Ultimate Online Shopping Hacks – How To Save Money at Any Store

young woman shopping online

We’re passionate about helping shoppers save money when shopping online. To ensure you get the best deals wherever you shop, we’ll share the ultimate list of online shopping tips - including many you won’t find elsewhere.

The next time you’re adding items to your cart, try these online shopping tips. You never know where you can save money, as discounts may come from the most unexpected sources.

Use Coupons!

The first and most popular way to save money is by using coupons. Almost all online stores offer them, and most of the time, you don’t even have to go out of your way to find them. Major retailers often provide discount coupons when you visit their website, though sometimes they come with conditions, meaning you have to spend a certain amount to use the coupon.

We always recommend quickly searching for coupons when you reach the checkout page. Often, you can find codes shared by other buyers, which is undoubtedly one of the fastest ways to save.

Checkout Tricks

Abandon Your Shopping Cart

Online stores dislike when you abandon your shopping cart, and they’ll do everything to get you to buy whatever’s left in it. This often involves sending you an exclusive discount code that you wouldn’t otherwise receive, which is why abandoning your cart can help you save money when shopping online.

Here’s how it works:

Create an Account or Subscribe to Their Newsletter

If this is your first time shopping at an online store, you might get a discount code when you sign up as a customer. It’s straightforward - just use your email address and set a password to create an account.

Alternatively, some stores don’t even require an account - when they ask you to subscribe to their newsletter, just enter your email address, and your first email often includes a discount for your next order.

Many stores are willing to offer you a discount to get you on their email marketing list, but you can unsubscribe later to avoid a cluttered inbox.

Get Discounts with a New Identity

Perhaps you’ve considered this already, but there’s nothing stopping you from getting the same discount again with a different email address. Just don’t overdo it. Technically, some stores might notice it’s from the same person and block you.

If you’ve created the first account, make sure you’ve logged out, and you might even need to open the store’s website in incognito or private browsing mode to take advantage of the store’s second sign-up bonus time.

Social Media Shopping Tips

Just Ask

As the saying goes, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” So if you encounter an online store with a live chat feature, don’t hesitate to ask about current discount offers - it can be surprisingly successful. We often receive coupon codes created specifically for us just because we took the initiative. This strategy takes only a few seconds of your time and costs you nothing, yet it can ultimately save you a lot.

Check Social Media Profiles

If a store has social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok, it’s very likely they’re used to post active sales or discount information.

Checking these profiles is a good way to find out if there are valid discounts on any products in the store. These might appear in recent posts.

Price Comparison

Shop Around - Check Alternative Markets

When you find a product you like, it’s not always best to buy it immediately from where you found it. You can often find the same item for a cheaper price on Amazon or eBay. Of course, if you do this for every product you like, it takes some time and patience, but in the end, you could save a lot of money, making it worth it in the long run.

Also, don’t assume Amazon always gives you the best price. Often, you can find items selling for lower prices directly from the brand’s own online store.

Use Price Alert Tools

There are convenient tools available to let you know when a product drops below a certain price. This is handy because we often see a product and think, “I’ll buy it if it’s 30% cheaper.” So, with these tools, when that 30% discount arrives, you’ll receive a notification or email.

Compare Prices with Google Shopping

While Google Shopping might not be everyone’s go-to tool, it’s still a good way to find the same product from other stores or markets. Google Shopping compares products from thousands of stores, including many you might not think of yourself.

To make things better, you can almost instantly see the prices, so you don’t have to waste time visiting multiple other websites - it’s all there, in one place, neatly organized. All you have to do is find the store that can deliver to your location and has the lowest price.

Take Advantage of Store Price Guarantees

Many stores offer this service, but few shoppers take advantage of it. Here’s how it works: if you can show the retailer that you can buy the same product elsewhere for a cheaper price, they’ll match the lower price to entice you to buy from them - and often throw in an additional discount! This way, they make a sale, and you get a cheaper price, so it’s a win-win for both parties.

Amazon Shopping Tips

Shop on the Outlet Page

Amazon’s outlet page offers a variety of overstock and discounted products organized by category. Here, you’ll find heavily discounted items, which are often new but priced lower. You can really find anything here, including clothing, electronics, home goods, and automotive parts.

Buy on the Coupons Page

Similar to the outlet store page, the coupons page offers certain items with coupons applied beforehand. All you have to do is find an item you like, click “Clip Coupon,” and then add the item to your cart while shopping. The coupon discount will be applied automatically at checkout.

Save on Shipping

Self-Pickup at Stores or Pickup Points

If you have the time, why not pick up your ordered items at the store, even if you’ve ordered them online? By becoming your own delivery driver, you can save on shipping costs.

