21 Tips to Save Money on Online Orders

Net working capital: The best way to save money is to compare prices, which can easily be done with apps nowadays. There’s a lot of apps that will easily let you scan the barcode or an item and it compares it to other sites. You can also use a shopping tool extension in your internet browser to compare prices between different stores. Some of these apps and extensions even automatically apply available coupons, so you save even more by using them.

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It’s no secret that the cost of living is increasing, which means more of us are looking for savvy ways to spend less. If you want to know how to save money online, we’ve got you covered. From joining mailing lists for exclusive offers to using browser extensions to find the best deals, there are plenty of tricks and tips you can use. Read on to learn how to find the best deals online and start saving money today.

1. Write down your budget as well as what you want to buy. Knowing what you can spend and what you’re looking for can keep you from endlessly scrolling through items and leaping from site to site, which increases your chances of impulse buying. Jot down your potential purchases and cross any off the list that don’t fit in with your budget or that you don’t need but are just “nice to have.” You’re already saving money and making smarter purchases by cutting these items!

  • If you’re buying for your household, make your list with your partner or roommate to get their input. It can be really helpful to have a second set of eyes to keep you from buying non-essential items.
  • To get more “bang for your buck,” going for the cheapest option for the items on your shopping list is not always the best way to go. If a price seems too good to be true, there is a chance it is, so be sure to check verified customer reviews before you click “Add to Cart.”
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2. Choose an extension that automatically searches for coupon codes. Rather than wasting time checking multiple sites looking for deals, get a plug-in that automatically searches for voucher codes for the online store you’re visiting. The best one is the Capital One Shopping extension. It instantly applies coupon codes to your shopping cart and helps you bag exclusive rewards and save money when shopping online. The extension also automatically searches for a better price for you, informing you of better deals with a pop-up notification that includes tax and shipping details. It will even compare prices on Amazon to other popular retailers.

  • Capital One shopping is available as a browser extension on all the major web browsers including Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. There is also a companion Capital One Shopping app available on Android and iOS devices for savings on the go.
  • Capital One Shopping is 100% free to use, and in the last year alone, it saved users over $160 million. Capital One Shopping also has a cashback program. When you purchase from your favorite stores, you get Capital One Shopping Credits, which you can redeem on thousands of products and gift cards.
  • To install Capital One Shopping, go to the Capital One Shopping website.
    • Click the button “Add to [your browser]”—it’s completely free.
    • You’ll be redirected to the relevant app store. Click the “Add to [browser]” button.
    • A pop-up will appear asking permission to allow the installation of the extension. Click “Add Extension.”
    • Enter your ZIP code, specify if you have Amazon Prime, read and accept the terms of service and privacy policy, then select “Continue.”
    • Enter your email address and create a strong password for your Capital One Shopping account.
    • Select “Continue” or close the window. Now you’re ready to shop with savings.
  • If you link a debit or credit card to your account, you can also earn Capital One Shopping Credits when you make purchases at participating brick-and-mortar stores, restaurants, and other businesses.

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3. Many online retailers offer discount codes when you sign up for their newsletter. You’ll also learn about special sales, promotional events, and even get the occasional discount code just for you.

  • Worried about dozens of emails from the newsletters, coupon sites, and promotion lists you signed up for? Get organized with an email add-on like Unroll.me, which sends you a digest email once a day, summarizing all your preferred subscriptions, notifying you of the best deals, and instantly unsubscribing you from junk emails. Talk about a win-win!
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4. Leaving the site before checking out could bag you a discount! Just make sure that you’re signed in to the website you’re shopping with and then leave the site without purchasing your items. Some retailers are so keen for you to complete the purchase that they will send you a little incentive in the form of an email with a coupon code for a discount or free delivery within a few days.

  • While this may not work every time, it’s definitely worth a try if you’re not in a rush to buy.
  • In addition, abandoning your basket for a day or even just for a few hours can give you time to really think about whether you need those items or not. After leaving your cart for a while, you may forget what items you added to it in the first place—which is a sign that perhaps you don’t need them all.

