Shopping online can be a great saving when you know where to look for the best deals and how to score deep discounts. Since it’s all about taking the time to seek out discounts, we asked shopping experts to share their cyber-saving secrets. So, keep on reading for the 6 signs you’re a smart online shopper.
- You seek out coupons, codes, and deals.
According to computer expert Kim Komando, Americans who use coupons save more than $4 billion a year. So, the most important thing you can do to be a smart online shopper is to seek out coupons, codes, and deals. You may browse popular coupon websites to find compiled lists of active codes and promotions. Or type a company or product name plus “coupon,” “promo” or “code” into your favorite search engine. This way, you’ll uncover local deals, discounts, freebies and other money-saving resources. Also, you may follow your favorite brands on social media, a growing outlet for deals and promo codes. According to Firas Kittaneh, CEO and creative director of Amerisleep, an online-only mattress store based in Tempe, Arizona, you may ask for a promo code through live chat or email on the website of your favorite brand.
- You compare and negotiate prices.
Before you buy, check price comparison sites, so you can buy from the seller with the lowest listed price that helps you bargain for a better deal from your preferred retailer. According to Consumer Reports magazine, people who negotiated or haggled in a store or online were successful in getting a better deal roughly three out of five times and saved about $80. “You’ve got to ask,” says Reyna Gobel, a savings and budget expert. Even when you shop at brick-and-mortar stores, take time to look up prices, coupons and offers on your phone before you head for the register as merchants may still honor online coupons for in-store purchases if you ask.
- You read customer feedback.
If you want to buy a trouble-free clothes or even product that won’t end up in unexpected replacement costs, search for several styles of the same kind of product and the feedback that other buyers have posted. However, weigh online feedback with caution. “If customer comments are excessively positive” or there are few or no negative reviews, “there’s a strong possibility they’re fake,” Kittaneh says. Kittaneh recommends looking for reviews verified by trusted third-party websites or be sure the person who posted the feedback actually bought the product.
- You join loyalty programs.
Many retail stores, big box, and discount stores, offer special prices and perks to regular customers who join their rewards programs or loyalty clubs. These can include advance notice of sales, special coupon codes, exclusive deals and more. So, ask if your favorite shops have a loyalty program and join them.
- You sign up for emails announcing sales.
Think of signing up for email lists that send news of savings and special offers directly to your inbox. However, if you find it cluttering your inbox, consider creating a separate email address solely for those messages.
- You think before you shop.
Once you’ve found a great product at an unbeatable price, put it in your virtual shopping cart but don’t click “buy” yet, Reyna Gobel says. Leave the item in your cart and check back to see if the retailer is offering an even better percentage-off deal later that day or in the next few days. If they do, you’ll save even more, she says. If they don’t, you’ve only lost a little time. By heeding our tricks, you’ll be able to get more savings while scoring great deals.