Online shopping is convenient and fun, but did you ever shop for something only to find that the products were not that cheap once you include shipping costs? Or worse, you find the same product cheaper elsewhere after you've already paid for it?
Here are 7 quick ways that will save you money when shopping with online merchants. I've listed the pros and cons of each.
#1) Play hard to get. Instead of checking out your cart, try to leave the site. Often the merchant will present you with a popup or send you an email offering you discounts through vouchers or coupon codes. Pros: savings up to approximately 20%. Cons: you may need to add your item to the cart again.
#2) Negotiate. Just because you're not dealing directly with a person does not mean you cannot negotiate the price. Contact the merchant and let them know why they should give you a discount, often they will match/beat their competitors or at least give you discount shipping. Pros: get the price you want to pay. Cons: may take 24 hours for merchant to reply.
#3) Compare. Open up your favourite search engine and do a quick search for competitors who sell the same product. There are plenty of sites offering comparative shopping. Pros: get the best price available online. Cons: comparisons do not cover all merchants, and can take time.
#4) Coupons. While you're searching, search for coupons for the merchant. Often the merchant offers discounts to visitors of other sites. There are also directories that specialize in giving away discount coupons. Pros: savings up to approximately 20%. Cons: check that the coupon codes are still valid.
#5) Reward Schemes. Shop within a network of merchants. Most have a rewards scheme earning you points that you can cash in towards other purchases. Pros: savings up to approximately 20%. Cons: You are limited to shopping with the network's registered merchants.
#6) Join special offer mailing lists. You will be notified of many merchant discounts. Pros: offers get sent directly to you. Often matching a predefined criteria. Cons: the timing of the discount may not fit your shopping pattern.
#7) Subsidize your purchases. Join your favourite merchant's affiliate program (almost always for free). You don't need to be a website or email list owner to earn commission. Use a customer acquisition exchange to find you customers (earning you commission) whenever you purchase anything online. Pros: The ability to shop anywhere online, and the fact that the commission may cover more than the cost of your purchase, putting cash in your pocket. Cons: you need to be a member of an affiliate program.
I hope you enjoyed reading my article and feel excited about applying these money saving techniques when shopping online. If you know someone who would also benefit from learning these, please share the knowledge by forwarding this article to them.
Regards Michael Lever
Copyright 2005 Michael Lever
About The Author
Michael Lever is a co-founder and CEO of SpinningTornado.com, an independent company offering unbiased tools and services to help affiliate and network marketers build profitable online businesses.