9 Tips for Finding the Best Deals Online

Online shopping has made it easier than ever for people around the globe to get what they need at the mere click of a mouse. In fact, it appears it has become a favorite pastime. The number of digital buyers was expected to reach 2.05 billion in 2020 and rise to 2.14 billion in 2021.

If you’re among the billions, it’s high time you make sure you’re getting the best deals online. Luckily, digital hunter-gatherers can load a checkout cart with tips and tricks to get great prices. Here’s everything you need to know about how to find the best deals online.

Ways to Find Deals Online

1. Finding the Right Coupon Codes

Coupon codes are lurking all over the internet to help people find the best deals at their favorite retailers. For example, many online retailers will give customers a little discount for newsletter signup or for their first purchase. Others hide discount codes, but a simple Google search can yield great results for coupon hunters.

An easier way to dig up coupons to online retailers may be to search on coupon websites like RetailMeNot or Coupons.com.

Digital shoppers also can try downloading Chrome extensions like Honey, which automatically searches the internet for the best discount codes and applies them at checkout.

2. Using Free Shipping or In-Store Pickup

Online shopping tips don’t stop at coupons. Another way to save is to find free shipping options. If you don’t need an item ASAP, free shipping is typically an option at checkout.

Many online retailers also offer free shipping with a minimum order amount. To find free shipping deals and codes, check out websites like FreeShipping.org.

Another option may be to order an item online and then pick it up at the store for free. If it’s close enough to grab in person, it may be worth it to avoid shipping costs altogether.

3. Giving a Price Watcher a Go

Consumers who aren’t in a rush to purchase an item may be able to take advantage of price tracking tools. Price tracking tools help shoppers stay informed about price drops and sales so they can click “buy” at just the right time.

Apps like Honey have tools like Droplist that allow consumers to save items for later and be informed when an item on the list has a price drop.

Other apps like CamelCamelCamel track prices on Amazon, and PriceBlink, a desktop application, will find even more deals across the Web, too. It works by showing how much an item costs at several online stores so shoppers can pick the best one.

4. Trying Online Price Matching

Many larger retailers like Walmart and Target participate in price matching programs, which means if you find a price at one retailer you may be able to get it at another.

This used to mean bringing in a printed coupon or proof that the product was on sale for a lower price at a different retailer, but now, it can all be done online. All a shopper needs to do is reach out to customer service, which may be able to help out.

Specifically for Walmart shoppers, the retail giant now offers customers access to Savings Catcher, its own price-matching tool. After purchasing an item at Walmart, just scan the receipt. Walmart will compare prices and issue a refund if it finds the item for less money somewhere else.

5. Haggling

Yes, haggling is still an option, even online. One way to potentially drive down the price of something online is to open the little chat box on most online retailer sites to speak with a customer service rep. There, customers can just be blunt and ask for anything from a discount to free shipping. The worst they can say is “no.”

There’s also the option to use apps like PriceWaiter, which will do all the negotiating for the user. The app already works with many larger online retailers and allows consumers to make an offer on an item rather than pay the sticker price. Usually, the app will let users know within 24 hours if their offer has been accepted or declined.

6. Checking Reviews

To get the best deal online, consumers need to be sure they are getting the best product. And one way to do that is to check online reviews. Customers all over the internet leave reviews on products they’ve purchased, alerting others to potential issues or potential great buys.

On websites like Amazon search for “verified purchase” to know that the review is legit. While online reviews should be taken with a grain of salt, they are one more tool to add to your decision-making arsenal for online shopping.

Before purchasing a product, is it really something you want or need, or will bring joy? If so, check reviews to make sure it’s the perfect fit before clicking “buy.”

7. Waiting for Bigger Sales

Throughout the year, larger retailers will likely host online shopping sales. These sales are known to occur around the holidays, specifically on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.

Other major sales usually occur around holidays like Presidents Day, Memorial Day, and Labor Day, as well as midsummer. During this time, consumers may be able to score major discounts, so if you can wait for a purchase, try to wait until then.

One more “holiday” to keep an eye out for is Amazon Prime Day. During the sale, retailers across the website offer steep discounts on products.

However, to get in on the deal, one must be an Amazon Prime member, which comes with a subscription. But Amazon Prime members get free shipping on most products, which can add up in the long run.

8. Following Favorite Brands on Social Media

One more way to potentially find the best deals online is to follow brands and retailers on social media. Brands love to give their loyal customers something special, so they may share insider discounts and offers on their social media pages and newsletters before anywhere else.

Give your favorite brands a follow on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook to stay aware of when sales may be happening, and maybe get inspired about new things to buy along the way, too.

9. Earning Cash Back for Purchases

If you’re not interested in having to do all this legwork to get a good deal while shopping online, there is another option: SoFi Money®.

The cash management account helps people better manage their money and can also let them earn a few dollars back, thanks to its cash back rewards program.

When members set up recurring $500 monthly deposits to their SoFi Money® accounts, they gain access to unique offers that reward them for spending at their favorite local and nationwide brands.

That’s not the only way to save. SoFi Money® members are never charged account fees or ATM fees (at over 55,000+ ATMs worldwide within the Allpoint Network), so they can save up for that one item they’ve been eyeing online for months a little faster.

This story first appeared on SoFi.

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