When it comes to money-saving purchases, the first rule of thumb is buy stuff online. That, however, is just the first step as there are some other things you could do to save even more money.
In this article we are sharing five ways to help you save on every online purchase, whether the retailer you are looking at is offering coupons or not. Cause sometimes we need to buy something quickly and can’t wait for the deal.
So here are the tips to help you save in any case, whether there is a deal or not…
1. Get a pre-owned gift card
We are talking about gift cards people got as gifts and don’t want to use them. Or need an extra cash as soon as possible.
There is an entire market for these sort of products that, for instance, lets you buy a $100 gift card for $80 or even less. That’s an instant savings of 20 percent.
GiftCardGranny.com is one of the places where you can buy these pre-owned gift cards, and as I’m writing this I see the following gift card deals:
- Amazon Gift Cards — up to 20.04% off
- iTunes Gift Cards — up to 10% off
- Starbucks Gift Cards — up to 16% off
- Wal-Mart Gift Cards — up to 4.02% off
- Kohl’s Gift Cards — up to 35% off
- Home Depot Gift Cards — up to 50.02% off
- Victoria’s Secret Gift Cards — up to 50.05% off
Pretty cool, right?
Also read: 7 Gift Card Hacks to Help You Save Money
2. Buy through a rebate/cash-back site
Imagine getting a percentage back of every purchase you make online. Typically it is in the 1-5 percent range, but still — there is no reason to leave any money on the table. And every little adds up.
In order to benefit from this, you will have/want to make every purchase through a rebate/cash-back site. The most popular such service is Ebates, but there are also other options — Swagbucks lets you do that as well. While visiting these sites you will also be able to discover many great deals, so make sure to check them out.
When buying stuff from Ebates (or again, any such site), you will pay the full amount on the time of purchase, and then receive the discount back in the form of a rebate. Or you will earn equally valuable points that can be redeemed for gift cards and select merchandise.
On their end, cash-back sites get a commission from participating stores when you make a purchase, then share part of that commission with you, the customer.
3. Use a rewards credit card
Related to the previous point, you’ll want to make purchases with a credit card that rewards your purchases with cash-back or equally valuable — or even more valuable — points. The good thing is that you can use a rewards credit card alongside a cash-back site to save even more. That is actually the idea here — to combine multiple tools and tips to maximize your savings.
You should know that different credit cards reward different kinds of purchases. Some offer cash back/points on travel services, some on gas and groceries, and some are limited to a specific merchant. There are many options out there, but the general rule is that the better your credit score is, the better card you will be able to get. Also, this will determine your APR.
Speaking of which, many rewards credit cards don’t have a low APR, so in order to benefit from any cash-back or point rewards, you should make regular monthly payments without carrying too much balance from one month to the other. If possible, try not to carry ANY balance at all.
4. Sign up for retailers’ newsletters
This is how you get the best deals coming to your mailbox, rather than you chasing them around the web.
Stores also get to benefit from this, as they get a direct channel of communication with their customers, helping them cut the middle man and costly advertising. Once they have your email, they can send you all the deals they want without paying anything extra.
As a customer, you get to benefit by knowing when the sales have started, what are the items on clearance, and occasionally also get coupons.
In addition to newsletters, you may also want to keep up with your favorite retailers on social media. This too will let you tap into their “deal flow” — you will be able to scoop the deals before anyone else.
5. Abandon the shopping cart
Online retailers are notorious for using all kinds of analytics to track every move you make on their websites. So when when you add stuff to the shopping cart, and leave the website — they’ll take an extra step to make sure you complete the purchase.
What this means is that registered users (those who have signed-up with their email address) will get an email from a retailer asking them to go to the checkout now. In many cases, the retailer will additionally entice users to buy by offering them a discount. Use this to your advantage, but don’t expect miracles — if some item is already on sale, chances are you won’t get a better price. In other cases though, give it a try — perhaps you end up with an amazing deal.
Good luck! 😉