I’ve a recent convert to shopping online. I know, I’m way behind the times. I was always against it because I hated paying shipping and I was worried that I would miss out on the great deals you can find on the clearance rack.
But lately as I’ve tried to balance working a day job and growing a side business, my time has become even more valuable to me. The first thing to go? Shopping.
I’m still uber-conscious of getting a good deal, so here are some techniques I’ve used to save me money while shopping online:
Discount gift cards
There are countless sites out there that offer gift cards to retailers. But instead of paying full price, you can buy the gift card at a discount. Sometimes, you can save up to 15%! The best part is when you buy the card electronically, so it’s emailed to you instantly. That way you can have it right when you’re checking out. I’ve used CardPool and GiftCardGranny.
If you couple the gift card with a coupon – like I did the other day – you can save mucho dolores.
Don’t Pay Retail
The other day I was sharing my friend a picture of some Land’s End pants that I loved. “Don’t pay retail for them!” she said. “They’re always sending out coupons.” I told her I’d signed up for their email newsletter and that I’d already received a 25% coupon.
When I worked in retail, I was always surprised how many people would stop in and pay full-price for something. Didn’t they know we ran sales almost every week? Hadn’t they gotten one of our countless emails with a promo code?
The key is being patient. I’m happy with my 25% off coupon, but I’m going to wait a couple weeks to see if I can find a better one.
Look for used pieces
I love thrifting. It’s one of my favorite things to do with my husband and many of my friends and I spend weekends pouring through the racks at Goodwill, hoping to score an amazing deal. But how do you do that online?
There are lots of websites where you can buy thrifted clothes. One of my favorite Ann Taylor skirts came from thredUP, where I only paid $20 for it. Even Goodwill has its own website where they sell clothes, home furnishings – almost anything you can find in the store. Other friends use Poshmark to find used gear; I’m a fan of eBay, where I got my genuine Longchamp Le Pliage for only $45.
Shopping used is one of the easiest ways to save money on anything. Plus, I like to think you’re buying more durable pieces. If someone’s already worn it, you can see if there’s going to be pilling or bad stitching.
The best part of shopping online is that I no longer waste time shopping. If I need a pair of jeans, that’s what I’ll shop for. If I want new running shorts, that’s what I’m going to search for. How many times have you walked into a store wanting a dress and left with a dress AND a pair of shoes?
One of the biggest changes has been not shopping at Target. Since I’m a RED card holder, I shop online for only what I need and get free shipping. That way I’m not tempted by the nail polish aisle or their new line of scarves.
Get Use Of Flash Deal Sites & Referrals
Flash deal sites like Zulily, HauteLook & Gilt are great ways to grab name brands for a great discount- but they go fast! Name brands like Coach, Calvin Klein, Nike and Uggs have been featured and you can usually save on shipping. Some would say, the best part of the deal sites is the fact that referrals are pretty easy to get and will get you a $10-15 credit to shop with. By sharing regularly on social media, you can quickly earn a $60 credit with your Facebook friends!
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