Online shopping is increasingly becoming popular because it’s convenient and easy. It saves you time from going from one store to another. You also don’t have to designate specific time to do your shopping since you can do it during your commute to or from work, at lunch and breaks, and so on.
You simply open your computer or your mobile phone, type what you’re looking for and the Internet gives you options. However, don’t forget that retailers are becoming creative to lure you into spending your hard-earned money without you even noticing.
Listed below are eight smart and savvy tips to get discounts on your online purchases.
1. Comparing from different platforms
While having memberships can give you discounts, comparing various sites can give more options for cheaper prices or free shipping. What is already inexpensive from one site can still be cheaper on another.
A key thing to remember when using this tip is to ensure the legitimacy of the website to avoid fake products, scams, or other troubles. Some ways to keep you secure are:
- Check on the things that can make the item real. For example, a legitimate product from a particular brand could have a serial number, so check the photos of the product before purchase. Better yet, look for items that show actual images rather than stock.
- Look at the reviews of the site from other platforms. Consider how past customers feel about the company and read their experiences. Feedback for the item that you want to buy can help, too.
- Make sure that the website uses “HTTPS.” Most browsers now give a prompt when a site is not secure and is using an “HTTP.”
- Don’t neglect dodgy contact information or contact methods.
- Refrain from visiting phishing sites that disguise themselves as pop-up adverts on your screen.
2. Search for coupons, vouchers, and offers
Coupons and vouchers are codes that you can apply before paying for items to get a discount. This is fairly common in e-commerce sites, and you want to make sure that you can take advantage of these deals by doing a search on your browser.
For example, a Holiday Extras parking discount code allows you to save money on flights, car rentals, shopping, and others.
Here’s how to search for coupons online:
- Visit the website manufacturers
- Perform a general search by entering “online coupons” or “hotel online coupons”
- Look at the company’s social media accounts for announcements
- Visit specific coupon sites
3. Leave items in your basket or cart
One of the several helpful tips to save money online is to leave items in your basket or cart instead of buying immediately. Leaving items in your basket for a day or more will not only stop you from impulsive shopping, but will prompt retailers to persuade you to complete the transaction.
Retailers will send you a notification regarding the items you left and will usually include a coupon or a discounted price for the purchase. This doesn’t apply to all brands, but many stores are practicing this. For this to work, you need to be logged in on your account so they can track your activity.
4. Sign-up for alerts and newsletters
You can sign-up for emails with retailers you usually shop in because they make announcements for discounts before being live on the site. There are times when emails are targeted to certain members, but more often, these newsletters ensure that you don’t miss out on huge deals on specific dates or holidays.
Two things to consider:
- Use a secondary email to sign-up to these sites so your primary email won’t be full of these alerts.
- Many consumers is signed up to a site with multiple emails. This way, they can really take advantage of offers.
5. Don’t fall for the dynamic pricing trap
Dynamic pricing is a strategy that companies use to change the price according to the market demand, location, browsing patterns, and even spending habits.
For example, you might find that the cheap flight you found yesterday went higher today. Retailers use different kinds of data to determine a price point, and if you aren’t smart to escape it, you’re going to end up paying more.
Outsmart this strategy with these sneaky online shopping tricks:
- Log out of your account when browsing more items, flights, hotels, and more.
- Delete cache and cookies on your browser.
- Use a private or incognito window browser when doing a search.
- Chose localized website versions.
6. Strategize shopping days
While online shopping is convenient and you can do it anytime, there are actually “right days” to shop to save money. Retailers know when buyers purchase items and prices can go higher when there is a demand. At the same time, stores take note of the seasons that certain items are bought.
When you strategize by shopping on seasons or days that are off-peak, then you’ll see lower prices. Here are some insights and tips:
- Buy off-season items. For example, buy swimwear for a planned summer trip during autumn or winter.
- Thanksgiving holiday sale can save you most money compared to other holidays.
- Airline tickets are cheaper on Tuesdays.
- Online shopping spikes at 8:00 P.M.
- Tuesdays and Wednesdays can score you discounts because more people shop by the end of the week.
7. Claim rewards and cashback
Some retailers offer rewards or apps that provide cash back for the amount that you spend. Rewards are usually points that you can accumulate and use in future purchases, while cashback is when you’re offered a certain amount back if you spend a set minimum value. These can be helpful especially when you often buy items in bulk from your favorite retailer.
8. Tap customer support
In times where your coupons are expired, contacting customer service can help you out by extending it or giving you another coupon with a similar value. Although this doesn’t work all the time, you can definitely give it a try because sales representatives are keen on closing deals.
You can also politely ask the representative if there are current discounts for an item you want to buy in cases where you don’t have a voucher.
While online shopping does have its pros and cons, what you need to remember are the smart ways that you can save money when purchasing online. Don’t forget to apply these hacks provided, and you’ll see the difference when you have some dollars to spare in savings.