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Online shopping is a huge convenience for people all over the world.
It allows you to purchase items without having to leave your home, and it often comes with great discounts.
However, there are some clever ways to save even more money when shopping online.
In this post, I share with you 27 secret ways to save money while shopping online.
By using these tricks, you can lower the price you pay by 50% or more.
Table of Contents
How To Save Money Shopping Online
#1. Clear Your Cookies
The very first thing you want to do when online shopping is clear out your computer.
This is especially important if you tend to browse a lot before buying.
Many retailers use dynamic pricing, which is a fancy way of saying they trick you into paying more.
Here is how this works.
Let’s say you are looking at a blender on Amazon and the price is $199.99.
You keep visiting different websites looking at blenders, including Amazon.
A week later when you decide to buy, the price is now $219.99.
Many people simply think the higher price is normal, when in reality, it only increased for you.
If you were to go to your friend’s house and look up the same blender on their computer, you would see the better price of $199.99.
Because retailers know your spending patterns, they charge you more.
So how do you stop this?
Before you buy something, you need to clean out your browsing history, erase your cookies, and sign out of all accounts, including Google and Facebook.
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Here is a guide to help you do this.
This helps to ensure you are not a victim of dynamic pricing and are getting the best price.
#2. Shop Using Rakuten
Rakuten, formerly eBates, is a shopping portal that offers you cash back when you shop online.
The amount of cash back you earn varies by retailer, anywhere from 1% up to 25% or more.
You simply create a free account and then shop using their portal.
When you complete your purchase, your cash back is put into your Rakuten account where it stays until it gets paid out.
Currently, Rakuten pays out quarterly.
If you make a lot of purchases online, especially around the holidays, Rakuten is your best friend.
On Black Friday and Cyber Monday, they typically offer double cash back amounts for all stores.
So if you want an easy way to save money when shopping online, check out Rakuten.
Want to earn cash back shopping online? Look no further than Rakuten. Earn up to 25% on your online shopping. New users get $30 when you spend $30 in the first 90 days!
#3. Shop Using Swagbucks
Swagbucks is another great shopping portal that offers you cash back on your online shopping.
What’s nice about Swagbucks is they offer more than just cash back.
They also have coupons, promo codes, and deals all in one place.
This can help you save even more money on top of the cash back you are already earning.
As a bonus, you can answer surveys, play games and spend time watching videos to earn free online gift cards.
You can then use these gift cards to shop online and lower the cost of the things you buy.
#4. Shop With Ibotta
Ibotta is a cash back app that you can use when shopping in-store or online.
All you need to do is sign up for a free account, find the offers you want to redeem, and then take a photo of your receipt or submit your email address for online shopping.
Once your purchase is verified, the money is deposited into your Ibotta account.
You can then withdraw the money to PayPal or Venmo, or choose to redeem it for a gift card.
Ibotta is great because it offers cash back on things you are going to buy anyway.
#5. Shop Through MyPoints
MyPoints is another of the popular cashback sites and is a great way to earn points that you can then redeem for gift cards.
To collect points, all you need to do is shop online, take surveys, watch videos, or play games.
You can then redeem your points for gift cards to a variety of retailers including Amazon, Walmart, and Target.
MyPoints also has a shopping portal where you can earn points on your online shopping trip.
If you combine this with the coupons and deals they offer, you can save a lot of money.
With MyPoints, you earn points for shopping online. You can then redeem these points for free gift cards or cash. You can also earn points for taking surveys, watching videos, and playing games. Get $5 when you sign up for free and complete 5 surveys.
#6. Use A Cash Back Credit Card
While you can use Rakuten and Swagbucks to earn cash back on your online purchases, you can also use cash back credit cards.
There are many different ones available, so do your homework to find the one that meets your needs best.
I usually earn 2% cash back on all my online shopping, which adds up over the year since I do most of my shopping online.
The key here is to make sure you pay off your credit card balance in full.
Otherwise you will be paying a lot more in interest charges than you are earning in points or cash back.
#7. Subscribe To Auto Refills
If there is a product you use regularly, consider signing up for a subscription.
A handful of retailers, including Amazon now offer this.
In most cases, you can save anywhere from 5% up to 15% when you agree to monthly deliveries of a product.
This is best for vitamins or things you usually need to buy more of every month.
In some cases, you might be able to sign up to get the discount and then cancel the subscription a week later.
However, check to make sure the retailer allows for this.
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#8. Sign Up For Rocket Money
The downside of the above tip is that sometimes we forget about a subscription we agreed to.
Then we get the product in the mail and remember we need to cancel.
But life happens and we forget to cancel yet again.
This is where Rocket Money comes in.
They will review your subscriptions and alert you to them.
Then you can go and cancel the subscription or have Rocket Money cancel it for you.
Rocket Money even negotiates some bills for you too, including your cable bill.
Rocket Money is your assistant to help you find and cancel subscriptions, track your spending, create a budget, and more. Join the other 80% of people saving money thanks to Rocket Money.
#9. Sign Up For Retailers Email Lists
Another easy way to score discounts is to sign up for your favorite retailer’s email list.
This will enroll you in the loyalty program so you will be the first to know about any upcoming sales or discounts.
In most cases, you will get online coupons just for signing up, usually 20% or more.
Ideally, you wait to sign up until you make a large purchase.
In my case, I bought a spin bike and saved 20% or $200 just using this trick.
Just be careful as most stores will send you marketing emails on a regular basis.
This could encourage you to spend money that you weren’t planning to spend.
#10. Create Multiple Email Accounts
Sometimes, you sign up for a newsletter and then a year later, you have another large item you want to buy.
Don’t make the mistake of settling and paying full price.
Simply create a new email account and sign up for the newsletter again.
Now you have a big discount you can take advantage of.
#11. Search For Coupon Codes
This tip isn’t revolutionary but many people skip it.
Before you check out, make sure you open a new tab and do a quick google search for the retailer and coupon code, promo code or discount code.
You will get a handful of promo codes to use to save money.
Just pick the one you want and save.
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And to save you time, some companies offer browser extensions that automatically apply coupon codes while you shop.
A popular one is Honey.
Just install the browser extension and Honey will apply the code that saves you the most money.
Honey automatically applies the best online coupon to your shopping cart, saving you the most money. No more spending time trying to find promo codes. Use Honey and save time and money. Save an average of 17% on every online shopping trip.
#12. Stack Coupon Codes
This is a great tip to save a lot of money.
Some retailers allow you to stack coupons.
So instead of having to pick just one coupon to apply to your order, you can apply a couple.
The trick is knowing which retailers allow this.
Here is a short list of some that allow stacking.
If your store isn’t listed, try to apply multiple codes when you check out.
The worst that can happen is only one will be applied.
#13. Abandon Your Cart
Another secret you can try is put items into your shopping cart and then don’t finish the purchase.
If you wait a couple of days, you might get an email saying you forgot something in your cart along with a discount to entice you into completing the purchase.
Some online retailers offer discounts up to 20% on abandoned carts.
#14. Purchase Gift Cards At A Discount
This is a great way to save money if you know you will be making a purchase in the future.
You can go to websites like Raise and Cardpool and buy discounted gift cards.
You can find savings of up to 20% or more off the retail price.
So instead of paying full price, you pay a little less.
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Another option is to see if your credit card offers bonus rewards or cash back at grocery stores or drugstores.
If so, you can buy gift cards there and earn extra cash back.
A few years ago, we found a TV at Best Buy we wanted.
My credit card offered 6% cash back at grocery stores, so I went and bought $500 worth of gift cards.
While I didn’t get a discount on the TV, I earned $30 in cash back, saving me money.
#15. Use PriceGrabber To Compare Prices
Before you shop online, head over to PriceGrabber.
This free comparison site allows you to see the price of an item from various retailers.
This helps to ensure you are paying the lowest price possible.
Don’t make the costly mistake others make and assume that one retailer offers the lowest prices.
In this day and age, brand loyalty doesn’t always offer you the best deals.
You never know if a store is offering a sale that could save you money.
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#16. Name Your Price With GreenToe
I just discovered GreenToe and it is something unique.
You find an item you are looking to buy that is listed on the GreenToe website.
Then you name the price you are willing to pay for the item.
If a merchant accepts your offer, they ship the item to you.
You can buy things like furniture, appliances, watches, TVs, and more on the site.
#17. Use CamelCamelCamel When Shopping On Amazon
If there is something expensive you want on Amazon buy don’t need it right away, use CamelCamelCamel, as this makes saving money simple.
Here you insert the URL of the product page and CamelCamelCamel will show you the price history.
You can see when the item is cheapest and most expensive.
From there, you can get an email alert when the price drops to your target price.
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#18. Avoid Shipping Fees
Personally, I hate when I buy something online and then have pay $9.99 for shipping.
