Friday April 18th 2014

Smart Spending

Extreme Couponer Reveals Her Top 5 Money-Saving Secrets for Online Shopping

By: Chrystie V.

I don’t know about you, but I am a huge online shopper. There’s just something about whipping out my credit card at midnight after a few glasses of wine and purchasing something I didn’t quite need but really wanted (in that moment) that makes me feel in control. And…I like that.

But, as with all the shopping that goes on in my life, I still like to get a good deal (as if shopping in my pajamas wasn’t enough of a deal). So I thought I’d share some of the secret weapons I use to save money when shopping online.

1. Ebates: Ebates is a site that works with hundreds of online stores to offer you cash back on your purchases. Here’s how it works: Let’s say you are going to buy something on L.L. Bean.com. Log into your Ebates account FIRST and then click on through L.L. Bean in the Ebates portal. Once you purchase is completed on L.L. Bean.com, you’ll receive 2% of your total purchase back in your Ebates account within a few days. You can then cash out once a quarter. I know that 2% doesn’t sound like a lot, but if you make a habit of going through Ebates before making any online purchases, it really does add up. Last year I earned over $300 in cash back through Ebates.

2. RetailMeNot: Retailmenot is a website dedicated to sharing all of the latest coupon codes and free shipping codes. I am a firm believer that you should visit this site, BEFORE you complete any online checkout. This site has saved me on shipping costs & savings up to 35% off my purchases thanks to the coupon codes found on the site.

3. CamelCamelCamel: Strange name aside, this website is a godsend if you shop on Amazon.com. If time is on your side and you can afford to wait to buy an item on Amazon, log in to CamelCamelCamel and set up a ‘watch’ for the item. Let’s say you’ve been eyeing those Ray-Ban Wayfarer Sunglasses on Amazon, but the $104.00 price tag is just too much for you. Then you can use CamelCamelCamel to watch the item for you. Enter the target price you’d like to pay for that item. If at anytime in the future that item is listed for the price you are willing to pay, CamelCamelCamel will send you an email alert. Voila, not only are you a hipster..but you are a frugal hipster..and those are my favorite kind of people ;)

4. Comparison Shop with Google: If you are looking for a specific product, I recommend using the Google Shopping Search Engine to help you comparison shop. Just type in the product you are looking for into the shopping search engine and it will bring up a list of places you can buy that item, along with the prices!

Below is a screen shot of the Google Price Comparison I did for Black Ray Ban Wayfarers:

As you can see prices vary from $63 – $155.00 dollars, this is good information to have as you are looking for the best deal.

5. Ship To Store: Shipping costs can really be a drag. One way that I save money on shipping is to use the Ship To Store option as often as I can. Many stores like Walmart, Sears, Lowes & JCPenney will allow you to ship your purchases made online to a local store for FREE or a reduced shipped cost.

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