How to Save Money on Every Online Purchase
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Never Pay Full Price Again!
If you’re an avid online shopper like me, you’ve probably learned a trick or two for how to save. Most people know to check for coupons
and save on shipping, but the experts at LOZO have 10 different ways to save on every purchase. Ignore these tips at your wallet’s peril!
- Wait for a sale: Nearly everything gets discounted online, you just need to keep your eyes open for the items you want. For seasonal items you’ll generally save more the longer you wait. For other items you’ll often get the best discounts during holiday weekends and “friends and family” sales (which—contrary to the name—are typically open to everyone). Since these sales happen year-round, join the mailing list from your favorite retailers to stay informed. You should also check comparison shopping sites and deal message boards for discounts you may have missed. If you find the item you want, check the websites of their competitors for the same item at a lower price. For Amazon shoppers, Camelcamelcamel.com is a great resource: they offer Amazon price histories and alerts.
- Bundle for bigger discounts: Check for promotions that apply a discount automatically when you purchase more than one item. At times you’ll get the extra item for free (or better) because of the money it will save you on your original purchase. Similarly you may spend $5 on an extra item to save $10 on shipping costs to meet the free shipping threshold.
- Use a coupon: Even if you’re getting something on sale, don’t forget to add a coupon to save even more. Check printed offers, like from local coupon books, which often include online discounts as well. Scan your emails and login to your store account for offers that might be unique to you. Search online for additional codes at big sites like RetailMeNot, Google or use the quick coupon list at LOZO.com. If all else fails, try some common codes like SAVE25, 25OFF, FREESHIP or, during the holidays, XMAS, CHRISTMAS, HOLIDAY, HOLIDAY25 and so on. Use the LOZO coupon calculator to see which discount combinations save you the most.
- Refer or be referred: Many sites offer a signup bonus or first time discount for new users, especially if referred (via link) from someone else. Team up with friends to refer each other and pool the savings.
- Get rewards immediately: Before you purchase, click through to your store via your preferred rewards site to earn miles, points, or even cash back. LOZO offers cash back links that will earn you 2-10% back plus a $10 bonus after your first purchase. These discounts are on top of any qualifying coupons and sales you find.
- Earn future points & rewards: When you checkout, be sure to enter your store rewards card to earn points that you can use towards future purchases. Around the holidays look for “holiday cash” deals that earn you credit towards a future purchase. If you’re close to the threshold (for example, if your basket is $95 and you need $100 to earn $20 in cash) then add extra items like batteries to put you over. If you shop frequently at the same store, consider paid rewards programs like Amazon Prime that provide on-going benefits like free shipping.
- Earn payment rewards: Pay with a credit card that earns rewards or cash back. Consider trying out new online payment methods like Paypal and V.me when they offer additional savings on your order. Many cards are now offering additional “deals” that link to your card, so load these into your account before shopping
- Use discounted gift cards: This is our favorite way to save, and probably the least well known. Retailers will sometimes offer their own gift cards at a discount (or a “buy one, get a bonus” offer), or you can find them on sites like Cardpool or Ebay. If you’re in a hurry, you may be able to get an electronic code rather than waiting for the physical card to be shipped to you. Since gift cards are a payment method, not a coupon, the savings almost always come in addition to every other coupon and reward.
- Mail in those rebates: Take advantage of bigger discounts available through post-purchase rebates. Make sure you are going to keep the item (since rebates require UPC labels that prevent returns) and then make a copy of paperwork before sending in.
- Get money back later: If your item’s price drops after you buy it, or if you find it at another store for less, cash in on “price guarantees” offered by many stores. Even if your store doesn’t honor guarantees, check your credit card benefits for price protection. For example, Discover cards will offer to reimburse the difference for up to 90 days after you buy.
Were our top 10 just not enough for you? Here are a couple bonus ideas for you to you enjoy:
- Join free shipping programs: Amazon Prime is the most popular, but similar programs are offered by Sears/Kmart, FTD, TigerDirect & many more. Shoprunner offers free 2-day shipping at a variety of retailers and you can save on the $79 membership by linking to your Amex card.
- Save on warranties: Check your credit card policies for built-in extended coverage that will save you the cost of buying a warranty. Squaretrade offers protections on many products you buy from a variety of stores, at a discount to what you’ll pay for the warranty at the store directly.
- Consider refurbished items: If you’re buying from a reputable seller, these items are often just like new (some actually are new, just with the package opened/resealed) and come with all of the typical benefits & warranties while carrying a 10-30% savings. Amazon Warehouse Deals has tons of “Used” items across categories. This is particular good for fans of Apple. Apple discounts are hard to come by, so this is a great way to save on their products.
Your Savings Cheat Sheet
Ok, we’ve just given you a LOT of information and we know that can feel overwhelming! With that in mind, here’s a simple recap of the most important points. Consider it your cheat sheet for online savings!
- Scan deal message boards and price alerts for the best sales
- Optimize your shopping basket to maximize discounts & shipping savings
- Get cash back
- Use the best available coupons
- Redeem rewards earned from prior purchases
- Enter your rewards # for future savings
- Pay with a discounted gift card
- Keep an eye on prices after you buy to get price protection