Get More for Your Online Buck
By Shannon M. Medisky
What’s better than great savings while shopping online? Getting even more for the money you spend! And, believe it or not, there’s a number of ways to do just that. Use the quick tips below to help ensure you get more than your money’s worth.
Pay with a card that pays you back. With the plethora of credit cards offering reward and loyalty programs, it doesn’t make sense not to take advantage of one. Just make sure you’re not paying for these perks with a high interest rate. Additionally, don’t make the costly mistake of assuming you already have the best card that your current creditor offers. A quick call to evaluate your options could very well turn up a better credit “fit” for you and your wallet.
Take advantage of new customer promotions. Many online merchants are eager to entice potential new customers with additional savings and promotional discounts. Consider making purchases at these sites in order to take advantage of steep savings. But protect your money and your potential investment by checking out consumer reviews and the site’s return policy first. If the purchase results in a shabby product and a less-than-satisfactory experience, then there isn’t any savings at all, only an expensive headache!
Join email mailing lists for your favorite online vendors. Smart sites don’t reserve special savings for just the newbies. They reward their loyal customers, too. Make sure you’re kept “in the know” when it comes to these special discounts by signing up for email lists and newsletters.
Search for and use promotional and discount codes. Just like their clipped paper counterparts, promotional and discount codes offer online shoppers the potential for substantial savings in exchange for very little effort. Just a few predefined keystrokes entered into the coupon area on the payment screen and you’ll see your final payment amount drop as if like magic. RetailMeNot.com and Groupon are just two great places to find these codes.
Price shop other sites. It doesn’t always pay to stick with the same shopping site. An investment of a few minutes and a couple of clicks could land you at another online merchant with a vastly different price. Before hitting “complete order,” check a few other sites out to first to ensure that you’re getting the best price possible. Don’t want waste the time? Opt to let an engine do the price comparing for you instead. PriceGrabber.com, for example, will automatically search the web for you and alert you to the lowest price is found. Even better, the site also allows you to view the price history of any given product with just a quick click, providing you with great information you may be able to use later on to save even more.
Shop well in advance to keep shipping costs low. The next best thing to “free shipping” is obviously the lowest charge possible. If you’re willing to wait a bit for your items, you can opt for the cheapest (which is often also the slowest) shipping option available. (Note to savvy shoppers: It rarely takes that long to receive your item(s). The shipping time quoted is usually the worst case scenario.)
Photo credit: FUNKYAH
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