Did you know over 75% of consumers are shopping online at least once a month? Gone are the days when you had to go to a brick-and-mortar store to get in a little retail therapy. Now, you can order everything from groceries to clothes to antiques online. If you’re a bona fide online shopping addict, I’ve got good news. There are things you can do TODAY that’ll save you money. Here are 10 thrifty tips for online shopping.
Coupons aren’t just for in-person shopping! Many websites offer coupons and promos that may save you a buck or two when you’re online shopping. You can find hundreds of paperless coupons on Coupons.com, accessible online and through their app. And speaking of apps, allow me to introduce you to Ibotta. This cash back app actually rewards you for both online and in-person purchases. All you have to do is create an account and watch the savings roll in!
Almost everyone has visited an online shop that asked us to sign up for their newsletter. Most of us immediately click off that box, maybe frustrated that it popped up on the screen in the first place. However, signing up for newsletters may result in big savings! Many companies email their customers with information about sales, discounts, and more! Pro tip: if you don’t want to be bombarded with promotions on your personal email account, make a separate one just for newsletters and advertisements.
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Many websites give customers the option to buy secondhand. While you always want to check shipping costs, buying used can be an easy way to save money! eBay is a great place to score everything from designer handbags to antique clocks. Of course, if you’re on the market for secondhand clothes, you might want to check out Poshmark! Some Amazon listings even have the option to buy used. So, before you add anything to your cart, make sure you’re getting the best deal first!
Patience is a virtue, and that principle applies to online shopping. If there’s something you really want but don’t actually need, place it in your cart and wait for a sale or a price drop. Or see if you can find a coupon you can use for the item in your cart. If you end up saving yourself some money, you’ll be happy you decided to be patient!
We all have our favorite online shopping site. However, before you make any purchase, you should always compare prices. This can mean comparing different listings on the same site or comparing listings across multiple sites. There are even apps you can download to compare prices! BuyVia is one such app. Flipp may also prove to be an ally in your quest for savings.
If you’ve never considered joining a loyalty program, you may want to start thinking about it now. Many rewards programs offer cash back, special promotions, members-only sales, and coupons! So next time you’re browsing your favorite online shop, don’t forget to see if they offer a loyalty program. And if they do, sign up! You’ll be glad you did.
Shipping charges are one of the major downsides of online shopping. You may think you scored an incredible deal, only to wince when you look at the cost of shipping. Before you fork over your hard-earned money, check to see if there’s a similar listing with fewer shipping fees. Or, better yet, free shipping!
If you’ve ever been online shopping, you know that many stores invite you to use a discount code when you go to make your purchase. Make sure that you’re taking advantage of those. Even if it’s as simple as you getting 10 percent off your order, that’s still money saved!
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In an ideal world, you could safely shop at any store without fear. However, not every online shop is reputable. From deals that are too good to be true to sketchy return policies to damaged merchandise, there’s no shortage of e-commerce scams. Before you purchase items from any shop or seller, make sure you do your research. Do they have good reviews? What are their return policies? Does their website look professional? Do the listings contain typos or other grammatical errors? Always be on the lookout for red flags like these, especially before you give any site your credit card information.
Most of us enjoy shopping sprees. However, if you’re a senior living on a fixed income, avoid splurging at all costs. Only get what you absolutely need. If something else catches your eye, refer to tip number 4 and place it in your cart for later. Stick to your budget and don’t give into the temptation to splurge! It’s not worth the anxiety and stress you might feel later.
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Originally published March 20, 2023
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