How to Save Money Shopping Online
Learn how to save BIG online by searching for multiple coupons, getting free shipping, comparing prices and researching the brands.
Many consumers think that online shopping is more expensive because they wouldn’t have to pay shipping at the brick-n-mortar store. They don’t know what you’re about to find out.
Did you know that there are thousands of websites that exist just to provide you with coupons for online stores? Did you know you can find sites that compare prices, and brand features, or that entire forums and networks are dedicated to allowing users to voice their own opinion about a product or service? Did you know many stores use their online portal and email newsletters as a quick way to unload overstocked products at below-cost prices? Did you know some stores allow you to combine free shipping deals with dollar off deals, with percent off deals, with buy-one-get-one deals…? Did you know there are companies that allow you to join their affiliate program and save hundreds of dollars by selling yourself their product? I know of one that lets me buy a hosting package for $95 including taxes, and then deposits $100 back into my affiliate account a few months later. They are actually paying ME to buy their product.
Most of these sites did not exist five years ago, at least not with such economic success while providing such unprecedented value.
Most ecommerce systems these days are smart enough to allow stores to make coupons not applicable with any other offers. But the employee behind this million dollar ecommerce system doesn’t always have his coffee in the morning and you can often find online stores that allow multiple coupons to the point of practically getting something for free: Free shipping + 25% off + $10 off + Get one free = A heck of a deal! Do a Google search for “you can use multiple coupons” and see if you can find any of your favorite stores.
There are plenty of websites out there that will check databases from thousands of online stores and return the result that has the cheapest price for the product you asked for. You might already know some of them, such as: amazon.com, pricegrabber.com, bizrate.com, and Nextag.com.
Less common than the price comparison site, but equally as useful, is the brand comparison. Before you try to find where to buy, you need to know what to buy. That’s where sites like http://www.comparethebrands.com come in. They take two brands (i.e. Treo VS Blackberry Smart-phones) and compare features, price, consumer opinion from other review websites, and come up with an unbiased suggestion as to which brand is the best buy, thus saving you money both short-term and in the long run with a higher quality product.
Join Newsletters and Feeds
Get a free Hotmail or Gmail account, and use it only to subscribe to your favorite stores’ newsletters. Before long you will have a library of emails from which to select coupon codes, limited time offers and deep, deep discounts on overstocked items. I often see the price being offered in the email to the newsletter group can be as much as half of that listed on the website for everyone else to see. Feeds are slowly taking over instead of newsletters, and have the added benefit of being more anonymous. You can sign up for Compare The Brand’s 10 Most Recent ever-flowing feed of product reviews just by copying and pasting the URL into bloglines or Google feed reader. You can even get a widget and put it on your desktop.
Sell Yourself and Double the Winnings
Affiliate programs gave birth to this type of service and utility in the ecommerce industry by allowing regular Joe’s to place a link on their own website, or in an email, and get a percent of the sale every time someone went from their link to the merchants’ site and purchased something. What those new to the affiliate marketing industry do not know is that most merchants have no clause in the affiliate agreement about using the discounts to buy for yourself. Just join all the programs you can, keep a page somewhere online that you can put all of the links on, and next time you want to buy something just go through your own link. Not only will you save by using the coupon code, but you get a percent of the sale. How much cash back does Visa give – 0.02%? Hop on over to Commission Junction, Shareasale or Linkshare to get up to 25% back every time!
Remember: Compare the brands, join the newsletters, compare prices and double dip those coupons while selling yourself on a Great Deal! You’ll be the best customer you’ve ever had.