How I Online Shop

If you haven’t noticed, I’m kind of in to online shopping. I love the ease of searching for exactly what I want (instead of getting super overwhelmed in a department store), and I find that there are so many more ways to save money when you online shop.

And just because I’m feeling super generous, I’m going to share my online shopping wisdom with all of you. Because I’ve found that most people, you know, enjoy spending less money for the same stuff.

1. Figure out what you want.
Whether you’re figuring out what to wear to a bridal shower, upgrading your spring wardrobe, or shopping for a friend, you want to narrow down your options. Usually I’ll check out my favorite online retailers first (Banana Republic, J. Crew, Gap, Macy*s, Nordstrom, etc.), but if I want something super specific (like, say, an inexpensive, bright green, backless, floaty-sleeved dress), I find I have much better success with a Google shopping search. (Sometimes an image search can also be helpful.)

This also helps me narrow down what is available and sort by price. Hint: Sorting by price can be very helpful in that it keeps you from falling in love with anything above your budgeted price. Not that I’ve ever done that…

2. Get cash back.
I know, I know, I’m beating a dead horse here. But I really don’t understand how everyone doesn’t use Ebates when they online shop. As I’ve explained in the past, Ebates gives you cash back for virtually all online retailers. They get money for referring you to the retailer’s site, and they split the profits with you. Every couple of months, I get a check for around $30.

I know it’s not really free money, but it sure does feel like it.

So once I’ve figured out where I want to purchase my item from, I always check to see if it’s an Ebates retailer. Nine times out of 10, it is. Simply click the referal button (it’s the giant orange “Shop Now” button), and shop like you normally would.

3. Find coupon codes.
You know how every time you check out online, there’s a field that asks you if you have a coupon or promotion code? If you’re like me, you used to always think, “Dang. That would be useful.”

Because, as we’ve covered, EVERYONE likes spending less than they have to.

But the fact is, I very rarely have an actual coupon, and I usually only get those emails from stores with coupon codes when I don’t actually need to buy anything. (I swear they time it that way.)

Then, one day, I got wise.

I started by simply Google searching “Banana Republic coupon code”, or whatever store I was looking at at the time.

You guys. Did you know there are entire websites dedicated to curating lists of coupon and promotion codes around the web? Well…there are.

My search brought up dozens of sites, but some of the most popular (are most inclusive) are RetailMeNot.com, Coupons.com, and FatWallet.com. I would recommend just searching the store because some sites will have more coupons for certain places. Even Ebates lists their own coupon codes on each retailer’s profile.

What I’m saying is, there are a lot of opportunities to save.

So those are my three steps to online shopping. Anyone else have any tricks to share? (You know, to feed my addiction.)

4 thoughts on “How I Online Shop

  1. I have a trick! If you’re shopping on Amazon but don’t need something right away, add it to your cart and then just let it sit there. After you’ve had an item in your cart for a while (like 2-3 weeks), Amazon will send you an email telling you that suddenly, that items is on sale! Just for you! I guess they figure they’ve got you halfway sold, and you just need that extra little encouragement to finally check out.

    I learned this accidentally when buying textbooks, because goodness knows I never actually want to spend hundreds of dollars. Procrastination works!

  2. Awesome tips! I usually end up shopping online only when I don’t want to spend more at multiple stores at the mall. Because I stick to the list, I figure I’ve saved money. Next time…I’m trying some of your suggestions to save even more!

    • Thanks! Glad you found them useful. I’m usually searching for one specific thing when I go shopping, so that’s probably why I tend to get overwhelmed in malls.

      Thanks for commenting!

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