Many stores also offer shipping discounts if you drive to a designated pickup point yourself. Besides saving on costs, you often receive your purchased items faster than with home delivery.

Check Free Shipping Thresholds

Many online retailers offer free shipping or free expedited shipping when your spending reaches a certain amount. Of course, the amount varies by retailer and there are other factors to consider, like your location or the weight and size of the products.

But it’s worth checking the shipping details page of the retailer you’re buying from, as it should give you an idea of how much you need to spend. Additionally, some retailers have conditions like “spend X amount for free shipping,” so your bill is done for you, and you know how much more you need to spend.

Don’t Always Trust Free Shipping

Free shipping is nice, but it’s not always free. You’ll often find that stores promoting free shipping will increase the prices of their products to offset shipping costs. This way, you’re paying the same amount (if

not more), but you think you’re getting free shipping and saving money.

Instead, if shipping costs are a deciding factor between one store or another, check the total price for both stores on the checkout page. That way, you’ll know if you’re really getting free shipping, or if you’re paying more than you should.

Credit Card Savings Tips

Use Business Credit Cards

Some online retailers offer their own branded credit cards. In some cases, it’s a card that can only be used at their store, while in other cases, it’s a regular credit card that provides rewards and discounts when used at specific stores. Either way, it’s worth considering if you shop frequently at certain retailers.

Use Credit Card Cashback

You’ll need to check with your credit card company, but some companies offer cashback on your purchases. Whether it’s at specific retailers or general online shopping, it’s worth finding out how much you can save.

Check Credit Card Offers

Similar to cashback, some credit card companies offer discounts at certain retailers. Of course, this is up to your credit card company, but it’s often significant discounts limited to customers of that company. It’s definitely worth checking if your credit card company offers such services, and if they do, take full advantage.

Take Advantage of Credit Card Insurance and Guarantees

Technically not a money-saving method, but some credit card providers offer purchase bonuses. For example, you can get free (or discounted) insurance for electronics purchased with your credit card. If they encounter issues, you’ll save quite a bit on repair costs. This sometimes also applies to extended warranties on products, phone screen insurance, and travel insurance (if you use your credit card to purchase flights).

Utilize Price Drop Protection on Credit Cards

Many retailers have started offering price drop protection recently, but we’ve also seen this from credit card companies. It’s essentially a price guarantee that works similarly to price matching. However, you should keep an eye on the product’s price on the retailer’s website, not comparing prices with other retailers.

All the credit card company does is give you a period, whether it’s a week, a month, or some other period of time, during which if the product’s price drops, you get refunded the difference. If you buy an item for $100 and it drops to $70 within a day or two, you’ll get the difference back. This might not happen often, but when it does, you won’t regret buying the item sooner.

More Online Shopping Tips

Check for Refurbished or Used Items

Refurbished or used sometimes means the item was just taken out of the box and returned. Often, they’re essentially brand new but can be heavily discounted.

Of course, not all refurbished or used products will be in this state, so you should check websites like eBay, Amazon, and Google Shopping to find items in the condition that suits you.

Join Reward Programs

Online retailers that offer reward programs are often worth joining. While you might not save immediately with typical discounts, you’ll get some rewards and can use them to save money in the future or get exclusive discounts others won’t get.

Join Referral Programs

Referral programs from online retailers work the same as any other referral program - whenever someone makes a purchase using your referral link, you get some rewards. Some retailers give you a whole range of discounts, while others give you a gift card or something else you can make use of. Either way, you don’t have to spend any money to try it out, and it might save you some money.

Subscribe and Save

If you regularly purchase items like pet food, cleaning products, or personal care items, you can often get hefty discounts through subscriptions. Of course, you should pick a retailer that supports subscriptions, and once you come across one, it’s easy to calculate. Check how many of a particular product you buy each month and see if subscribing for the same quantity is cheaper. If it is, then go for it, there’s bound to be a noticeable difference, especially in the long run.

If you’re not tied to a specific retailer, you can search for “subscribe and save” products on Amazon - you’ll come across some interesting options, some of which might be perfect for you.

Check Cashback Websites

Besides your credit card company, there are some specific websites that offer cashback services. In most cases, there isn’t a significant difference, but if you use such websites over some time, they add up, and you’ll get quite a return.

There are plenty of options, but one of the most popular ones might be Rakuten. You can register for both accounts and enjoy all the benefits of using them when shopping online.

Look for Military, Veteran, or Student Discounts

My final online shopping tip involves military and student discounts. If you’re part of these groups, whether you’re a veteran or a student, many retailers offer discounts tailored to you. You’ll need some form of proof to show you’re a member of one of these groups, but once you provide it, you’ll get discounts others won’t get.