Online Shopping: How to Get a Perfect Deal
This past holiday season set new records for online shopping – again. With more, faster, and better fulfillment and shipping practices developing, the convenience has never been higher. But while convenience improves, getting the best possible deal isn’t necessarily part of the package. Here are our tips for stretching your dollars and getting the perfect deal online.
The budget-conscious have been making the most of their funds with coupon clipping for decades. You can use couponing online in one of two ways. Watch for coupons for your favorite brands or shops. You’ll get a sense of how often sales come along and whether it might be worth holding off on purchases until the next sale cycle launches, or whether you’re seeing the best price right now. Another approach is to shop for the items you’re interested in, and then do a search online for any available coupons that could shave the price down a bit.
To take your couponing to the next level, consider bookmarking a deal aggregator, installing a plugin, or signing up to a mailing list or coupon newsletter. Deal aggregator websites scour the web for discounts, coupons and sales, and then collect them in a central location for you to browse. Bargain or coupon plugins are like little tools that sit in your browser frame and prompt you when you get to checkout. When you click, they search for any discount codes and test them to help you get the best deal. Deal newsletters pull together the best deals and pop them in your inbox for regular review.
Here’s where it gets a bit more technical. Online retailers are getting more and more clever about the way their sites are constructed, including the deals they offer individual visitors and customers. They may use your operating system, browser, general location, and browsing or purchase history to customize what you’re seeing when you visit their site. In theory, this could work to your advantage in some cases, but more often it means you’re being offered higher prices than you might otherwise see.
To cut down on price jacking by e-stores, there are a few steps you can take. You can clear cookies before shopping to get rid of your browsing history. You can use a private or incognito browser and search provider that doesn’t allow tracking. You can refuse to share location information and also use a VPN service to cloak your location more effectively. Those measures may cut down on convenience and helpful personalization, but they also level the playing field.
Who hasn’t spread out all the flyers on the kitchen table to figure out which store is offering the best price on the exact same product? Or the online equivalent: opened a few dozen tabs or windows to search every possible store at the same time? Searching for the same product at different stores is a good way to find the best price, but automation can cut down on the time and inconvenience.
As with couponing, you can access price comparison tools by bookmarking a favorite website, or installing a browser extension or plugin. Either way, you should be able to search and select a specific product to see its price across a variety of online stores and platforms in order to pinpoint the best deal. Also look for services or plugins that show price trending and can help you figure out when the best time is to buy.
Sometimes finding the best price on a product is a matter of brand loyalty. Signing up for a shop or brand newsletter is a good place to start. They’ll often send you coupons, discount codes and special deals for new or seasonal products. If you have go-to brands or favorite shops, try signing up for their newsletter or joining a loyalty program to access exclusive deals.
Another way loyalty can pay is by saving you time. Find a few reliable stores or ecommerce platforms that consistently have the best prices, and then save yourself time and hassle by heading to them first when you need to shop. The As Seen on TV Store offers an impressive variety of products at accessible prices. You’ll build and bookmark a list of go-to sources for your regular every day shopping and specialty, or gift purchases, and then be able to quickly head there and shop with the confidence of getting the best deal with less fuss.
Getting the perfect deal is a matter of doing a little research and getting the right tools in place for your needs. Browser plugins and bookmarked websites can save you a lot of time and give you the confidence that you’re getting a bargain.