If you’re like many people today, one of your main modes of shopping is online. It’s quick, it’s convenient, and it’s sometimes even one-click easy. But, like purchasing in any other manner, you’ll want to make sure you are getting the best deals online. Why pay more than you have to?
Read on to learn some clever hacks that will help you get the best possible deals when shopping online.
Ways to Find Deals Online
1. Finding the Right Coupon Codes
Coupon codes are lurking all over the internet to help people find the best deals at their favorite retailers. For example, many online retailers will give customers a little discount for newsletter signup or for their first purchase. Others hide discount codes, but a simple Google search can yield great results for coupon hunters.
An easier way to dig up coupons to online retailers may be to search on coupon websites like RetailMeNot or Coupons.com.
Digital shoppers also can try downloading Chrome extensions like Honey, which automatically searches the internet for the best discount codes and applies them at checkout.
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2. Using Free Shipping or In-Store Pickup
Online shopping tips don’t stop at coupons. Another way to save is to find free shipping options. If you don’t need an item ASAP, free shipping is typically an option at checkout.
Many online retailers also offer free shipping with a minimum order amount. To find free shipping deals and codes, check out websites like FreeShipping.com.
Another option may be to order an item online and then pick it up at the store for free. If it’s close enough to grab in person, it may be worth it to avoid shipping costs altogether.
💡 Quick Tip: Tired of paying pointless bank fees? When you open a bank account online you often avoid excess charges.
3. Giving a Price Watcher a Go
Consumers who aren’t in a rush to purchase an item may be able to take advantage of price tracking tools. Price tracking tools help shoppers stay informed about price drops and sales so they can click “buy” at just the right time. These might even be able to help you be more patient if you are an impulsive shopper. Knowing that a better price may be in the offing could help you slow down.
Apps like Honey have tools like Droplist that allow consumers to save items for later and be informed when an item on the list has a price drop.
Other apps like CamelCamelCamel track prices on Amazon, and PriceBlink will find even more deals across the Web, too. It works by showing how much an item costs at several online stores so shoppers can pick the best one.
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4. Trying Online Price Matching
Many larger retailers like Walmart and Target participate in price matching programs, which means if you find a price at one retailer you may be able to get it at another.
This used to mean bringing in a printed coupon or proof that the product was on sale for a lower price at a different retailer, but now, it can all be done online. All a shopper needs to do is reach out to customer service, which may be able to help out.
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5. Checking Reviews
To get the best deal when shopping online, you’ll want to be sure you are getting the best product. And one way to do that is to check online reviews. Customers all over the internet leave reviews on products they’ve purchased, alerting others to potential issues or potential great buys.
On websites like Amazon, search for “verified purchase” to know that the review is legit. While online reviews should be taken with a grain of salt, they are one more tool to add to your decision-making arsenal for online shopping.
Before purchasing a product, is it really something you want or need, or will bring joy? If so, check reviews to make sure it’s the perfect fit before clicking “buy.”
💡 Quick Tip: If you’re creating a budget, try the 50/30/20 budget rule. Allocate 50% of your after-tax income to the “needs” of life, like living expenses and debt. Spend 30% on wants, and then save the remaining 20% towards saving for your long-term goals.
6. Waiting for Bigger Sales
Throughout the year, larger retailers will likely host online shopping sales. These sales are known to occur around the holidays, specifically on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, and Cyber Monday, the following Monday, a day that’s packed with online deals.
Other major sales usually occur around holidays like Presidents Day, Memorial Day, and Labor Day, as well as midsummer. During this time, you may be able to score major discounts, so if you can wait for a purchase, try to hold off until then. Knowing that deep discounts are coming could help you avoid shopping out of boredom. It gives you an incentive to wait.
One more “holiday” to keep an eye out for is Amazon Prime Day. During the sale, retailers across the website offer steep discounts on products.
However, to get in on the deal, you must be an Amazon Prime member, which comes with a subscription. But Amazon Prime members get free shipping on most products, which can add up in the long run.
7. Following Favorite Brands on Social Media
One more way to potentially find the best deals online is to follow brands and retailers on social media. Brands love to give their loyal customers something special, so they may share insider discounts and offers on their social media pages and newsletters before anywhere else.
Give your favorite brands a follow on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook to stay aware of when sales may be happening, and maybe get inspired about new things to buy along the way, too. Just be sure when you are purchasing that you are on the verified account of the brand. There are some scams out there that you’ll want to avoid.
💡 Quick Tip: When you feel the urge to buy something that isn’t in your budget, try the 30-day rule. Make a note of the item in your calendar for 30 days into the future. When the date rolls around, there’s a good chance the “gotta have it” feeling will have subsided.
8. Earning Cash Back for Purchases
If you’re not interested in having to do all this legwork to get a good deal while shopping online, there is another option: Use a credit card that gives you cash back. You may even be able to bundle and increase the credit card reward if you shop online at specific retailers at certain periods of time.
Shopping online is already, as you undoubtedly know, quick and easy. But there are ways to make it even more affordable, by tracking prices, using coupon sites, and knowing when to purchase to get the lowest possible price. By deploying these and other hacks, you can get the goods you want at the most budget-friendly price.
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SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.
SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.
SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.
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