Online shopping is becoming the new normal, and this can mean big benefits for us shoppers! When shopping online, if you’re starting in the right place, it’s nearly impossible to make a purchase without reaping some sort of reward.
Keep reading to learn how to get the most from your dollar when shopping online:
1) Start Smart. When you’re ready to shop online, making a smart start will save you money. How do you start smart? Don’t go straight to the retailer’s website. Let’s say you want to shop around for shoes online at Walmart – don’t go to Walmart.com first. There are so many reputable apps and websites out there willing to reward us for making the online purchases we were planning to buy anyway; so, start smart and bank rewards!
Two rewards programs I’ve used most often when shopping online are Swagbucks and InboxDollars.
- Swagbucks: I. Love. Swagbucks! Swagbucks pairs up with countless retailers to reward you for buying. After signing up, search for and select the store of your choice – then, shop as usual. After making your purchase, you’ll be credited with Swagbucks (points you redeem for rewards) – as you can see, I only have 21 Swagbucks right now. That’s because I just redeemed 1,000 Swagbucks for a $10 Amazon gift card!
- InboxDollars: I enjoy using InboxDollars to score rewards for shopping online. It works similar to Swagbuck – search for your retailer, click to shop their website, shop as usual, earn rewards! I’ll admit, I do find Swagbucks easier to navigate than InboxDollars; but, I like how I can see my dollar amount I’ve earned on InboxDollars. Plus, after earning $30, you can cash out – with actual cash! InboxDollars has an option to request a check in the mail.
There are other major differences between Swagbucks and Inboxdollars, mostly in other ways you can earn points or bank cash. Terms like Swagcodes and PaidEmails will make more sense once you sign up.
2) Be Patient. When shopping online, taking your time when finalizing your checkout can bank you some savings. Pick out your items, put them in your cart, and even proceed to the checkout screen – but, DON’T CHECKOUT! Don’t finish your purchase. Don’t pay. Simply close out of your web browser and wait a few hours to a few days before making that purchase.
Some online retailers will email you a coupon code as an incentive to complete your order!
I’ve done this many times and received coupon codes varying from free shipping to 20% off of my entire order.
Two very important tips to remember when using this strategy: First, make sure this is a retailer that has your email address. Second, you do need to be proactive. Check your email often and keep an eye on the product on the retailer’s website. If it looks like your item will sell out soon – stop waiting for a coupon and buy it! (I just got burned by waiting too long to commit to a swing set purchase on Black Friday).
3) Procrastinate, Purposefully. That’s right, planners. I know it’s tough – it’s been a major change for me. But, purposeful procrastination saves me hundreds of dollars per year (bonus, this tip works both online and in stores). With the nature of retail both online, and in stores, several weeks before a certain occasion or change of season, retailers will put merchandise on sale to move out as much product as possible to make room for the new merchandise.
Purposeful procrastination has saved me up to 80% on items such as Halloween costumes, holiday candy (read: Valentines, Halloween, Christmas stocking stuffer candies, etc), decorations, camping supplies, and school supplies. I’ve also saved 25-80% off of clothes by purchasing them out of season. The best part? Out of season can mean snagging a swimsuit in July for 50% off, or a winter coat in January for 60% off. It can mean saving 80% off a Halloween costume, a week before Halloween. Out of season can also mean getting 50%+ off of school supplies three weeks before school starts.
So, keep your eyes peeled for “out of season” and after holiday deals – even before that season or holiday is over.
4) Search for Coupon Codes. Before making your online purchase, taking about two minutes to perform an internet search for coupon codes before checking out can save you money. Often there are coupon codes available to save a percentage off of your order, to save a dollar amount off of your order, or for free shipping – and we don’t even know these codes exist!
Before you checkout online, simply go to your preferred search engine, such as Google or Bing, and search for “coupon codes for [enter your store’s name].”
One major coupon code player to keep your eye out for is RetailMeNot. This is where I find almost all of my online coupon codes that successfully save me money!
I’ll leave you with one last tip:
Remember, buying nothing is cheaper than buying something and getting a reward for it! Make sure you’re making frugal choices, keeping your budget in mind, and buying items you planned to purchase anyway.
Have you had success using these online shopping tips? Comment below!
Happy shopping, Savers!
This website contains affiliate links. That means if you click and/or buy through my link, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.