Well well well. We made it to part 3 of this little series on online shopping tips, which I like to think officially qualifies me as a grown-up blogger who knows what’s going on.
If you missed part 1, click here to see the post on how to rock craigslist like no one else (and possibly, steal all the cute dressers out from underneath me? Why can’t I find anything suddenly?). And click here for how to shop eBay like a ninja.
Today I’m going to talk about how to save money when you shop everywhere else online.
1. Start with Google Shopping
If you know what you want, search for it on google.com/shopping and sort results by price. Let’s search for ghost chairs because ghost chairs and I have a special relationship: I want them but they don’t want me back. (Translation: I somehow still don’t have one even though I love them.) Kinda like my relationship with Jim Halpert:
Dear Unrequited Loves of My Life, I like to imagine that if you knew me, you would love me.
2. Search for Online Coupons
I never, never, NEVER buy anything online without searching for an online coupon code first. It’s quick and easy to check and can save SO MUCH money that you can then spend on ghost chairs and beautiful fabrics. Actually, let’s talk about beautiful fabrics.
I get a lot of fabric from fabric.com. Here’s a pretty one for example:
If you’re buying 10 yards of that stuff, and don’t search for a coupon code, you’re paying $89.90:
But take a couple seconds to type “fabric.com coupon codes” into google…
And you’ll find a quick code for 15% off at retailmenot.com:
Bringing your total to $76.33:
Saving you a quick-and-easy $13.57 for a couple seconds worth of searching. And making you feel like a SHOPPING SUPERSTAR. Please feel free to print this image, cut it out and pin it to your shirt.
Your friends will be envious.
UPDATE: I just discovered this new-to-me coupon site called Save1. SUCH a cool concept: you search for coupon codes on their site, and they use a portion of the commission they receive to provide a meal for a hungry child through their feeding partners. Go shopping, feed hungry kids? Total win in my book.
3. Shop through a cash-back site
There are a few websites that give you cash back for clicking to the retailer through their site. This is so easy and just another way to save a few bucks on your online purchases.
Ebates.com* gives cash-back at 1,500 stores, including 6% back at Kohls and Macys, and 5% at Joann Fabrics. I’ve used them for a while and they pay quickly and easily. LOVE ebates. Fatwallet.com is a similar site but I haven’t tried it.
Don’t forget to check your credit card websites – many of them offer cash-back. We use our Discover Card for online purchases often, because they have a fantastic cash-back program that offers, for example, 15% cash back for Groupon.com purchases, and 5%+ cash back for Target.com and Walmart.com.
You CAN combine coupon codes AND cash-back sites, by the way. But only if you want to be amazing.
4. Use a combination of price-matching and coupon codes
You will never regret it.
First, find the lowest possible price you can for the item you want. We recently bought a Dyson DC25 Animal vacuum cleaner.* Regular price right now at Amazon is $579.05.
I waited and watched the sales until I found it for $395 at Sears.com. I couldn’t find a great coupon code for Sears.com, but I knew that Kohls.com often has great coupon codes. So I called Kohls and got them to price-match the Sears.com price, then add on a 15% coupon code, bringing my total to $360 + tax. They also had “Kohls cash,” which gave me something like $10 back for every $50 I spent, but I can’t remember the details.
Moral of the story? Don’t be afraid to price-match and use a combination of deals from two different stores.
Now I am sucking up the deals with my inexpensive Dyson. (UGH GROOOOAN. That was terrible, you guys. Don’t put up with this crap from me.)
5. Follow a Deal Site
There are a ton of deal sites which alert you to amazing deals of all kinds across this vast interwebs of ours. I follow dealnews.com through my RSS reader, but you can check their website regularly. They’ll let you know when there’s an awesome coupon code, or just something for sale somewhere online for an great price.
We usually have a handful of things we’re in the market for, and often that list will coincide with something that’s listed on Deal News or SlickDeals. This is a great way to get alerted to deals from obscure corners of the internet.
One caveat: it can be easy when following these sites to buy something because it’s cheap and not because you need it. *RESIST, friends!*
Just like you can search for coupon codes for online stores, you can also search for printable coupons to brick-and-mortar stores. If I’m headed out of the house to a specific store, I always google the store name + “printable coupons” on my way out the door. This works especially great for Michaels, Joann and other craft stores, but you can find some great deals to all kinds of stores this way.
Aaaand that’s all I can think of for now. How do you save lotsa cash online? What tips did I miss? Which color are you getting your SUPERSTAR tattoo in? (Don’t forget to check out Part 1 in this series: Craigslist shopping secrets and Part 2: Tricks to saving money on ebay.)
*These are affiliate links.