6 Online Shopping Tips to Get More For Less

The holidays are approaching, and everyone’s budget is getting tighter. It’s challenging to resist the urge to spend generously on loved ones during the gift-giving season. More loved ones mean more temptation to indulge them as a thank you for their year-round support. But fear not, we’re here to help you stretch your dollar further.

First things first, it’s time to shop more wisely. Be savvy, do your homework, double-check before finalizing your purchase, communicate with the stores you’re shopping at, and don’t hesitate to ask for discounts.

Looking to save on your holiday shopping spree? Here are six essential tips to shop smarter, not harder.

1. Use Coupons

Using coupons doesn’t mean you’re thrifty, it means you’re smart. Always look for discount coupons before making any online purchase. Many online stores release discounts as part of their promotional efforts, often sharing these coupons on blogs, social media, and through affiliate networks.

discount coupons

For instance, head over to Udemy.com and pick a popular course. Once you’ve found one, use the course title in a Google search like this: coupon "[title of the course]". Most of the time, you’ll find a discount coupon for that course posted online by the course creator. This trick works for other products too, but remember to include the website’s name for more accurate results.

Online stores vary in their discount offerings. Some coupons may provide free shipping, while others can offer discounts ranging from 10% to 90%.

Here’s a top tip (and possibly the best shopping hack you’ll find this holiday season): install the Honey browser plugin. It automatically finds and applies the best coupons available for your products at checkout.

2. Price Matching is Your Ally

When shopping for gadgets or anything widely available, it’s smart to compare prices across different sellers. Gather price information from various websites for the same item, then contact their customer support and show them the lowest price you found. Ask if they can match that price. Often, they’ll offer a discount to secure your purchase.

checking price tag

Here’s how it works:

Let’s say I want to buy a high-end gaming mouse. Seller A offers it for $500, while Seller B has it for $550. I’d reach out to Seller B and say: "Hey, I’m interested in this item, but Seller A has it for $500. Can you offer a better deal?"

And just like that, you might get a better price.

3. Walk Away

It may seem odd, but leaving items in your online shopping cart can actually lead to discounts. Many stores monitor cart abandonment and will follow up to convert you into a buyer. Sometimes, closing the website triggers a pop-up offering a discount, like "Wait! Get a 20% discount if you buy now!" Usually, these stores will email you discount coupons within a few hours or days.

Make sure to register on their website but don’t rush to buy. A bit of patience can lead to significant savings.

4. Opt For The Refurbished

Refurbished items often have better quality than brand-new ones. Here’s why: imagine you buy an iMac and it turns out to be defective. You return it to the store. What happens to it then? It goes back for repair and undergoes thorough checks to ensure it works perfectly. It’s then resold at a lower price.

refurbished phone

Refurbished items are rigorously tested and inspected, often more so than new products. Next time you’re shopping for gadgets, consider checking the refurbished section first. You might find top-quality products at lower prices.

5. Browse Clean, Browse Incognito

Online stores often show different prices based on who’s browsing. They can change prices based on your location, previous browsing history, and other factors. For instance, prices might be higher if you’re in a wealthy neighborhood or using a Mac, compared to someone in a developing country or using a PC.

incognito mode browsing

This pricing strategy also applies if they recognize you as a return visitor and know they’re your only option for a particular item.

To avoid this, use a different browser or browse in incognito mode. This ensures you see the default prices, which is especially important when booking flights or hotels. Always start your shopping in incognito mode to get the fairest prices.

6. Try The New and Small Shops

Consider shopping at smaller, yet reliable, online stores instead of just the big names. These stores often offer more competitive prices to stand out against larger competitors. They might also provide more personalized and responsive customer service, which can be beneficial for discounts or warranty claims.

small shop

Finding these shops is straightforward. Just Google the product you want and explore the second or third page of the search results. These less prominent shops are often more eager for your business and may offer better deals.

These smaller retailers are usually more than happy to attract your attention and are often willing to lower their prices to secure a sale.

Ending Thoughts

You might be thinking about big sale events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Yes, these are well-known for huge discounts, and snagging a bargain during these sales is definitely an option for the determined shopper.

However, don’t overlook the advantages of online shopping in general. Online stores often have lower operational costs compared to physical stores, as they save on rent and staff expenses. This often translates to lower prices for you, the customer.

Looking for online stores for your holiday shopping? Here are some suggestions: