Save Money Shopping Online
I saved $14 of a $36 order. Here’s how I did it:
*Disclaimer: This article contains an affiliate link.
Online shopping is incredibly convenient, and everyone seems to do it nowadays. I’m always surprised at how little know-how people have about saving money while shopping online — so I’m sharing my tips.
1. Look Up Brands’ Items On Their Websites — Not Amazon
I love Amazon Prime as much as the next person. It’s super convenient to have everything you could possibly want in one place.
You pay extra for that convenience.
I find I’m able to save money if I find the item I like on Amazon, and then go to the original maker of the item and purchase it from them.
It cuts out Amazon’s fees from the equation, saving you money. Plus, you’re supporting a smaller business instead of a global conglomerate. Good things come in pairs.
2. Use Discount Codes from Mailing Lists
Another bonus of buying items directly from their business websites is their promo codes. Before ordering online, I always look for promotional offers. I google ‘promo codes for X company’ and plug in as many as I can, hoping for a match.
There are a few internet browsers that do this for you, but I find they earn you less money in the long run than the one I use. [See #3]
I also make sure to sign up for email and calling lists to get those free discounts. You can unsubscribe easily after ordering, and often those codes work forever — not just your one invite.
Take a look at this example. I signed up for a free account at Jockey, so I got $1.44 off my order. I then used a 20% off discount and bundled two items to get $12.68 off my order. For a $36.00 order, I only pay $14.12! [They also have free shipping.]
I’ve ordered from Jockey four times in the past month, and that 20HELLO code I got from signing up with my email and phone has worked every time. [I unlinked my phone immediately.]
It never hurts to look for codes and reuse them if possible.
3. Use Rakuten [Formerly Known as Ebates]
Piggybacking off the abovementioned Jockey orders, I earned cashback after each expenditure. Including my pending cash, I’ve got $4.40 back from my Jockey purchases this month that I would have lost.
Rakuten has different deals for different websites. Jockey purchases give you 4% back if you purchase through Rakuten. But other stores give lots, lots more. Here’s the homepage of Rakuten.
Pretty good deal. The cashouts are via PayPal and only take a few days. I need a refill on my Clinique face wash, and I’m definitely getting my 10% back.
Rakuten [formerly known as Ebates] operates as an extension. When you’re on a site where Rakuten can be used, a red pop up will alert you. If you click on the popup, the page is reloaded and you continue using the website as normal, but you’ll get your cashback.
It’s really great. Here’s my referral code. If you sign up and spend $30 on sites you normally visit, you’ll get a $30 bonus. Rakuten gets paid from the companies they ‘refer’ you to — you don’t pay Rakuten anything. I love it.
Disclaimer: I’ll also be compensated for the referral if you sign up and spend $30.
Bonus Tip: If you can handle having credit cards, also use a rewards card when shopping online. I get 1.5% cashback from my card, and some cards offer up to 5% cashback — and that’s in addition to what I get from Rakuten.
4. Take Slow Shipping for $$$ — Especially On Amazon
Perhaps the most practical and obvious of the tips.
Amazon has an option where you can delay the shipping of your item and receive $1.00 credit. It’s free money if you can afford to wait.
Never take the expensive shipping [on any site] if you don’t need it. If a store is closeby, arrange in-store pickup. Your gas may very well be cheaper than the shipping cost.
You could also pick up other people’s orders and deliver them to their homes at a fraction of the cost if you’re the entrepreneurial type.
I hope this article gave you some new information to help you shop online for cheaper. If not, you were already doing everything right! Please let me know if you have any other resources to save money while shopping online.
Good luck, all!
TLDR: Don’t always shop on Amazon. Use promo codes on an item’s original website, use Rakuten, use a cashback credit card, and take the slowest shipping.
Sign up for Rachel’s Newsletter, a free newsletter about freelance writing and finding the perfect side hustle, and/or support me directly through a paid Medium membership. Thank you!
Join Medium with my referral link - Rachel Yerks
As a Medium member, a portion of your membership fee goes to writers you read, and you get full access to every story…