19 ONLINE SHOPPING TRICKS AND HACKS (FROM EXPERTS)

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#1: Shop Amazon’s Outlet

Seriously, my mind is blown on this one. I’ve been shopping on Amazon ever since it was “just” mainly an online bookstore…and I had no idea that there is an Amazon Outlet store.

#2: Use Amazon Price History Tool

We all know Amazon (and the sellers on Amazon) lovvveee to change the prices on products. So, how are we supposed to know if we’re getting a good deal or not? How do we know if we’re buying something today that we should wait until a week or two when the price is likely to drop again?

#3: Change Your Platform

I call this my Ninja Online Shopping Trick…because it makes me feel like a Ninja whenever I use it successfully.

I’ve been using this trick for years, and can’t believe I just now thought to tell you about it.

It’s really simple, and actually, a bit odd.

If you find a product you really, really want on someone’s website, then go to Amazon, and search for that same item — it’s almost always cheaper (IF it’s on Amazon).

Let me show you a live example, because it’s hard to believe (I couldn’t believe it myself when I first figured this out a few years ago).

#4: Earn Free Amazon Gift Cards by Using a Different Search Engine

Have you heard of the Swagbucks search engine? It’s not Google. And it rewards you for searching the internet. As in, you can accumulate Swag Bucks (SBs) from your regular internet searches through them, and then you can convert those into cold, hard cash (I like to save mine up and get the $50 PayPal cash each time).

#5: Shop By Amazon Coupons, Only

What if this holiday season, instead of getting specific things for people and not even shopping around, you go to Amazon’s Coupon page, and buy ONLY items that have coupons?

A mindset shift, for sure. But it can really help you not only narrow down WHAT to buy for others, but to get the gifts at a discount.

Be sure to sort by things like specific departments you’re looking for and highest percentage discount.

#6: Amazon Filler Tool to Get the Free Shipping

Who else was bummed when Amazon’s free shipping threshold went from $25 to $35? I’m not an Amazon Prime Member (though, seriously considering at least doing a free trial for the holidays), so I time my purchases together as much as I can to get the free shipping.

#7: Purchase Refurbished Items

Brittany Kline from TheSavvyCouple.com writes,

“Refurbished items are often looked down upon. They have a stigma for being “used” and shipped back to the manufacture for being defaulted. Yeah, that could happen to some products, however don’t put down a refurbished product when shopping online. Refurbished items can mean a few different things.

#8: Order Your Coupons the RIGHT Way

Allan Liwanag from The Practical Saver shares this online shopping tip — honestly, I had no idea you could order coupons a certain way when shopping online (I definitely order my coupons in a particular way when shopping at stores).

“When you have two or more coupons that can be combined in one online transaction, make sure to use them properly and in the right order so you can make the best bang out of your buck. For example, your total purchase is $100 and you have two coupons (i.e., $15 off and 20% off of the total purchase).

Here are two scenarios that depict different savings, depending on how you use your coupons:

Scenario #1:

= $100 – $15 off = $85
= $85 * 20% off = $17
= $85 – $17
= $68.00 (This is your total purchase after all the coupons have been applied)

Scenario #2:

= $100 – 20% off = $80
= $80 – $15 off
= $65.00 (This is your total purchase after all the coupons have been applied)

You’ll see that the second scenario helps you save money. In these two scenarios, you’re paying $68 using the first scenario and $65 using the first scenario.

This trick can be use online or in-store when multiple coupons can be combined.”

Allan also shares a specific example that he did recently:

“I shopped at Kohls.com to get some shirts, shoes, and pants for my 1st grade-schooler. I signed up for the mobile sale alert and got the 15% off discount. There was also a $20 discount on orders of $100 or more.

Overall, I saved $42.50 in a single transaction. My original bill was roughly $150. But using the 15% first, and, then, the $20 off, I was able to knock down the price to $107.50.

Had I stacked the coupons in a different order, that is, $20 off first, and, then, the 15%, I would have spent $110.50 instead of $107.50. While the difference is only $3, it’s still savings on my part.”

