A BIG thank you to RebatesMe for sponsoring today’s post: How to Be a Smart Shopper Online!
Do you love to shop? I’ve loved shopping for as long as I can remember. Maybe it’s the hours of research beforehand, the wild treasure hunt, the thrill of the deal, or the excitement of the happy mail… I don’t know. Whatever it is… I’ve always loved the process.
My mom used to tell me that as early as age 3, I would stand by the door to the garage for hours, saying over and over again… “Mommy, go shopping?” If that wasn’t enough, I even had a complete obsession with ‘The Price is Right’ that started in my preschool years. I’m telling you… I’m a shopper. 🙂
That’s why I’m always looking for ways to learn how to be a smart shopper online and find the best deals! Full price? No thank you! Sweet deals and cash back? Yes, please!
If you’re all about the deals, which I’m guessing you are, here are some of my top tips for how to be a smart shopper online…
How to Be a Smart Shopper Online
#1: Add to Your Cart and Save For Later
If an item you’ve been wanting is full price, or you’re just not sure if you really want it… just add it to your cart and wait.
There are so many things I think I absolutely need. So what I often do is just add them to my cart, and click ‘Save for Later’. Then after waiting just a few days or a week, I totally change my mind. It’s amazing how much money I have saved by simply adding an item to my cart and waiting! This one trick has helped me avoid so many unnecessary impulse purchases.
Adding an item to my cart and waiting also allows me to simply wait and see if the price will go down. I have used this method to score so many amazing deals at random times. Not just at Black Friday or other typical holiday sales… but all throughout the year!
#2: Compare Prices Before You Buy
Now if you think you’ve found a good price on something you’ve had your eye on… take a few minutes to compare that price to the same or similar item at other stores, BEFORE you buy.
Simply search for the item by name at similar store websites. If you’re not sure of any other places the item may be sold, try searching online by the product description or item number. This is such a fast and efficient way to find a huge list of websites that are selling that item.
Another really smart tool you can use is a price comparison search engine. There are so many options available. Just type “Price Comparison Engine” or “Price Comparison Websites” into your favorite search engine. On some sites you can even setup price alerts to help you know when an item has gone on sale.
Nothing beats the feeling of knowing you are getting the very best deal! So take a minute to compare prices… before you pay too much!
#3: Always Read Reviews
Now before you click ‘Buy’, make sure to check the reviews. Online reviews can be so helpful! I’m always looking for products with a LOT of reviews and at least an average 4.5 star review.
Just be careful to sideline any reviews that seem to be fake. Look for reviews that are coming from verified purchasers of the product. Then take the time to think critically about their comments.
For example, I even like to read through the negative reviews. If I’m looking for a new stainless steel pot for the kitchen and the negative reviewers are saying it rusts quickly, I’ll pass and keep on looking until I find a better option. However, if I’m looking for a quality skincare lotion to hydrate my skin and the only negative reviews say that it’s a little runny, I might still buy it. Just make sure you can live with what the negative reviewers are saying before making your purchase.
#4: Search for Promo Codes Before You Check Out
Now that you’ve read reviews and know you’re getting the best deal, it’s time to search for promo codes! Here are a few of my favorite ways to find promo codes…
- Check the website’s ‘Coupons’ or ‘Deals’ tab
- Sign up for emails or texts from your favorite stores
- Join Store Loyalty Programs
- Use the RebatesMe browser extension
If you can’t find a promo code and aren’t happy with the current price, simply add that item to your online cart and wait! Promo codes and deals come and go, so you may be able to get a better deal later.
#5: Get Cash Back When You Shop with RebatesMe + a FREE $20 Signup Bonus!
Have you heard of RebatesMe? If you haven’t signed up for an account yet, you NEED to!
Here’s how it works…
- Sign up for a Free RebatesMe Account
- When you’re ready to shop, head to RebatesMe.com or open up your RebatesMe App
- Search for the store you want to shop at in the search bar
- If you don’t have a specific store in mind, tap ‘Double Cash Back’ in the app or click ‘Deals’ on the website to see what the best deals of the day are.
- Shop for your items, then wait for your cash back! How EASY is that?!?
