1. Money
Send to a Friend via Email

Discuss in my forum

How to Find the Best Deals Online

Shop Online and Save

By

Bargain hunters looking for the best deals online often follow these simple steps to get the very best prices on everything they buy.

Use Online Coupons and Promotional Links

Online coupon sites offer lists of coupons and promotional links for special savings at popular online stores.

  • Promotional Links

    Promotional links are promotions listed on coupon sites that are activated by clicking on the promotional link provided.

    For example, if you find a promotional link for Office Depot and click on it, it will bring you to an Office Depot page which activates the promotion. However, if you go directly to the Office Depot website, you will likely miss out on the promotion.

  • Online Coupon Codes

    Coupon codes are the equivalent to cutting and using coupons at your local stores, but online it is a code of numbers or letters that you enter when checking out your purchases which activates the discount in your shopping cart. You can find coupon codes at online coupon sites such as this one.

    Most coupon codes are case sensitive. For example, if the code is "aDt98o" you would capitalize the D when entering it. You also want to distinguish between zeros and the letter o. If it is a zero it would read: aDt980. If it is capitalized it will read: aDt98O.

    Where you should enter the code differs from one site to the next, but it is always before you finalize your purchase. It is most often referred to as a coupon code, promotional code or gift code.

  • When a Link or Coupon Does Not Work

    Online stores can end promotions whenever they want to and without notice. If you run into a problem where the coupon you entered or the link you clicked on does not result in a discount, the best solution is to return to the coupon site to find another one to enter. If there is no other offer available, you may want to try other online coupon sites before making your purchase.

  • Store Gift Certificates
    Some online stores will issue you a store gift certificate if you spend a certain amount of money. This can be a good offer only if you plan to return to the store soon to use the coupon, otherwise this kind of promotion often ends up not being used.

  • Credit Card Coupons

    Many of the major credit card companies offer online coupons when you use their credit card to pay for your purchase.

Finding the Best Prices at Your Favorite Stores

  • Shopping by Store

    Many of us enjoy shopping at particular stores and only those stores. If you are just browsing for good prices on a variety of merchandise from your favorite stores, you will want to look for an online coupon or promotional link before you shop. To do this, type in the name of the store and the word "coupon" into your favorite search engine. A list of sites offering special coupons or links will appear. Click on the links listed on the coupon site or write down the coupon code before you shop.

  • Finding the Best Prices on a Product

    If you are looking for a specific product doing a search on a price comparison website such as Pricegrabber.com will get you started. The more information you can enter in the search box on the price comparison site, the closer you will get to finding results for just that product.

    For example, entering Samsung LN32B360 32" Class LCD HDTV - 720p, 1366x768, 30000:1 Dynamic, 6ms, 16:9, 2x HDMI will limit your results to products matching the search terms you enter. To broden the results on a product search, put less information. If for example you want to see the prices on 32" LCD HDTVs and not one particular kind, than that is all the information you will need to enter into the search box.

    After you find the stores that have the products you are interested in buying, you will then want to find an online coupons or promotional link discounts. To do this, type in the name of the store and the word "coupon" into your favorite search engine. A list of sites offering special coupons or links will appear. Click on the links listed on the coupon site or write down the coupon code before you shop. During the checkout process always make sure the discount or coupon is applied before finalizing your purchase

Other Ways to Save

  • Shipping and Handling

    Finding the very best deal on an item can be great, but how much will it cost to ship it? Shipping fees, handling fees, and restocking fees can add up. Paying a few dollars more for an item, but not paying shipping, may cost you less than just buying an item that is priced less, but charges shipping.

    Sometimes a store may advertise free shipping, but when you go to check out you see that you have been charged a ridiculously high handling fee. This is a good time to stop and back out of the sale and keep looking. Sneaky handling fees generally mean you will be dealing with a sneaky online store.

  • Restocking Fees

    Many companies charge a restocking fee, which is a fee charged if you return an item. If you are buying a present and you are not sure it is something the person wants, always check in the customer service area of the website to see if there is a restocking fee. If so, you may want to check other online stores before making your purchase.

  • Saving More With Store Pickup

    Online stores may charge for shipping, but offer to ship your purchase to a local store for free. You will need to pick up the item from your local store. If this is an option for you, always carefully read what you will need to bring to the store in order to prove you made the purchase. Make sure your printer has printer paper and is set to print before finalizing your purchase.

  • Free or Extended Returns

    Some online retailers will offer free returns within a specific time limit. Also many offer extended dates to return items. Both services are a plus when deciding on where to shop for the best deals.

Keep a notebook close at hand while shopping online so that you have a place to write down coupon codes and add and subtract various fees. This will help insure that you get the very best price on your purchases.