Saying the online shopping is convenient would be understatement of the century. However, don’t confuse words convenient with carefree. Sure, the long lines and plowing through tons of clothes to find the piece you like may be gone, but that hardly improves your chances of finding a better deal. And retailers are just as eager to rob you of your money as if you were shopping in an on-site store. Let’s see what we can do to get the upper hand in this situation.
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Use the Power of Twitter
Internet is a huge place. No matter how devoted you are, you’ll have a very hard time spotting all the discounts that may spark your interest. At least, not if you are alone. Fortunately, Twitter is full of various dealhounds that will make your life much easier by twitting about the deals they’ve noticed. Keep in mind, though – you’ll have to cast your net pretty wide. If you don’t want your feed flooded with discount posts, you should better make a dedicated account.
Your device’s IP address and browser cookies have to tell lot more about you than you might like. For example, online stores can identify your location and charge you more if you are blessed with a “higher-income ZIP code”. Or they can influence the price of some product if they notice that you’ve expressed an interest by making repeated visits to the website. The best way to avoid this is to put on a fedora, and open up a new “incognito” window in your browser.
Keep the Goodies in the Shopping Cart
If you’ve found some product you like, and you are not in a hurry to buy it, put it in a shopping cart and just leave it there for a couple of days. You won’t make any obligations to retailer until you confirm the purchase. On the other hand, the retailer may see that you are hesitating to make a purchase and try to strengthen your resolve by offering you a better deal or some other form of incentive.
Have the Right Browser
Your ZIP code is not the only factor that can influence the price of some product you want to buy. Your go-to browser has a place on this list as well. For example, if you are trying to make a purchase from Safari, some retailers may see that as a sign that you have a “deeper pocket” and try to sneak higher price upon you. To avoid this unfortunate outcome, try shopping on Firefox, Chrome, Edge or a mobile device.
Compare the Prices
Some websites are known for offering good shopping deals. Use them as a reference point to compare the prices of the products you are interested in. Or even better, download an aggregator app that will do that instead of you. Either way, checking is your current deal truly the best deal around doesn’t take more than few minutes. Those few minutes can save you a small fortune. If you stumble upon some lower price, you can even use it as a leverage to get the better deal on-site.
Online Coupons and Where to Find Them
Coupons are the Alpha and Omega of frugal shopping, and online purchases are no different. If you haven’t stockpiled them by now, websites like RetailMeNot are a perfect place to start your hunt. What makes RetailMeNot an exceptionally fortunate first stepping stone, though, is the fact that this website also features Chrome and Firefox extensions, as well as the dedicated app.
Some people look at sopping as a race to get the best deal first. We say, shopping should be more like careful progress through a labyrinth. There is a prize waiting for you in the center, but if you heedlessly rush forward, you may get lost or fall into a trap. Be smart and watch your steps.