I am not ashamed to admit that I am a huge fan of online shopping. I'm always surprised when I mention some of the sites that I visit on a regular basis and people have never heard of them. I use them all without even thinking about it now and I thought it was about time to share my tips and tricks with the rest of the world. You'll want to spend the summer relaxing on the beach in your perfect bathing suit, not driving from mall to mall still searching! That's why you need these 9 ways to get the most out of online shopping. You can check out my favorite sites for saving time and money while shopping online below!
Ebates is by far my favorite way to save money online. When you sign up for an account you can then use them as your shopping homepage. From their site, you can click through to tons of great sites (like Target, Old Navy, Gap, Dell, Home Depot, etc.) and receive cash back on your purchases. Every 3 months you'll get a "big fat check" (or Paypal payment as the case may be). It's like free money in your pocket!
Amazon Prime2. Amazon Prime
If you are a frequent Amazon shopper, signing up for Amazon Prime is a no-brainer. While the yearly $79 cost can be a turn off, when you add up the amount you could spend on shipping in a year, it becomes the obvious choice. Amazon Prime offers free 2-day shipping on (almost) all of your orders, with the option to upgrade to next day delivery for $3.99. I can't tell you how many times that deal has saved me. You are also automatically signed up for the Amazon Mom program, which provides discounts on diapers and wipes. And if there are items that you buy on a regular basis, consider signing up for their subscribe & save program. You can have things you use all the time automatically delivered on a set schedule (with free shipping!) and billed to you at a reduced price.
Related: 10 smartphone apps that help you shop and save
If you're in the market for a specific item, ebay is a great site for getting deals on brand-name goods. It might take some searching to find the item, and it's not always going to be up for grabs, but if you're willing to put in the time and energy, you can possibly save a good deal of money in the end. It's also a great way to find products that are no longer available through the original retailer.
If I don't need a branded item or if I'm looking for something unique, I always try Etsy first. A lot of the time, you can find really great items for much less than what something similar would sell for on a big name site.
Price Grabber5. Price Grabber
The name of the game is research, research, research. If you're in the market for a specific item, it's always a good idea to see what sites are selling it and for what prices. Price Grabber will compare the offerings of some of the top retail sites, letting you know who has the best deal. You might be amazed at what happens when you factor in shipping costs and tax. After I find the best deals, I always check in with Ebates to see if the retailer is signed up with them and factor in those discounts as well.
Retail Me Not6. Retail Me Not
This is a great site for finding online coupons and discount shopping codes. You might not always walk away with a valid code, but it's certainly worth the few minutes it might take you to check it out.
Related: 10 ways to spend less on your summer travels
The most well known of the "daily deals" sites, Groupon offers items at a discounted rate. From local shops, restaurants and services, to trips and adventures (under the "getaways" tab), there's something for everyone. And with the recent addition of the "Groupon Goods" site, you can now find products like linens, jewelry, and electronics at great discounts. I just bought a down alternative queen size comforter for $39 and a set of King size Egyptian cotton sheets for $44. Deals! They are there for the taking!
Living Social8. Living Social
Another "daily deals" site, Living Social also offers local goods and services at discounted prices. I've purchased certificates at half price for a local ice cream shop, and custom canvas prints for 60% off of regular price. Like Groupon, they also offer trips and hotel stays (called "Escapes") at discounted prices.
Related: 10 things you should buy (and not buy) in July
An online, members-only discount shopping site with limited-time sales, Fab offers a wide array of modern, funky, whimsical, off-beat items. I use it frequently for gifts. Vintage baseball card collections & old-school travel posters are a few of my favorite finds.
- By Meghan Gesswein
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