#9: Abandoned Cart Strategy

Nicole Booz from Gentwenty.com shares a tip that I’ve seen work in my own favor (have you?):

“Many online retailers try to lure you back to their website to make a purchase by emailing you a discount code (usually somewhere between 5-20% off of your purchase) if you’ve “abandoned” you cart for a few days.

#10: Discount Gift Card Spending

Melissa Vogt from MakeMoneyandSaveMoney.com shares,

“1st make sure you have downloaded a price comparison app. I like buyvia and shopsavvy. If you like to use a computer or laptop, then Honey is an excellent browser extension.

#11: Use Sites that Give Discounts + Cash Back

Cam Finley from RealHomeJobsNow.com writes,

“If you’re shopping anyway, why not get money back? Sites like Rakuten not only provide you with the best coupons and deals at over 2,500 stores online, but you will also earn cash back – usually from 1% up to 8%!

#12: Save Up to 60% On Your Next Online Purchase with this Little-Known Technique

Jim Conyers from BestLifeDaily.com shares, “If you’re anything like me, you want to maximize your dollars! When I’m getting ready to purchase something online, I start by logging into my Rakuten account (they offer a $10 credit when you first sign up) and search for the store I’m going to use. Rakuten will pop up with a certain percentage that you will earn back from them. The percent back can very but you’ll see anything from 1%, 5%, 10%, etc.

#13: Use Rakuten (formerly Ebates) online for in-store pick up

Stephanie Schill from Wynninginlife.com writes,

“One of my favorite ways to save is using Rakuten (formerly Ebates)but for in-store pick up. For example, when Rakuten is offering 10% cashback at Kohl’s and I need to shop at Kohl’s, I don’t want to leave that money on the table.

#14: Request Price Adjustments Yourself or Using an App like Paribus

Stephanie also shares,

“Many stores offer price adjustments if you purchase something, and within a certain timeframe, the item reduces in price. It gives you peace of mind as the purchaser that you’re getting the best price.  For example, Target, Kohl’s and Gap all do this.  I bought a dress on Gap.com and it went down in price a few days later. I called their customer service and they promptly refunded me the difference.

#15: Use the Honey Chrome Extension

Sean O’Dowd, Personal Finance Expert for MoneyDoneRight.com writes,

“My favorite online shopping hack has to be a very popular app, Honey. Honey is a fantastic app that is always working on your behalf to save you money. All you need to do is install it on your Chrome Extension bar, and it will do the rest. Here’s how it works. You go shopping on your favorite website, such as Amazon. Once you get to the cart, there is always that section where you can input a discount code.

#16: Unlock Promotions by Picking Up in Store

Evan Sutherland from BudgetingCouple.com writes,

“Amazon’s free shipping is convenient, but it might not be the cheapest option. Big chains are offering massive discounts when you buy online and pick up in store. Check out different companies’ websites, and click the pick-up-in-store option to save money when shopping online.”

#17: Let Extensions Find the Savings for You

Lisa Hebert from MoneyMindedMom.com writes, “There are many ways to save while shopping online, comparison shopping, coupon codes, cashback portals, just to name a few but it can be frustrating and time consuming. Instead, why not install a few extensions browser extensions to do the work for you. I use three different extensions, that do all the work in the background. I use the Rakuten extension for cash back, Honey to find coupon codes, and Price Blink to search the internet to see if the same product is available at a lower price on another site. These extensions all work in the background and only show up when savings are found.”

#18: Subscribe to Brand Email

Marissa Sanders from SimpleMoneyMom.com writes,

“It pays to subscribe to your favorite brands. Especially, smaller companies. For example, when I was breastfeeding my youngest, I LOVED Madela products. After subscribing to their list, I would receive periodic emails for free samples, discounts of up to 25% off new products and coupons in the mail for things I bought regularly. I must have saved hundreds of dollars on breast pump supplies, bottles, breast milk storage bags and more just for being a valued member on their list. Plus, I was able to stack some of their coupons to save even more!”

#19: Change the Way You Search the Internet

Have you heard of the Swagbucks search engine? It’s not Google. And it rewards you for searching the internet. As in, you can accumulate Swag Bucks (SBs) from your regular internet searches through them, and then you can convert those into cold, hard cash (I like to save mine up and get the $50 PayPal cash each time).

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