I’ve noticed that in the past year, I have spent less time in the mall and more time shopping online. The reason behind this is that I am able to save a lot more money by shopping online then when I shop in stores. I find that promotions are usually much better online, and it saves me a trip to the mall, which often times can be too crowded for my liking. Remember, every penny counts! Below I’ve outlined my tips for becoming a savvy online shopper:
Ebates is great because it allows you to receive a percentage back from your online purchases. It’s like getting paid to shop. Several years ago my aunt introduced me to Ebates and now it has become the primary reason why I have switched to mostly shopping online. It is super easy to use, you just create an account, click through the website to your favorite store and shop. Many retailers offer cash back through the website, although the percentage back fluctuates. For example, right now you can get 6% back on my Nordstrom orders and sometimes they’ll run a promotion where you can get 8% (normally 4%) back on Sephora orders. If I make an $100 purchase on Sephora.com, which we know isn’t hard to do, I'll received $8 back. Sign up here.
Sign Up for Store Emails
While your inbox may become flooded with a slew of emails, signing up for your favorite company’s emails is the best way to stay on top of promotions. Sometimes even just joining the email list gives you an extra percentage off your purchase. Why would you buy something at full price, when the next day the whole store will be 40% off? Some stores like Ann Taylor Loft and even Forever21 are constantly running promotions that can only be found through their emails so it's best not to shop them full price. Tip: I like using an email service like Gmail because it automatically puts store promotions in another folder so you can stay on top of important emails and not let those get in the way.
RetailMeNot is the best place to find promotions for your favorite stores. I hate paying for shipping so when I can get a promo code for free shipping, I’m a happy camper. I almost never purchase anything online if I don’t have a promo code.
For many products like shampoos or makeup brushes, I find that Amazon offers the lowest prices. Since prices can fluctuate on Amazon, don’t wait too long to purchase your product once you think you've found a deal. Let’s take my favorite Real Techniques brush, the stippling brush. Ulta sells it for $9.99 while Amazon currently sells it $7.59. Disregarding tax and shipping, you save about 15% through Amazon. Tip: Be a smart shopper. Don’t forget to check the reviews to make sure you aren’t buying a fake product and are buying from a reputable seller.
As this blog features a lot of beauty related content I thought talking about eBay in this post would be appropriate. I don't buy too much off of eBay other than nail polish. I can get my favorite brand, Essie for around $5.50 a bottle including shipping (you can also find discounts on OPI). That's about a $2.50 saving per bottle as retailers like CVS and Target sell Essie polish for $8 or more. This polish (see here) is selling for $2.49 plus $1.99 for shipping bringing your total to $4.48 ($3.52 less than retail price) and the seller has 97.8% positive feedback (pretty good given that he or she has over 12,000 sales). Tip: As with Amazon, Be a smart shopper. Don’t forget to check the reviews to make sure you aren’t buying a fake product and are buying from a reputable seller.
I hope that some of these tips are useful and will help you to become a savvy online shopper. I’m still on the hunt to learn how to save more. I know that there are many money saving apps so I’ll be exploring those next. What are your money-saving online shopping tips?