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5 life hacks to save money when shopping online

We’re always happy to share the best shopping deals, discounts, and bargains. We love low prices. Today though, we’re bringing savings into the 21st Century by focusing on ways to save money while shopping online.

There’s no surprise that online shopping is more popular now than ever. More than likely, you’re shopping with a virtual cart instead of buying at the store.

There’s a reason we like online shopping. Purchasing things online is convenient. Saving money when shopping online should be convenient too. Thankfully, the technological growth we’ve seen in the last decade is also applicable to discounts too. In some ways, it’s made finding coupons even easier too. Here’s 5 surprising ways to save money shopping online.

1. Clear your cookies and go incognito to avoid markups on sites you shop

I recently got a sales email from a website I didn’t even make an account with! That was the sign for me that it’s time to clear my cookies.

These online store marketers are tracking everything you do online. They’re seeing which website you’re coming from, what websites you’re going too, and even how many times you’re logging onto their webpage.

If you keep returning to the same website, they know that you’re interested in their products. Some sites will start sending you coupons. Other sites will actually raise the price of the products they think you’re interest in. For starters, if they think you’re interested in a product, they’ll raise the price on the chance that you’re willing to spend more. Other stores will raise the price in order to pressure you. If you think the price is currently at a steal, and is only going upwards, you might be tempted to press purchase now.

Instead of getting cheated out of your money, clear your cookies and view their website through Google Incognito or the private browser of your preference.

With these privacy settings, the store won’t be able to know that you’ve been to their site before. There’s a better chance you’ll have access to special promotions, and even possibly lower rates, if they think you’re new.

2. Abandon your online cart for a special discount

Ever broken up with someone and then had them come back and beg for you to take them back? Suddenly they’re promising you they’ll do better and work harder to keep their relationship with you.

It’s the same with stores. Most websites can see when you fill up a cart and then bounce. When stores see that you’ve left them, they respond similarly as to if they were broken up with. The good news is, instead of groveling and crying, most retailers will respond by offering you a coupon!

Let’s face it, we get busy and are easily sidetracked. Marketers know that sometimes customers just forget to click purchase. One moment they’re shopping for a new dress, and the next moment, something comes up and they have to log off the computer.

Suddenly, these stores are losing a potential customer that seemed to be interested in their product.

Brands are getting smart and sending follow up messages to customers that have abandoned their cart. They don’t want to lose a customer just because they stepped away for a moment.

It can take a day or two, but if you abandon your cart, you might get an email begging you to come back and complete your purchase. That email might even provide you with a coupon for 20% off! Just like your ex, they’re pleading for you to come back to them.

3. Borrow money to stock up on sales

This tip has actually saved my mom hundreds of dollars. The secret is all in the timing. You get an email for a 50% off sale from your favorite store for this weekend only. The $200 product you’ve been wanting to buy for over a year, is now priced at $100. This is your chance to buy the item for a steal! The only problem is, your bank account is currently sitting at about $50, and payday isn’t until next week. You could forgo the sale and just wait until you manage to save up the full $200, or you could borrow a little to meet today’s sale price.

You could go about this a couple ways. You could ask a friend or family member to spot you the difference and promise to pay them as soon as you get paid.

If that’s not an option, consider a payday loan. You get a paycheck twice a month. With a loan, you can get your paycheck a few days before payday. There’s usually a fee, but that might still be much less than the money you’d save with the sale. Be sure to compare prices to find one that fits your needs.

With this sales trick, my mom has managed to save on large purchases like work clothes, holiday gifts, and home appliances.

4. Set up an extra email address to collect coupons

I have three email addresses. I have an email address for work, a personal email, and an email with discounts.

I’m tired of the discount hunt, and clipping coupons from the Sunday paper is so last century. The good news is that I no longer have to search high and low for coupons to my favorite stores. Instead, I have my favorite stores send coupons directly to me.

I know what you’re thinking: spam mail. Don’t worry. I hate spam mail just as much as you. So, I created an email address just for those special “email me” offers. When a website prompts me to give them an email in exchange for a discount, I just give them my discount email address. Now I get access to major coupons, but without the hassle of having to clean out tons of junk emails from my personal mailbox every day.

Best of all, this shopping hack helps me find coupons easily. Old are the days of having to search through my coupon book. Instead, when I shop a store, I simply open my coupon email account on my phone. I search for the store name before checking out. Every now and then I get unexpected discounts on items by going this route.

This trick works for shopping online and shopping in-person too.

5. Buy discounted gift cards

Did you know that you can buy gift cards for less than they’re worth?

I personally love the Gap, but my sister does not. Every Christmas, our grandparents gave us both gift cards to the GAP. Every year I would buy her gift card from her. Of course, I was smart, so I paid her less cash than the card was worth.

She never missed the few dollars. Digital money at a store she never frequented was worthless. To her, the cash was much more valuable than the plastic card.

The good news is that we’re in the 21st century, and you’re not limited to selling your gift cards to family. Today, there are websites that sell new and used gift cards for a reduced price. Why go to Walmart and buy a $25 gift card for $25 cash, when you could buy the same gift card online for $21 cash?

The plus is that most of these websites also tend to buy new and used gift cards as well. If you have old gift cards just collecting dust, you can sell them for cash.

Buying gift cards by itself won’t save you money. It only makes sense if you buy gift cards for stores you plan to shop at.

If you’re already set on buying an item from a store, you might as well see if you can save money on how you purchase the product first before buying.

Bring the bargain hunt to the 21st century

Clipping coupons is out of date and searching for coupons online is time consuming. Shopping has moved into the technology age, and it’s time for our discount seeking to move there too.

Hopefully these five shopping life hacks can help you save a lot of money. Whether you’re buying groceries online, or splurging on a new outfit, there’s plenty of ways to save.

Imagine a world where you never have to pay full price again. As technology changes, it’s essential that we keep up with it too so that we can find the best deals. That’s how you stay a savvy shopper.

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