It’s long been the case that you can get a lower price on most purchases if you are willing to wait until an item is out of season or becomes last year’s model.
However, there are simpler ways to save money with online purchases.
The digital age is terrific for shoppers. If you use the tools that are available through websites, credit cards and gift cards, you can score at least 10 percent off in most cases without waiting for sales or searching the papers for coupons. Following some simple steps can help you save on anything you could possibly need to buy.
The first step to savings is to buy a gift card – but not just any old gift card. Instead, you want to head to a website specializing in reselling gift cards at a discounted rate. Some of the biggest sites in the reselling business are Raise.com, Restaurant.com and GiftCards.com. These sites let people with unwanted gift cards unload them by selling them to others at a discount. You’re typically going to save about 10 percent with most cards.
When you’re saving by using a discounted gift card for every purchase, there are ways to save even more. If you’re buying online, make your purchase through a rebate or cash-back site. These sites offer an additional three or four percent off your purchase. You’ll pay the full amount when you buy, but receive the discount back in the form of a rebate. ome of the most popular rebate sites are E-bates, Mr. Rebates, Swagbucks and Top Cashback.
Getting started with a cash-back site is simple. You sign up, then visit the site before shopping online. For example, if you want to shop online at Kohl’s, instead of going directly to Kohls.com, you’d start at the cash-back site, click on a link to the Kohl’s page, then start shopping. When you buy something, you’ll earn money from the cash-back site.
Cash-back sites simply get a commission from participating stores when you make a purchase, then share it with you.
Another way to save is to use a cash-back or “rewards” credit card. Depending on the card and what you’re buying, you could save anywhere from one to five percent on your purchase. As with rebate sites, you’ll pay the full price at purchase but receive the cash back as a rebate or statement credit.
If you like to keep things simple, Fidelity’s Rewards Visa Signature card offers unlimited two percent cash back on everything you buy.
One final suggestion is to sign up for mailing lists. Some stores issue one-time use codes. To get these, you need to be on the store’s VIP list mailing list. Sign up to receive newsletters from your favorite retailers so you can get discount codes and sales announcements delivered straight to your inbox.
Be sure to use a secondary email address so your primary account isn’t overwhelmed by these messages.