In many cases, if your order is large enough, the shipping fee will be waived.
This is great if you are ordering a lot of things.
But if you only need one or two items, your options are limited.
One thing you can do is wait until you have a larger order so you qualify for free shipping.
Another option is to choose curbside pick up in store.
Some online stores will even ship to the local store for free and you can pick up the item there.
By doing this, you completely avoid the delivery charge.
Finally, you could call up some friends or family members and see if they need a few items.
If so, you can combine your order to get the free shipping.
#19. Sign Up For Store Credit Cards
This can be a good savings for some people, or disastrous for others.
But most retailers offer a discount of 10% or more if you sign up for the store credit card.
You will experience the most savings by waiting to do this for a large purchase.
And you need to make sure you have the cash to pay off the balance in full when the bill comes.
This is because many of these credit cards have higher interest rates than regular credit cards.
In fact, you could be looking at 25% interest or more, and this is with decent credit.
#20. Follow Brands On Social Media
This is a great way to get alerted when there are flash sales, exclusive deals, or early access to upcoming sales.
Some brands will post special codes on their social media pages that will give you extra savings.
In addition, many retailers run social media only sales where you can save big.
I have seen discounts of up to 50% off just for following the brand on social media.
So if you want to save money, make sure you are following your favorite brands.
#21. Check For Student Discounts
If you are a student, one great way for saving money when shopping online is to take advantage of student discounts.
This is usually around the same time as back to school sales.
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But you don’t have to wait until then to get the savings.
In many cases, you can get the discount just by registering with your student email address.
So if you are a student, make sure to check for these discounts before you shop.
Even if you aren’t a student, some retailers offer teacher, public service, and military discounts too.
#22. Buy Used
Did you know you can buy used items on Amazon?
Usually under the price of the item, it will list if there are used items.
This can be a simple way to save money, especially on items you don’t need to buy new, like books.
You might even check other new prices as well as sometimes you can find a lower price on new items there as well.
Also, depending on what you are looking for, consider shopping on Facebook Marketplace or even Craigslist to see if you can score a great deal.
#23. Consider Buying Open Box
Most retailers offer open box items for sale at a discount.
Many times, these are items that were bought and returned because the person didn’t want the item.
In some cases, they might be missing the original packaging or the user manual, so be sure to ask if anything is missing.
You could also consider refurbished items too.
These are sold at a discount as they came in for warranty work.
Some people are nervous to buy refurbished, but many times they come with a warranty.
On top of this, the repair was done by the original manufacturer or a qualified repair service.
#24. Get Items For Free
Depending on what you are shopping for, you might be able to save a ton of money by getting things for free.
How do you do this?
Many people choose to list items on Freecycle instead of throwing them out or selling them.
You can find furniture, household items, and more, all completely free.
So before you spend time checking out other sites for sales, consider Freecycle first.
#25. Shop Seasonally
Many times, items are discounted at the end of the season so the store can get rid of their inventory.
So if you are looking for a new patio set, wait until the end of summer.
Last year, I bought a new grill that was $450 for $175.
The same goes for winter clothing, holiday decor, and anything else you can think of.
This is also a great time to buy items for next year as well.
For example, I always buy my Christmas decorations after Christmas.
I save 50% or more this way, and I don’t have to worry about storing them for 11 months.
The good news here is you can find great deals both online shopping and at the brick and mortar stores.
However in some cases, the deals online are better, so check the online store first.
If the price is better, be sure to show this when in the store so they can match the price.
#26. Use A Shopping List
A simple way to save money shopping online is to make a list.
Just like a shopping list works when you shop in person, it also works online.
Having one helps you to not make any impulse buys.
You have your list of things you need and if it’s not on the list, you don’t need it.
#27. Plan Ahead
If you know you are going to need an item in the future, buy it when it’s on sale.
For example, if you know you will need a new winter coat, start looking for sales as soon as possible.
This way, you can get the item at a discounted price instead of paying full price later on.
There are the best ways to save money shopping online.
To save the most money, combine as many of these tips as possible.
The easiest way to do this is to shop using a rewards credit card as you get points or cash back on every purchase.
By taking your time and planning out your purchases, you can save a lot of money.
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I have over 15 years experience in the financial services industry and 20 years investing in the stock market. I have both my undergrad and graduate degrees in Finance, and am FINRA Series 65 licensed and have a Certificate in Financial Planning.
Visit my About Me page to learn more about me and why I am your trusted personal finance expert.