Beyond coupon clipping: 7 smart online shopping tips
Ready, set, start your (search) engines!
We’ve got 7 smart-shopping tips that will help you save big online. (No coupon-clipping scissors required)!
1. Cash Back with ShopAtHome.com
First things first, get paid to shop. It’s as simple as that. Sign up with ShopAtHome.com and get free coupons and deals at thousands of stores. When you shop with ShopAtHome.com, you’ll earn up to 30 percent Cash Back on every dollar you spend online. All you have to do is register and then follow ShopAtHome.com links to your favorite store. Once you’ve earned enough, you’ll get a check in the mail. Sign up here for free
2. Savings calendar
Timing is everything! Did you know that there is a “best time” to buy everything from home appliances to clothing to kitchenware? Knowing the retail schedule and pouncing on deals when stores are trying to close out inventory can translate to deep discounts.
For example, hold out until February or March to buy televisions. New TV models are debuted at the International Electronics show every year in January, so retailers start clearing out their older inventory. Memorial Day weekend you’ll see big sales and close-outs on mattresses. Need a new set of dishes? Kitchenware and other household goods are often marked down in June because it’s the start of wedding season and they are popular registry items. Stock up on summer clothes and bathing suits in July when there are still plenty of warm-weather days left on the calendar, but stores are already debuting fall fashion. Come August, take advantage of back-to-school deals and save on electronics and office supplies (even if you’re not a student). October is a great time to buy summer staples like camping gear, grills and patio sets that are leftover from summer inventories.
3. Get social
Sign up to receive e-mails from your favorite stores. G-mail will even automatically sort these e-mails into a “promotions” folder for you. Follow stores on social media, like Twitter and Facebook and Instagram. When you become “friends” with these stores, you’ll get notified of flash sales, which are same-day sales that sometimes only last a few hours, as well as upcoming sales. Never want to miss a deal? Join the ShopAtHome.com email list to be notified of the best deals across the web.
4. Piggyback on credit card rewards
Supercharge your savings power by shopping with a rewards credit card. Some credit card companies have rotating categories and are offering extra rewards or Cash Back perks for online shopping. Make sure you’re enrolled in your credit card’s bonus programs before you start shopping. You can double the Cash Back that ShopAtHome.com with Cash Back offers from your credit card company. Cha-ching! Of course make sure you don’t cancel out the benefits by paying interest on your credit card.
Research rewards and find a card that’s right for you here.
5. Take surveys
When a store offers you a survey about your shopping experience, take the bait. Oftentimes, they’ll reward you with an exclusive discount on your next purchase.
6. Shop with discounted gift cards
Do you have a few of your favorite retailers bookmarked? Snap up discounted gift cards good at your fave stores via sites that sell other people’s unwanted gift cards, like Gift Card Granny. You can get up to 90 percent off, though most cards are in the 5 percent to 30 percent off range.
Another gift card tip? Around the holiday season, lots of retailers will be offering “gift card” bonuses to shoppers who buy gift cards or spend a certain amount of money with them.
7. Read online reviews
Whether you’re shopping for a little black dress or a shiny new tech device, check out the reviews left by other consumers to make sure you’re making a smart investment. Fellow shoppers will be able to dish on how durable products are and share their insights from a consumer perspective.