My Five Favorite Ways to Save Money When Shopping Online
- It's no secret, I love Ebates. If you haven't heard of it, it's a free website where you register and get money back for your purchases. Here's the trick.....you have to go to the Ebates website FIRST, click on the store from which you want to purchase, and it will then send you directly to that site. This creates a "tracking ticket", so that Ebates can keep a record of your purchase. You will then get a rebates check quarterly. If you shop a lot online, this really is a great idea. Bloomingdales, Old Navy, Gap, Sephora, and hundreds other retailers are all on there. Even Ebay (buy it now) has a percentage back plan.
- I ALWAYS do a Google search for "promotion codes" "coupons" for each particular store before I buy. Here's an example.....I google "Banana Republic promotion code coupons". Sites like Coupon Cabin, Retailmenot, and a handful of other sites will pop up. There may be coupon codes for free shipping or percentages off. Sometimes there's nothing, zilch. I don't spend a long time looking for the coupons. If there's one out there, you'll be able to find it rather quickly. If there's a code, I write it down, but first I go through Ebates to my desired site. When I check out, that's when I plug in the coupon code. So you may save on shipping or get a discount.....and then also get a percentage back from Ebates. It's that easy.
- I sign up for promotional emails from the stores from which I regularly make purchases. I hate getting a ton of extra emails, but usually those emails are the ones that will garner the biggest discounts. I buy my kids' school uniforms from Lands' End and with the email discounts I get from them, I save a ton of money. You will also get "exclusive" sales like "Friends and Family" sales from Gap, Old Navy, Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Loft, Bloomingdales, and many others. Another tip: know the stores' return policies. Do they offer free return shipping? Do they charge restocking fees? Is there a time limit on returns?
- Here's a trick that doesn't always work, but is worth a try. If there's an item that you know isn't in danger of being sold out or you aren't quite sure about it, put it in the "cart" on your store's website, but don't go through with the checkout just yet. Let that joker just brew in there a day or two. Don't clear the cookies on your computer during this time. If you've signed up for email notices for that particular store, there's a good chance they will have tracked those items in your online cart and then you will get a "mysterious" email with a discount. This has happened NUMEROUS times to me, especially with Gap and Lands' End.
- Subscribe to blogs that feature the clothing/accessories from stores you love. I find a lot of coupons and discounts on those blogs. You know us women....we like to talk, share, and compare. I find I save money by seeing how some of the pieces look IRL vs. on a 98 lb. model in a catalog. I've seen items that looked horrible online, but after seeing them look fabulous on my lovely blogger friends.....I've gone out and made a purchase. On the flip side, I once had my mind set on buying a particularly popular jacket, but then changed my mind based on blog reviews. Bloggers give an honest perspective on the quality and sizing of clothing that the catalogs and websites just can't offer. It's nice to hear if an item fits "true to size" vs. running bigger or smaller. This, in turn, can later save on shipping and restocking fees associated with returns.
Do you have any money saving tips, websites, or blogs that help you save money? Please share!