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5. Rewards programs are free to join and earn you points for purchases and reviews. In many cases, you’ll also get special discounts on your birthday. Although it varies between retailers, generally, your rewards points can be redeemed for products, discounts on your shopping baskets, and even cold, hard cash. If you tend to buy the same products from the same online retailer, such as shampoo or cosmetics, check to see if they have a rewards program.

  • Rewards program information is usually easy to find on the website, perhaps popping up when you sign up for an account or in the footer at the bottom of the page.
  • Be careful about signing up for some rewards programs, as there could be fine print that isn’t that clear. For example, make sure that signing up for a rewards program doesn’t mean you’re subscribing to regular orders that charge your credit card every month. Additionally, companies may try to get you to sign up for their store credit card, which may come with additional fees.
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6. Online stores create exclusive social media deals. They also release details about their latest promotions and flash sales on social media first, which is helpful if savings are available in limited quantities. Follow your favorite brands on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and other social accounts you have. Plus, you’ll also have the opportunity to enter contests and giveaways on social media, allowing you to get some of your favourite products for free.

  • The weeks leading up to special holidays such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter are great for checking for competitions as brands increase their social media presence in the run-up to the holidays.
  • Be careful, though, as fraudsters can often use social media to send messages claiming you have won a prize or offer you a special deal to get their hands on your sensitive information. Make sure any social media posts you interact with or communication you receive is from a brand’s official social media page.

7. Use multiple promo codes for the same retailer. This is another place where the Capital One Shopping plugin can come in handy. It will automatically add discount codes to your basket, after which you can add any additional coupons you have, perhaps from social media or newsletters.

  • If you can use more than one coupon code at a time, the order you add them to a basket can help you save even more money. For example, if you have one code for 10% off and another for $10 off, use the 10% voucher first. That will apply the 10% discount off your entire basket before taking off the $10, getting you a much better deal.
  • Some retailers will have restrictions on the number of coupon codes you can apply to one basket, but others, such as Amazon and Gap, are not as strict. Just enter the codes you have at the checkout and see which ones get accepted.

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8. You can score anywhere from 1% to 8% cashback on purchases. If you regularly shop online, it’s definitely worth going through the likes of TopCashback to see if you can make a little return on your purchase. Even if you collect just a few dollars at a time, it will all add up over the course of a year, and you’ll have a nice little savings pot for the holidays.

  • Several credit cards offer cashback on purchases that can help you save money shopping online. Just use your credit card for all your eligible online purchases and then claim the cashback later.

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9. Search in incognito to see the lowest prices available. Dynamic pricing is a strategy used by websites to show different prices to different customers depending on the demand for a product, your spending and browsing patterns, and even your location. For example, have you found prices for a really cheap flight that was 40% more expensive when you checked the next day? That’s an example of dynamic pricing. The technique has gotten so sophisticated in recent years that most retailers know your usual price point and may show you an inflated price compared to someone who regularly pays less for online purchases. To outwit dynamic pricing:

  • Clear your browsing history and cookies before you start shopping.
  • Log out of all your accounts, including email, Google, and social media accounts.
  • Browse anonymously with an incognito browser.
  • Use a virtual private network (VPN) to switch your browser location to check for better prices on different countries’ versions of the same website.
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10. Save money and be a more sustainable shopper by buying gently used items. The online second-hand market is booming, with sites such as eBay, Vinted, and Depop offering the best in pre-loved beauty, clothing, electronics, homeware, and more. Even huge global retailers are getting in on the second-hand market. For example, Amazon has the Amazon Warehouse, which sells like-new products for a fraction of the recommended retail price. Most products have been returned to Amazon and no longer feature their original packaging but are still in perfect working order.

  • Not only can you make some huge savings by shopping second-hand, but it’s also a more sustainable shopping choice by preventing something from going to landfill. Furthermore, it cuts down on unnecessary waste and encourages a circular economy.
  • If you’re shopping for clothing online, consider looking for some second-hand bargains to be kind to your wallet and the environment. According to the United Nations, one pair of jeans takes 7,500 liters of water to manufacture. In fact, the fashion industry is one of the most significant contributors to global carbon emissions, accounting for 8-10% every year and nearly 20% of wastewater.

