5 Money saving tips for shopping online.
In the world of retail, getting great merchandise at unbelievable discounts is taken as seriously as some people take an amateur sport. There is the research and strategy, looking at every option to get the best game plan together. Next, is the actual shopping, followed by weeks of bragging about the victory.
When trying to get the best deal possible, online shopping has become one of the easiest ways to save time and money. If you do a lot of shopping online, here are 5 tips to save a bundle:
- Always look for coupons – The nice thing about shopping online is that you don't have to dig around to find the coupon you meant to use. Instead, before you buy anything online, do a quick Google search on the company and look for discount codes. Most retailers have codes and coupons that are listed on sites like RetailMeNot.
- Use social networking and group bargains – Many companies offer discount codes and special promotions to customers who “Like” their Facebook page. If you shop at just a few businesses repeatedly, these discounts can add up. You can also keep an eye on group discount sites like Groupon or LivingSocial, where you can purchase gift certificates and merchandise for a huge discount.
- Comparison shop – If you are looking for something specific and don't really care where you buy it from, you can use any one of many price-comparison sites online, like Bizrate.
- Check the return policy before you buy anything – Many sites have return policies similar to what you would expect from any brick and mortar store, and some have even better ones. But, not all online retailers have a good return policy. For example, several months ago I ordered three shirts from a well known womens clothing company. The shirts were on sale for $15 a piece. When they arrived, they were a little bit bigger on me than I had expected, and I wanted to exchange them for a size down. When I contacted the company to find out what I needed to do to make the exchange, I was informed that they charge a restocking fee of $10 per item returned and I would have to pay for the shipping to send the larger shirts to them. By the time all the fees were deducted, I would have been given a $7.00 store credit. I decided just to keep the shirts. If returning items easily is important to you, you should look at sites like Zappos, which offers free shipping for returns along with a 365 day return window.
- Be patient – If there is something you have been thinking about buying, and you can't find a discount, you might want to check back periodically over a two week period to see if it goes on sale. Or, if you use a group discount site like Groupon, you can find deeply discounted offers for a variety of shops in your area. But, since you don't get to decide what deal they offer next, just keep checking until you see the one you were waiting for.
What are some of the best tips you have for finding a bargain? Let me know in the comments.
By Melissa Kennedy- Melissa is a 9 year blog veteran and a freelance writer for RetailGigsBlog. Along with helping others find the job of their dreams, she enjoys computer geekery, raising a teenager, supporting her local library, writing about herself in the third person and working on her next novel.