Everyone loves shopping online – in a recent poll, it was found that nearly 80% of Americans shopped online regularly, with 20% of Americans shopping online on a weekly or daily basis. Shopping online is fun and convenient, and you can do it from the comfort of your own home!
But, the thing that is the most attractive about shopping online is the ability to save quite a bit of money. When you shop online, it’s much easier to compare the prices of common items and household goods, and find the company that sells them for the lowest price.
If you’re looking to stretch your dollar even further, there are dozens of lifehacks, tips, and tricks you can use to save money when shopping online. In this article, EJ Gift Cards will go over our favorites – and help you save money whether you’re shopping at Target.com, Amazon, WalMart.com, or anywhere else on the web.
1. Track Prices Using Online Tools
There are a number of great deal tracking websites out there that track prices of items on hundreds of different websites. Check out this article from PCMag for some of the most popular websites. They range from price trackers to websites that aggregate deals from across the web.
One of our particular favorite tools is called camelcamelcamel. No, you won’t find any camels on this website. Instead, you’ll find the very best Amazon price tracker in the business. With this price tracker, you can save big if there are any big-ticket items that you are interested in buying from Amazon.
The camelcamelcamel tracking tool lets you view the historically low (and high) prices for each item, as well as how much the item is selling for now. You can get a good idea of how often each item goes on sale – and set an email or RSS reminder for certain price point.
If you’re interested in a new TV, for example, and you see that your preferred model has been on sale for under $200 in the past, you can set a reminder that will email you when the price drops again.
By using this tool, you can easily save hundreds of dollars per year if you’re a regular Amazon shopper, and an Amazon Prime member.
2. Always Check Coupon Websites For Applicable Codes And Discounts
There are a huge number of coupon websites that you can use to get codes, discounts, and promotional offers for thousands of different online retailers. Here is a short list of some of our favorites.
Most of these websites offer online coupons, but some also offer physical coupons, which can help you save money no matter where you shop!
3. Use Google To Compare Prices Across Websites
You already have the best price-comparison tool of all time at your disposal whenever you’re shopping online – Google! Google makes it easy to compare pricing across dozens of websites.
All you have to do is find an item that you’re interested in, on just about any website, and you can then start shopping for a better price. Paste the name of the item into your Google search browser, then navigate to the “Shopping” tab on the top of the page.
You’ll be able to quickly see a lineup of the prices available for your selected item, alongside a bunch of different search filters such as prices, geographic location, brand, style, and much more.
This makes it easy to see if you’re getting a good deal, and to find websites that have the item you’re looking for at a lower price.
4. Make Use Of Online Loyalty Clubs And Rewards
If you shop regularly at any particular store, you should make sure that you join their loyalty program, and that you sign up for promotional emails. Often, you’ll get signed up for promotional emails as soon as you create an account on a website like Target.com
Stores always want you to buy more merchandise – so you’ll often find that you get coupons for huge discounts of 20-30% or more in your inbox.
In addition, if you are a member of a rewards program, you could end up getting additional perks like free shipping and special, members-only discounts – which can help you stretch your dollar even further.
5. Use In-Store Pickups To Save On Shipping Costs
Don’t like the idea of paying for shipping when shopping online? You’re not alone. 9 out of 10 people say that free shipping is a top incentive when shopping online. However, some products from large “big box” retailers are not eligible for free shipping.
A great way to save on these shipping costs is with in-store pickup. If you have a store location near you, you can get your product shipped to their store – often free of charge. Or, if they already have it in stock, you can check out online, and then pick it up at the store for free.
This is a great way to save money on shipping costs. Saving 5 or 10 bucks on a shipped item may not seem like a lot – but if you are a regular online shopper, the savings can rack up more quickly than you might think!
6. Think About Applying For Store Credit Cards
Some stores have really good promotions for their in-store credit cards. Costco, for example, allows you to get big discounts on gas and other perks, when you use a store credit card.
Amazon is perhaps the best example of this, though. With the Amazon Rewards Card, you can save 3% on all of your Amazon purchases, and if you are an Amazon Prime member, you can get the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Gift Card, which gives you 5% cash back on all Amazon purchases.
If you shop online regularly, a card like this is definitely worth it. The discounts will start to stack up quickly, especially if you have a credit card for each online retailer where you commonly shop.