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11. Score deals on leftover stock at the end of each season. As one season ends, retailers sell the leftover merchandise at a huge discount as it’s the vendor’s last chance to profit. If you’re interested in saving money but still need to buy new clothing or other items, this is the best way to get a bargain.

  • For example, buying a ski jacket in summer or patio furniture in winter will likely come with considerable savings. Everything from books, toys, and electronic products experience seasonality as retailers base new releases around prime shopping seasons, like holidays.
  • If you’re in no rush to buy a particular item, wait until it’s out of its peak popularity and reap the rewards of being a patient online shopper.
  • You’ll find many of last season’s items at discount stores such as Nordstrom Rack, Ross, Marshalls, Burlington, and factory outlets.
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12. Take the money you were going to spend and put it in a savings account for 30 days. This applies to every item you think about buying online that isn’t on your shopping list. If you still want to buy the item after the 30 days are up, you can use your money in your checking or savings account. Otherwise, the money stays in your account or goes into your emergency fund. Therefore, the 30-day rule will help you overcome the urge to impulse buy and boost your savings over time.

13. Snag discounted online gift cards to save some dough. Did you know that you can purchase unwanted gift cards online from sites such as CardCash and GiftDeals? So, if you know where you want to shop, checking for a discounted online gift card for that store could net you a decent saving.

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14. Ask a company rep for a discount code. When you shop online, don’t automatically shut the live chat window that pops up as it could be a way of bagging an unexpected saving. Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with the customer service representative about a particular item and do some haggling. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

15. Take advantage of Black Friday and other deals. If you’re looking to make a big purchase but are in no hurry, it’s worth waiting for big sales events such as Black Friday or the January sales. You can save money—a lot of money—but there is a chance that you miss out on the item you were after, so load your shopping basket in advance and be quick off the mark.

16. Get discounts on items you buy regularly. Many online retailers these days, including Amazon and Walgreens, offer a subscribe and save option for items that people usually reorder, such as beauty products, medicines, and more. You can save up to 25% by subscribing to regular product deliveries, and you won’t have to worry about running out. This is especially helpful when doing grocery shopping.

  • If you use a lot of the same products, such as cleaning agents or household supplies, you can save money if you buy them in bulk or choose a subscribe and save option. However, keep an eye on your subscriptions and make sure they’re timed right, or you may end up with way more products than you can manage to use!

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17. Wait until you have enough items to qualify for free delivery before placing your order. Delivery charges can really sting—it’s not something you want to spend money on, and there are often ways around them. Most brands offer free shipping when you reach a certain threshold, so it may be worth it if it’s only a few bucks to free delivery. Also, lots of vendors offer free delivery if you opt for a pickup point instead of home delivery.

18. Score a sweet introductory discount twice or more with this hack. Some retailers often send single-use coupons to customers on their mailing lists. Increase the number of discounts you get by signing up for your favourite brands’ newsletter with multiple email addresses.

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19. Ask for a discount if you bought an item at the higher price point. It’s so frustrating when you buy an item only to see that it has been discounted the next day. However, some companies will refund you the price difference if you contact them within a few days to ensure you get the best price. Amazon is one online retailer that does this, so it’s always worth trying.

  • Some banks, such as Citibank, also have credit cards that let you make up the difference on an item you bought that went on sale after the fact. Check with your financial institution to see if they have this option.

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20. Use a separate savings account that you don’t touch when online shopping. Keeping money separate will ensure you don’t overspend and hurt your savings goals. Only use your savings accounts for a rainy day or big-ticket items, such as a down payment on a house, or to secure your financial future.

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21. Just make sure to stick to your budget. Look at your monthly income and write down how much you’ll need to spend on essentials like housing, utility bills, and groceries. Then look at how much money you want to put into your savings each month. The leftover amount will indicate how much you can spend on other “non-essentials.”

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