10 Essential Online Shopping Tips to Save Money and Shop Smart

Posted October 6, 2023 by in Lifestyle/ Shopping

Whether you’re a seasoned online shopper or just trying it out, there are nifty ways to make your shopping more enjoyable and save some cash. So, here’s a friendly guide with 10 key tips to help you snag great deals and get more bang for your buck.


1. Use Voucher Codes for Discounts

Ever stumbled upon those voucher codes or discount coupons while shopping? They’re golden tickets to savings! Many online stores provide these, and they can slice a good chunk off your bill or even offer free delivery.

– Search Online: Use search engines to look for voucher codes related to the online store you’re shopping at. Websites like RetailMeNot and Coupons.com are excellent resources for finding active codes. Our favorite is Rakuten promo codes, as there’s always a great selection to choose from!

– Sign Up for Newsletters: Many online stores offer exclusive voucher codes to subscribers. Sign up for newsletters from your favorite online retailers to receive discounts directly in your inbox.

– Install Browser Extensions: There are browser extensions like Honey and Rakuten that automatically find and apply voucher codes during the checkout process.

Using voucher codes is a simple yet effective way to reduce the cost of your online purchases.

 2. Compare Prices Across Multiple Websites

Thinking of hitting “Buy Now”? Wait a sec! It’s always a good idea to peek around and compare prices on different sites. You’d be surprised how the same item can vary in cost. To make sure you’re grabbing the best deal:

  • Comparison Sites to the Rescue: Places like Google Shopping, PriceGrabber, and Shopzilla can swiftly show you how prices stack up across various online shops.
  • Mind the Shipping: Remember, some shops might lure you with low product prices but then sting with high delivery charges.

 3. Create a Wishlist and Wait for Sales

Impulse buying can lead to overspending. Instead of immediately adding items to your cart, consider creating a wishlist. Most online stores offer this feature, allowing you to save items you’re interested in. Once you’ve compiled your wishlist:

– Wait for Sales Events

– Set Price Alerts

By being patient and strategic with your purchases, you can avoid impulse buying and secure the best prices.

 4. Subscribe to Loyalty Programs

Many online retailers offer loyalty programs or reward systems for their customers. These programs often provide exclusive discounts, early access to sales, and other perks. Loyalty programs can be a great way to receive extra savings and benefits over time.

 5. Read Reviews and Ratings

One of the best perks of online shopping? You can tap into a treasure trove of feedback from fellow shoppers. Before you get that new gadget or dress, see what others are saying. On the lookout for:

  • In-depth Reviews: Find reviews that dive deep, shedding light on quality, how long it lasts, and if it does what it’s supposed to.
  • High Five for High Ratings: Generally, products with lots of positive vibes and top ratings are a safe bet.
  • Pics and Clips: Some kind souls share photos or videos of their purchases. This gives you a sneak peek at what you’re getting in real life.

By relying on the experiences of others, you can make informed decisions and avoid purchasing items that may not meet your expectations.

 6. Use Cashback and Rewards Credit Cards

Got a credit card that dishes out cashback or reward points? If you’re good at handling them, they can be your shopping buddy. They often give back a slice of what you spend either as cash or points. So, why not make them work for you?

– Choose the Right Card: Look for credit cards that offer rewards or cashback on online shopping. Some cards even offer higher rewards rates during specific promotional periods.

– Pay Off Balances: To maximize your savings, always pay off your credit card balances in full and on time. Interest charges can quickly negate any rewards or cashback you’ve earned.

Using cashback and rewards credit cards responsibly can help you earn back a percentage of your spending, effectively reducing your overall expenses.

 7. Opt for Free Shipping

Shipping fees can add a significant cost to your online purchases. Many online retailers offer free shipping when you reach a certain spending threshold. Consider bundling your purchases to meet these requirements and save on shipping.

 8. Be Cautious with Impulse Buys

Online shopping can be incredibly tempting, especially with the convenience of one-click purchases. To avoid impulse buys:

– Create a Shopping List: Before browsing, make a list of the items you genuinely need or want. Stick to this list as closely as possible.

– Set a Budget: Determine how much you’re willing to spend before you start shopping. This will help you avoid overspending.

– Use a Cooling-Off Period: If you come across an item you didn’t plan to purchase, add it to your wishlist and give yourself a cooling-off period. Revisit the item in a day or two to see if it’s still a must-have.

By practicing restraint and mindfulness, you can prevent unnecessary spending on impulse purchases.

 9. Take Advantage of Return Policies

Lastly, even in the virtual shopping world, it’s crucial to know the ins and outs of return policies. Before you click away, get the 411 on:

  • Return Timeframes: How long do you have to send it back if it’s not quite right or comes to you a bit battered?
  • Who Foots the Return Bill? Some stores are awesome and cover return shipping. Others, not so much. It’s good to know this upfront.
  • The Nitty-Gritty: Some stores have specific dos and don’ts for returns, like keeping the original packaging or not using the item.

 10. Stay Safe Online

Last but certainly not least, prioritize your online safety when shopping. Here are some safety tips:

– Use Secure Websites: Only shop on websites with secure URLs (https://) and look for trust badges and seals from reputable security organizations.

– Protect Your Personal Information: Avoid sharing unnecessary personal information online. Be cautious about providing sensitive details like your social security number or full address unless absolutely required.

– Use Strong Passwords: Create strong, unique passwords for your online shopping accounts. Consider using a password manager to keep track of them securely.

– Beware of Phishing Scams: Be cautious of unsolicited emails or links that ask for your login information or payment details. Verify the sender’s legitimacy before clicking on any links.

– Monitor Your Accounts: Regularly check your bank and credit card statements for any unauthorized or suspicious charges.

By staying vigilant and following these safety practices, you can shop online with confidence.

Woman online shopping near a window

Online shopping can be both enjoyable and cost-effective when you follow these essential tips. Remember to use voucher codes, compare prices, create wishlists, and take advantage of loyalty programs to save money.

Additionally, reading reviews, using cashback credit cards, and being cautious with impulse purchases can contribute to a more enjoyable and financially savvy shopping experience. 

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