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Online retailers seem to be becoming more and more creative these days to score big with shoppers. However, if you are a smart deal hunter or would just love to get major discounts without a lot of efforts, try using these ten clever online shopping tips.
Dynamic pricing is a sneaky strategy online merchants offer use to show different prices to different customers according to your location, your browsing and spending patterns and current demand of the product. Have you ever found dirty cheap airfare that went 30% higher when you checked on the next day? That’s dynamic pricing in action. As this technique gotten incredibly sophisticated, most retailers are perfectly aware of your price point and may show you a higher price compared to someone else who pays less in online purchases.
To get a less biased price you should:
Even if it seems tempting to spend your lazy Sunday afternoon browsing around various retailers, don’t cash out too fast. Most stores roll out discounts and special deals on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. However, Sunday is the best day to score cheap airline tickets with Monday being the most expensive, according to Airlines Reporting Corporation who analyzed over 130 million domestic and international over the period of 19 months. Numbers speak for themselves: $432 is the lowest average price for a round-trip ticket on Sunday; $439 is Saturday’s average, while Tuesday – the former “cheapest day to buy airfare” turned out to average $497.
According to Rather Be Shopping, Tuesday is the best day to purchase laptop and desktop computers as major retailers like Dell Home and Hewlett-Packard send out special coupons every Tuesday. Saturdays are bookworms’ specials as Amazon and Barnes & Noble launch numerous books on sale, targeting readers who love spending a weekend with a new fine read.
If the website allows you to combine different coupons and promo codes at the checkout, use them in the right order. Say you have a promo code for a 20% discount and a coupon for 10$, apply 20% promo code first. That will subtract 20% from the full price, afterwards you can dig more savings with your $10 discount coupon.
Say you’ve purchased an item yesterday, but when you checked the next day, it was now on sale. Pretty frustrating, right? However, some companies will refund you the price difference if you contact them directly within a certain amount of days. For instance, Amazon will issue you a refund if you notify them within seven calendar days from the delivery date. Use Camelcamelcamel.com to monitor price changes at Amazon.
Some credit cards also go with price protection. That is, no matter where you shopped – you will refund the difference if the price dips within a certain amount of days. These include Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®, Citi® Double Cash Card and more.
Some apps offer you to redeem special bonuses for doing certain actions. You can earn kicks by doing paid online surveys or merely browsing around product catalogs with ShopKick that can be exchanged to gift cards or special discounts. Swagbucks TV allows you to earn swagbucks for simply watching videos and redeem them as discounts from different online merchants.
Case Happy offers 1 point (equals to 0.05£) for each pound you spend on their goodies – lovely Ipad, Kindle and tablet covers. Points can be redeemed as coupons with your next order with no limits on spending. Basically, you can get the 2nd product for free. If you are into designers clothing, check out Guilt Insider loyalty program. You get early access to sales and a bunch of special discounts, plus you earn 5 points for each dollar spent, 35 points for liking them on Facebook and so on. Points can be exchanged for free shipping, exclusive access to flash-sales and a number of other perks. Amazon nails it with Amazon Rewards Visa card with $50 sign up bonus and 3 points added for each dollar spent.
Just discovered a juicy coupon at your email to realize it has expired two days ago? Fret not! Ring up the hotline and ask if your coupon can be extended as you are about to make your order. Typically, sales reps are interested in closing the deal and will either give you a new promo code or extend the existing one. It may not work each time, especially with low-priced items, yet it is always worth trying.
Alternatively, you can use live time chats now available at most websites. Be polite and ask a few questions about the product you’d like to buy and then inquire if there’s any sort of discounts they possibly may have. It’s not a well-known fact, but chat support can issue special promo codes that are not widely available.
Signing up to newsletters, coupon sites and promotion lists can save you a huge bucks, but you are too reluctant about getting your email spammed? Try Unroll.me – a handy email add-on that lets you instantly unsubscribe from junk emails and de-clutters your inbox by sending one digest email a day summarizing your preferred subscriptions. Just choose the time of the day when you’d like to receive it.
To avoid overpaying and scoring absolutely best deals online, install PriceBlink browser add-on (available for Chrome, Mozilla, Safari). It will save you tons of time by automatically pulling the prices for the same product from numerous merchants, organizing them in a smart chart and even notifying you if there are any coupons available.
Alternatively, you can try Pricegrabber app that does the same thing, plus can scan bar codes and provide “bottom line prices” that include taxes, shipping and other add-on expenses.
Leave the products in your cart and step away for a day or two. Firstly, you’ve just avoided making an impulse purchase. Secondly, most retailers hate unclosed deals and will try to retain you. Stores that send coupons or offer a better price on the next day include Bed Bath & Beyond, Macy’s, JC Penney, Office Max and much more.
Remember the trick works only when you have an account on the merchant’s website and you are logged in when you leave your cart.
Some stores love sending huge single use coupons to a selected group of their customers. Increase your chances of saving the big bucks by signing up to their newsletter with multiple email accounts. Now imagine how much money you will receive with three 50% discount codes for one full-priced item purchase, instead of one.
Featured photo credit: Tim Reckmann via flickr.com
Nobody likes scouring Sunday newspapers, scissors in hand, trying to find deals and clip coupons.
With our list of the best coupon websites, you don’t have to.
These money saving apps and websites make it so easy and quick to find the latest and best coupons and promo codes, whether you want printable grocery coupons that you take to the store or virtual coupon codes that you can use online.
According to NCH, consumers saved $3.4 billion by redeeming coupons in 2014.
This is the age of not paying full prices!
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So if you’ve got a passion for savings like we do, these are the 20 best coupon sites that you need to check before you go out shopping.
Not exactly a coupon site, but a way to buy things on the cheap cheap.
