Online shopping is on all time high. Shoppers are drooling over discounts, coupons, and offers. There’s a sale on every holiday be it Diwali, Christmas, News Year. Moreover, People are on steroids on shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And why not? Online marketplaces are right at the fingertips of everyone.
Fun fact! Did you know Amazon and Flipkart, had the combined gross sales of $3.5-3.7 billion during the Diwali sale 2019 in India? It’s a rise by 33% over last year, during the festive sale. The numbers are predicted to double in 2020. Nearly 190 million U.S. consumers shopped from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday in the year 2019. It is approximately 14% rise compared to the previous year.
Online retailers have and will come up with bright ideas to score more shoppers. However, if you are a smart shopper, you can save a heck lot of money when the whole world is blind and obsessed by shiny offers.
Tips to save money on online shopping
1. Use online comparison tools
Giants like Amazon, Flipkart, and eBay compete with each other by offering best deals on their products. But you as a user won’t have to go through the pain to check out all the websites and find that one deal. Online price comparison tools are a blessing. Honey is a free browser extension that unlocks the internet's best deals. It automatically finds, tests, and applies the best coupon code at checkout on 40,000+ popular sites.
2. Look for Authentic Coupon websites
Internet is overflowing with discount and coupon codes website. But many websites can be misleading. They waste user’s time on their website by placing wrong coupon codes, just to increase the engagement rate on their website. Try authentic websites such as RetailMeNot, CouponItNow, Coupons, SlickDeals and many more.
3. Go by the book. Know the product before buying
There are times when we all fall into the trap of impulse buying. Money in your wallet or credit card and a discount code in front of your eyes is a lethal combination. We turn a blind eye to our necessities.
We suggest you know your product before you hit the final click. Google about the product to see if it actually fits your needs. There are websites such as ReviewsNGuides, BestReviews, Best Reviews Guide that offer you an unbiased review of certain products. This would help you purchase the right product for you.
4. Sign up for newsletters and In stock email notifications
“Sorry the item is out of stock.” Darn! We all hate such notifications in discount seasons. But here’s a smart way. Sign up for in stock email notifications. With this small hack, you will receive instant notification on your phone or email ID as soon as the product is back in stock.
Signing up for newsletters is yet another good way to know the discounts before hand. Merchants share their coupon codes and deals in their newsletters.
5. Look for best cashback offers
Coupon codes are not the only way to become a smart shopper. There’s cashback too. Look for best cashback deals on the merchant’s official site. If you can’t find it, don’t worry. Google it.
Websites like cash karo and pennyful have affiliates with the merchants. You can earn cashback as long as you visit the shopping website through their affiliate links. All you need is to create accounts on such websites and browse through various cashback offers they list.
6. Leverage the pick up at store option
Shipping charges are hidden evils that shopping websites do not reveal till the end. However, there are options like “pick up at store” that can save you from the shipping charges. Order online and pick up at the store. Sometimes you can even pick up the same day you order, if the item is already in stock.
7. Ssshhh! Leave items in your cart for a day
If the sale on the shopping website is for more than one day, don’t fret on leaving items in your cart for a day or two.
Firstly, it saves you from impulse purchase. Secondly, looking at the cart the next day will help you decide if you really want the product or not. Thirdly, unsold products are a nightmare for retailers. They would try to reach you with tempting reduced prices. Make a call at your ease, sir.
8. Try creating multiple accounts for better offers
In most of the cases, new users receive better offers than existing ones. If you need to purchase multiple products, say a Television, and a washing machine, create multiple accounts in the same shopping website and earn two new user offers.
Imagine the offers you will receive with two new user 50% discount codes instead of one 50% coupon code for existing user.
9. Go the old skool bargain way
Bargains are the best way to get great deals on your purchase. A friend of mine kept a couple of items in his cart, applied a coupon code, and got busy in some other work. A couple of hours later when he tried to close the deal, the coupon expired. With an upset heart, he dialed the hotline and requested his coupon to be renewed as he already booked the order. Well, it took a little fight but he got it.
It is not a guaranteed trick. But, retailers do hate seeing their customers go. So, you’ve got a solid chance to turn the tables.
10. Leverage the Price drop refund policies
What’s that? For example, you purchased an item yesterday and today it’s on sale. Rather than cursing yourself for making an early purchase, mail the retailer’s customer support for a price difference refund. You won’t believe it but it’s actually a thing.
Many retailers refund you the price difference, if contacted within a particular amount of days. Amazon used to do that if you notified them within seven calendar days from the delivery date. Now there have been policy changes but there are many travel websites who still offer price drop refunds.
Be an Intelligent Shopper in 2020
All these tricks would test your patience but are a sure shot solution to saving money on online shopping in 2020. The sweet spot lies in how many tricks you can combine to get maximum discounts on your purchases.
Where every shopper is head over heels in love with coupon codes, these simple tips go unnoticed. Some have a few smart tricks under their sleeves but won’t share with others. But hey, the more the merrier. If you liked this article, do share it with your loved ones and make them smart shoppers too.