Let's be honest. I online shop like a fiend. It's a guilty pleasure. As much as I love spending money from the convenience and comfort of my bed, I do shop around and try to get the best deals on things. The holiday season is a prime time for online shoppers to do their thing so I figured that this is an appropriate time to share my secrets. I will probably also do a post for holiday sales but here are some general tips for online shopping at any time of the year.
1. Get paid to shop.
Yes, you read that right. Get paid to shop. Seems impossible? It's not. It's as simple as creating an account on ebates. Ebates is a program which pays you a percentage of your purchase to click through their website. For example, say you want to shop at Nordstroms. Instead of going straight to Nordstroms.com, you go to ebates, search for Nordstroms and then click. Yes it's an extra step but you're getting paid to do it! There are no gimmicks and I personally have made over $50 in the past year through their program.
2. Join the club, make an account, sign up for that newsletter.
I, as much as you, hate spam email. It's so annoying. But when those emails contain coupons for things I'd like to purchase, I can deal with a bit of inbox clutter. There are plenty of online stores which provide coupons to new customers who join their site or sign up for the newsletter. Before clicking "pay," make sure you take advantage of any free offers the company offers its customers. If it's a store you have signed up for before check your email for any current offers you might have missed.
3. Shop discount sites.
Everyone likes nice things but a lot of us have a limited budget for these non-essentials. In order to work around that I sign up for any online discount even sites. Sites like Hautelook, Rue La La, ideeli and Beyond on the Rack provides access to designer and higher priced clothes for a discount. I use websites like this frequently and have saved hundreds of dollars on every kind of product imaginable. Around the holidays there are usually even better deals so I'd sign up for accounts and see how much you can save this season!
4. Find a Coupon Code.
I hate buying anything without a coupon code. I really do. I make sure I get something free or have a percentage or dollar amount off anything. Certain retailers, like Sephora, have an area where they show what are their current offers. I also find my coupon codes from ebates, from my emails or from a bit of google research. If I have nothing at all then I'll check freeshipping.org which is an online database of coupon codes to over 4000 stores.
5. Check Amazon.
Before purchasing something expensive, I always check Amazon. There is always the possibility of someone selling a new or gentle used whatever there and for a lower price than corporate retailers.