It’s a kind of coupon site that not only saves you money, but also earns you money!
eBates is one of the best cashback sites out there. You get anywhere from 3% to 10% cashback on products from more than 1000 online retailers. The cashback rates can sometimes go as high as 40%!
Even if you can’t find a coupon for what you want, this system guarantees that you will pay less than full price for whatever you buy.
Where better to go look for coupons than on coupons.com, an easy to remember name for the provider of the greatest number of digital coupons in America.
There are literally thousands of deals for virtually anything you want to buy, including household goods, groceries, clothes, and cosmetics.
All you have to do is put in your ZIP Code and the website will automatically look for deals in your area.
You can look through and pick what you want, print out coupons as necessary to take to the stores.
You can even get coupons.com as an app for your Android or iPhone.
Another major online discount site, RetailMeNot.com is full of coupons and offers.
It offers an online community where you get feedback on how well coupons work, and users can also submit their own coupons.
Once again, there is an app available for smartphones.
RetailMeNot.com boasts coupons for more than 130,000 online and local stores.
If you’d like to receive the latest discount codes and deals in your email, then you may want to sign up for their Hot Coupon Newsletter.
Need Extra Cash for Free?If you like getting paid for surveys, and are going to join only one site, I would recommend Ipsos-iSay. Ipsos is the most fun and well-paying panel. Give it a try to see how you like it. It is free anyway!
You probably know the Red Plum coupon book that you receive by direct mail, or sometimes in a newspaper.
RedPlum.com is the online version and often has the same deals, albeit in a much more easily searched form.
They tend to issue the new coupons on Sunday morning, so it’s best to check to make sure you can get what you want.
They also have a service called Clip free, which allows you to load coupons onto store loyalty cards.
Sunday newspapers come from Smart Source, which is owned by News America Marketing.
Again, this is the online version and will have many of the same deals.
You can check by ZIP Code for local specials.
ShopAtHome has thousands of printable coupons for stores, including rebates.
It also offers lots of online deals.
There is a toolbar that you can install on your browser that watches each site you visit and will let you know if there are any coupons or deals available.
It’s a good idea to check out savings.com before buying anything, as it has lots of coupon codes for both brand and store coupons.
It offers an easy search box, or you can browse by category.
They also encourage you to contribute to the community of savers, if you have any coupon codes or tips.
Another site with the emphasis on community, Slick Deals welcomes everyone to submit their coupons and deals for others to use.
In fact, the coupons are rated for popularity by the votes of the community. The best ones make it to the homepage, but you can search by store or category for the ones you want.
TKCL is a leading national money-saving website that teaches extreme couponing strategies!
This is one site all couponers, beginners and pros, should follow.
The site is run by two ladies who know how to coupon and are extremely good at it.
It’s updated daily and is always full of current coupons and promos.
What I love about this site is that you don’t even have to sign up for an account to access coupons.
You can simply search for any coupon you want, copy the code and use it to shop.
It offers printable coupons that you can take the stores, as well as online coupons for your Internet shopping.
There’s a great range of coupons available, so you may well find what you need on this site.
Another site with a huge database of current and working coupon codes.
It has over 44,104 active coupons, with dozens added every day.
You can also find over 10,000 free shipping offers.
The average savings per user is estimated at $27.
If you cannot find it on Frugaa.com, you probably don’t need it!
This is an awesome site especially for those of us who like to support local businesses as it focuses on local shopping.
You can find discounts and promo codes for hundreds of thousands of local stores.
They also have a “store” section with tons of great deals.
Hip2Save.com is a couponing site and more.
It offers a daily newsletter and includes deals, coupons, and freebies.
Also, check out the Hip2Save app.
The homepage of Deal News boasts that they only have the best offers, and they show the Hottest Deals prominently.
Also available in app form, Deal News has deals on computers, electronics, clothing, and home and garden supplies.
FatWallet has pages of deals, including computers and electronics, clothing, and tools.
Just choose your store or your offer, click through to the appropriate retailer, shop and redeem your coupons and save.
Once again, there is an app available that will keep you up-to-date on the latest deals.
This website offers deals selected by its editors across a whole range of stores and items. You can choose newest deals, most popular deals, or Brad’s picks.
The top deals also rotate on a slider across the top of the homepage.
There are 3800 stores listed, and you can find printable and online coupons.
Nobody likes paying for shipping!
And FreeShipping.com is here to help you avoid that dreaded shipping fee.
Freeshipping.com has expanded beyond its original idea of simply showing you where you do not have to pay for shipping.
Now they offer 10% off on thousands of items if you buy through their links (somewhat like eBates.com), as well as free shipping and other coupons.
However, you have to join and it costs you $12.97 per month, although there is a 7 day free trial period.
I’m sure you have heard of Groupon by now.
Groupon focuses on saving you money with local deals and coupons.
You can sometimes save as much as 70% or more on products and services.
Amazon is famous for its year-round deals as well as Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions.
But it also has a coupon section that you can use to find codes to save you even more money when you shop on Amazon.
But you know what the weird thing about it is?
Most people don’t even know it exists!
But now you do!
To find it, simply visit Amazon.com/coupons. From there either browse the available coupons or do a quick search.
Finally, Price Blink is a browser add-on that you can simply add to your browser and it will look for lower prices while you shop.
The add-on is available for Google Chrome, Safari, and Firefox.
It stays hidden until you are on a shopping site when it will interrupt you to tell you if it found a better deal.
It’s like having access to the best and latest coupons without having to spend hours searching for ’em.
We started this article looking for the best coupon sites and finished up expanding the remit to include other sites where you can save money shopping.
And that’s the beauty of this. You don’t just have to use coupons. You can combine the offerings of these top coupon sites with free shipping and cash backs from sites like eBates to save even more.
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