Shopping online helps you avoid the long lines for checkout, trying on clothes, sorting through piles of clothing to find something in your size, or pushing through crowds of eager shoppers. In addition, you will avoid the effects of clever tricks used by stores to make you spend more than you originally budgeted for.
However, online stores also almost always have a hidden trick up their sleeves to make you spend. Next time you are looking through the web for online deals and discounts, try a few of these hacks. They will help you get the best prices – and your purchases delivered right to your door.
For starters, you should be aware that online sales usually happen unannounced. However, you can sniff out a sale before it is even announced by creating a separate Twitter handle for following deal hounds and savvy bloggers. Their tweets are your ticket to finding an online sale you would not otherwise have known about. Watch their tweets carefully, and if they hashtag certain brands and designers, it’s time to Google those brands to find sales and deals. You can also use your regular Twitter handle, if you don’t mind having your feed full of shopping deals.
Don’t Get Fooled by Free Shipping
When offered with a choice of paying for shipping or not, most shoppers prefer the free shipping model. However, you should be aware that free shipping does not necessarily translate to a sale on the actual product you are looking to purchase. Take time to compare total costs with other costs before you click on the checkout button.
Your Location, Sometimes, Matters
You may be at a disadvantage if you live in an “upscale” zip code area and do your shopping from home. Some online businesses use whatever information they get from you to charge an “appropriate” price – including your location. If you reside in an affluent neighborhood, you may be charged extra.
To avoid this, use a VPN for spoofing your IP address. Alternatively, you can simply check the prices while away from your home and see if there is an advantage. Take time from after hours at work, or while taking a break during a family visit or during a vacation.
The Two-Stage Shopping Process
You should try buying items using the “two-stage process.” This means going to the site, finding what you like and putting it in your cart. However, do not checkout, instead close that browser window and wait a couple of days – one or two should be sufficient. When you leave items in a virtual cart, online stores deduce you are contemplating whether to make the purchase, and this will encourage the store to entice you with a deal. Expect some kind of a promo or coupon to appear in your inbox to make the purchase.
Using Online Deals as Leverage
If you love a certain Emporio Armani watch and find one you love but it is not on sale, take out your smartphone and snoop around the Internet for a better deal – do not buy. Instead, call the store and ask to speak with the manager – most likely, he or she is going to try and match that price, offering you an instant discount.
Bookmark Favorite Brands
For brand loyalists, bookmarking the corporate websites of your favorite brands will help you be the first to know when they have deals. Sometimes, manufacturers place print-at-home coupons on their webpages to drive traffic.
Clean Your Browser
Many online stores have discounts for new customers as incentives to have them close the deal faster. Consider creating a special shopping profile on your browser to fool such online stores into thing that you are a new customer every time you visit the site to make a purchase.
If you find the process of creating the special profile a bit complicated, designate one browser to be your shopping only browser. For example, if your primary browser is Chrome, you may consider Firefox as your shopping browser and ensure that you always clear cookies once you are done shopping. There are different instructions on how to clear cookies for different browsers.
There is no shortage of ways that can help you save cash online, including the ones mentioned above. As a savings-savvy shopper, the hunt for the best discount consumer shopping online is a valuable one, and can be fun, as well. The challenge is in cutting through the many coupon and discount sites and getting the wheat from the chaff. In that spirit, create bookmarks in your browser for sites like DailySale that can help you find the best daily deals. This will not only save you time on shopping, but will help you stumble upon some of the best deals on the Internet before everyone else.