The next installment in my 20 Money-Saving Habits for 2009 series…
Besides being very convenient, online shopping can sometimes be a real moneysaver. If you’re an online shopper, there are ways to tweak your shopping to help you save big. Here’s how I do it:
1) BEFORE YOU SHOP:
- Never shop without coupons and codes. There are several ways to do this. One, sign up for emails and newsletters from the stores you shop online. Remember to use your junk e-mail account for this so your personal mail isn’t inundated with junk. You can also go to websites like RetailMeNot and search for the store. They list all the current coupon codes.
- Be willing to wait for free shipping. When you shop with free shipping and have the ability to return items to a store (or return them via mail for free), it’s even better than regular shopping. I do this often with shoes; I buy several pairs to try them on, then return those that don’t fit me.
2) WHEN YOU SHOP:
- Shop through an online shopping portal. A portal is just a website that helps you earn something (points, rebate dollars, etc.) because you shop through them. Some credit card rewards offer points per purchase, or you can use a site like UPromise, MyPoints or Swagbucks. I use Ebates because I wanted cash back instead. When I make my online purchases through Ebates, I get a percentage back of what I spend. It accumulates in my account and when it reaches the payout threshold, it’s paid to me in my Paypal account.
3) AFTER YOU SHOP:
- Double-check your packing slip and receipt as your package arrives to be sure you were charged the correct amount.
- Note the return policy on your receipt—do you have 15 days, 30 days, etc.? It’s too easy to put packages aside and never get around to returning them. If you miss your return window, you’ve thrown your money away.
Yes, it takes a little more effort to shop this way—there’s a little more research and clicking—but it can pay off for you.
Read the other articles in the 20 Money-Saving Habits for 2009 series.