Naturally, you’ll want to use these credit cards wisely, and pay them down to avoid debt. If you can do so, the savings can be significant, indeed.
7. Get Discounted Gift Cards From EJ Gift Cards
Another one of the best ways you can save money when shopping online just about anywhere is with a gift card reseller, such as EJ Gift Cards. We sell Target gift cards, sell GAP gift cards, sell Apple Store gift cards, and sell Nordstrom gift cards – along with hundreds of others.
Discounted gift cards are quite simple. People who have gift cards that they don’t wait can sell them online to a website like EJ Gift Cards. In return, they get cash for a set percentage of the value of their card.
This allows them to sell gift cards that they don’t want, and then use the cash to purchase whatever they want.
Then, the gift card reseller takes and bundles these gift cards, and sells them online, on their website for a slightly higher price. Depending on the gift cards that you’re interested in, you can save anywhere from 2-25% of value of a gift card to your favorite retailer, shop, or restaurant.
If you really want to stretch your dollar, buying discounted gift cards from EJ Gift Cards is one of the best ways to do it. One of the advantages of gift cards is that they can almost always be combined with other coupons, retailer sales, and discounts – so you can save even more!
In addition, you can even use a cash back rewards credit card to buy gift cards online – and this means you’ll get more money back while shopping online.
8. Clear Your Cookies And Browsing History (Or Shop Incognito)
Most retailers and websites use “cookies” in order to track your browsing activity on their websites.
Have you ever been looking at a product on one website, closed the window, and then seen an advertisement for it on Facebook, or on one of your favorite news websites? That’s not a coincidence – it’s because your browsing activity is being tracked.
This is harmless, and done by all websites – but it can actually result in higher prices, in some cases. It’s not uncommon for items to be priced differently depending on your past browsing history.
One way you can avoid being tracked and paying higher prices is by clearing your cookies and browsing history whenever possible, and before making a big purchase. This will help ensure you see the true price of an item. Take a look at this guide if you don’t know how to clear cookies and history from your web browser.
Another option is to always shop using a service like “Incognito Mode” on Google Chrome. Using Incognito mode ensures cookies are not placed on your computer, and that your search history is not saved.
9. Make Use Of Credit Card Price Protection Benefits
Many credit cards offer price protection, which can be used to your benefit if you purchase an item, and then it drops in price after you’ve already bought it. This depends on your credit card, of course – so make sure to check out your cardholder agreement and benefits.
Most credit cards that have price protection offer a 60-90 day period of price protection. If you find out that an item you have purchased within this time period has dropped in price, you can file a claim, and you’ll be compensated for the price differential by your credit card company.
There are limits in place for compensation, though. Some cards don’t let you use this feature more than 4 times per year, or have a maximum value limit. Make sure you understand what benefits you’re eligible for before you file a claim.
Typically, you’ll also need a receipt/proof of purchase, as well as an internet or printed ad that shows the reduced price of the item. Again, this may vary based on your credit card.
Generally, it’s best to only use price protection benefits on expensive and costly items, such as pricey electronics and designer clothing. This ensures you get the most “bang for your buck”.
10. Go Through Your Email Inbox For Coupons
If you have been signed up for an email list at your favorite retailer for any length of time at all, you probably have dozens of emails with promotional offers filling up your inbox. This might get annoying at times – but don’t delete them!
If you are about to buy an item from a website – eBay, for example – you should check your email inbox, and see if there are any active and valid coupons that you can use. You can search terms like “eBay coupon” “eBay discount” or “eBay promotion” to find relevant emails in your email client.
You may find that you’ve got some great discounts buried deeply within your email inbox – and that they’re still valid! Of course, you won’t always get lucky and get a deal, but it never hurts to take a minute or two and double-check for valid online coupons!
Follow These Quick Tips – And Save Money When You’re Shopping Online!
Whether you comb through your email inbox for coupons, use a price tracking tool, or make use of one of our recommended coupon websites, this guide is sure to help you save a buck or two while you shop online. So take another look at it now, and get more for your money!
Interested in buying or selling gift cards? We buy gift cards for PayPal from hundreds of different companies, and we have gift cards for sale at deep discounts. If you’re trying to get rid of a useless gift card – or save money online by purchasing cheap gift cards – we’ve got you covered.
Sign up for EJ Gift Cards today, and learn how much you can save when you buy and sell gift cards on our website!