Daryani, a startup founder from New Zealand.

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