Online Shopping Tips (Thrifty Thursday)

online shopping

With so many more stores offering online shopping, make sure you are getting the best deals while shopping.

Know Your Prices

Quite often there are deals offered online that are not actually great deals.  You need to know the pricing of items you want to buy to make sure that deal is as good as it makes out.  It also pays to know the prices so you know when to buy, unlike store deals where pricing has to be manually changed, online pricing can be changed in seconds so you may find different deals daily.

Check For Coupons and Rebates

Sites like SmartCanucks, RetailMeNot and RedFlagDeals have great listings of coupons including limited time coupons for online shopping.  These are often not offered for in-store use so you can combine them with sales to make a great deal.  If you get a coupon for $10 off $50 and want to spend $100, split it into separate transactions (if free shipping is offered at that level) to maximize your savings.

Sign up for online rewards from stores you are likely to shop from, they often offer member exclusive offers.  Just set up a separate email account and check it when you want to shop online so you are not deleting junk all day.  Check with friends to see if they have a referral code, they are often more generous than regular coupon codes – and may help your friend out too.

On top of coupons, check to see if there is an rebate you can use.  Ebates and Great Canadian Rebates are the biggest for Canadians when online shopping and list coupons that are valid with the rebate.  Be careful using both as sometimes coupons are not valid with the rebate so you need to check the terms carefully.

Never Pay Shipping

Okay, never say never.  But make sure that the deal is still a good deal with the cost of shipping included.  Do not buy items you don’t need to get free shipping unless it works out cheaper than paying for shipping (which should still be cheaper than the in-store price).  Often on holiday weekends they will drop the minimum spend requirement for free shipping so wait it out if you want a cheaper item that does not usually qualify for free shipping.

Shop Online Safely

It goes without saying, but check for security before making a purchase, especially if it is a store you are not familiar with.  Check for reviews of the store before paying.  Many people use a prepaid credit card for online shopping so they do not have the added worry of it being stolen, despite the promises from credit card companies or because they do not want to worry about interest charges.

Check The Returns Policy

Before you buy, check the returns policy.  Can you return to their store?  Do you have to pay shipping?  Do they charge a restocking fee?  Most physical stores do not but many online stores do so it is good to check before online shopping.  A bad return policy can ruin a great shopping experience.

What has been your best online deal?

Related Posts

5 Replies to “Online Shopping Tips (Thrifty Thursday)”

  1. Great tips! 🙂 The other thing I would add: If you are buying from a retailer not in Canada, be aware you may get stuck with some duties charges on the items! I purchased a few items from a health site online and was charged $20 duty – in the end, not worth the order!

    1. Tea & Nail Polish says: Reply

      Soozle, I usually mail to a friend in the US and have her send it to me as a gift. That way I know it is not coming FedEx Ground with ridiculous brokerage charges too

  2. Victoria Ess says: Reply

    Thanks for the tips! I always try to wait for stores to offer free shipping deals, and try to stick to Canadian websites.

  3. Thank you for the tips. I find that shopping online is hit and miss; I tend to go with very specific retailers due to security and safety. Knowing enough about IT and hacking, it scares me how easily accessible personal information is.

  4. […] but waste a lot while shopping and looking for coupons and deals.  I will buy more online, use ebates and Great Canadian Rebates to get money back on those purchases while sticking to what I […]

Leave a Reply