Plus, right now I’ve got an exclusive deal for all Frugal Girls Readers to receive a FREE $20 Signup Bonus added to your account balance. Once you accumulate $10 in cash back through online purchases, you can cash out. It’s typically a $5 signup bonus, so RUN and grab this sweet deal!
So what are some of your favorite tips for how to be a smart shopper online?
Leave a comment & share!
MARIETTE VANDENMUNCKHOF-VEDDER says
Those are about the procedures I do follow for anything I want.
Search, study, read reviews and those fakes are easily spotted. Sure some people will do that for $$.
I’ve often gotten a reminder email (from those I buy more often from), that I have still some items in my shopping cart and they offer me a bonus for completing the deal.
Thank you and yes, complete I did.
Internet is fabulous for studying anything we need.
On Amazon, never click too fast as they ALWAYS put the cursor on the ‘shipping fee’ tab.
Right above or below, you will spot the FREE shipping tab. Click on that and you safe on the shipping.
They’re smart for having it set up that way but a fast and avid reader will spot that ‘catch’.
PS thanks for your comment about the Smart Cookie…
Those are such fantastic tips, Mariette… thank you so much for sharing! I really love your tips for being cautious of fake reviews and watching out to make sure you receive free shipping. When you pay close attention, you really can save money and make a better purchase. 🙂
MARIETTE VANDENMUNCKHOF-VEDDER says
Wow these are such great tips to share with us! I love the one about reading reviews. It’s such a life saver and prevents unwanted returns!
That’s such a good point, Christie! I can’t imagine how many more things I would have had to return if I hadn’t taken the time to really read through those reviews!
Kathrine Eldridge says
I need to add to your cart and save for later trick. Genius! Thanks for sharing these tips!
You’re very welcome, Kathrine! I love using the add to cart trick… it’s crazy how quickly I can change my mind on something! 🙂
Fab tips, Heidi. I’m a big fan of add to cart and wait. Also reading the reviews first on bigger items, so make sure we get the right one at the best price. Cheap doesn’t always mean best, so it pays to shop around!
Thanks, Lisa! And I agree… taking the time to shop around really can be off in the long run when it comes to price and quality! 🙂
Jordanne || Ofaglasgowgirl says
Thank you for sharing! This is great, I live using cashback sites and I have a coupon extension on chrome which helps a lot when shopping online.
Cash back sites are such a game changer! And that’s so great you use a coupon extension in Chrome, too!
Josiah - DIY Thrill says
Comparing prices before you buy is such a smart idea, thank you so much for sharing these shopping hacks!
You’re very welcome… I’m so glad you liked the tips! 🙂
Healthy World Cuisine says
On our way to check out Rebates Me app. We always check out the reviews as these will give you some type of idea of the issues other people are having with the products. Great Post!
Thank you! Reviews are so helpful, aren’t they? And I know you’ll love the app!
I am definitely a put it in the cart for later kind of girl. It helps me know if I really need that thing or not!! Such great tips!
Thanks, Kimberly! And I agree… isn’t it amazing what we think we have to have, and then realize we don’t even really care about it?!? 🙂
These are all such fantastic tips, Heidi! Thanks so much for passing them along. I’m always looking for ways to save and to avoid impulse purchases too so I can wait to put these tips into practice. Hugs, CoCo
Thank you so much, CoCo! Have fun finding some deals online! 🙂
Her Digital Coffee says
Incredible list! I’ve started adding things in my cart and saving them for later, or just entering my e-mail and some brands actually send you discount codes in hopes you’ll come back and complete your transaction! Googling promo codes is also a great tip. Thanks for sharing this lovely post!
I’m so glad you liked the tips… and that’s a great idea to enter your email address for discount codes!
Great tips and I’ve used most of them. I also notice some online stores will send a discount code when I leave items in the cart for a day. Never hurts to let it sit and come back.
That’s a great tip, Carol… thanks so much for sharing!
Wow these are all such great tips and tricks Heidi! Thank you for sharing your knowledge as always!
You’re very welcome, Christie… I’m so glad you liked the tips!
Caleb - Never Ending Journeys says
These are some excellent tips, thanks for sharing! I’ll have to give #4 a try.
Yes… searching for promo codes before you checkout is always worth the time! 🙂
Such amazing tips here.
Saving money and enjoying some deals are the best.
Thanks, Margot… I’m so glad you liked the money saving tips for shopping online!