With technology at our fingertips, there is less reason to leave your home in order to purchase items you may need or want. Turning to the internet in order to find good deals, taking advantage of the convenience factor of shopping from home and having products shipped to your front door is likely an experience you've enjoyed.
Beyond the ease of the click of a mouse, here are suggestions on how you can increase the likelihood of paying less for items and services you use.
No longer it is about going online to a specific retailer's site and resignedly paying whatever the advertised price is. You now have dozens of retailers and companies who are offering the same or similar products at varying price points. By researching online using search engines such as Google, Bing or Pricegrabber.com , instant results appear with a variety of selections and price comparisons.
Consider the cost of shipping when comparing items from different vendors. Even if the item is marked down 25% on one site, shipping and return fees may negate the potential savings. Other ways to save include:
- Planning your purchases in advance to benefit from free or reduced shipping for items bought from the same retailer.
- Subscribing to automated replenishment ensures that you won't run out of your favorite dish soap or cereal.
- Being patient with your purchase. There is a constant cycle of online deals where promotions expire and new ones quickly take their place. Check back often as you will eventually find the item you are searching for at a discounted price.
More often than not, on the online check-out page during a purchase, you will see a field where you can enter a promo code. This means that somewhere online, you can likely find an available discount code.
Sites like RetailMeNot source retailer codes yet you can simply Google the name of the retailer along with the words "coupon code" in order to find more options. Discount codes do expire so you may have to try a couple before you find one that will lower the purchase amount or at least save you on shipping.
Use a Rewards Credit Card
Using cash back rewards cards can help you to save between 2% to 5% on items you purchase. Some retailers like Amazon and Target offer branded credit cards that can provide additional benefits beyond a cash discount, such as free shipping or extra time allowance for returns.
Other card issuers may offer you the ability to earn rewards points based on your purchases. Credit cards such as the Citi Thank You card offers reward points that can be cashed in for a wide selection of items such as gift cards, travel and electronics. With the vast options of rewards credit cards available, first define what you want as main benefits from your card in order to help you narrow down your choices.
Save All the Way to the Bank
You may think of going online mainly as a way to save on shopping for items. The world of online banking can help you to save on products and service fees along with monthly account maintenance charges.
Online-only banks offer no or low minimums required for opening a checking account and provide competitive interests rates on your deposits. Many online-only banks offer their clients access to a network of free-ATMs and deposits are FDIC insured. As with shopping for consumer goods, comparing each of the online-only banks to determine which one suits your financial needs is in your best interest.
Online shopping can be a financially rewarding experience once you discover how to utilize the internet to your advantage.