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10 Online Shopping Tips To Save Money While Scoring Major Discounts

10 Online Shopping Tips To Save Money While Scoring Major Discounts

Online retailers seem to be becoming more and more creative these days to score big with shoppers. However, if you are a smart deal hunter or would just love to get major discounts without a lot of efforts, try using these ten clever online shopping tips.

1. Outwit the dynamic pricing trap

Dynamic pricing is a sneaky strategy online merchants offer use to show different prices to different customers according to your location, your browsing and spending patterns and current demand of the product. Have you ever found dirty cheap airfare that went 30% higher when you checked on the next day? That’s dynamic pricing in action. As this technique gotten incredibly sophisticated, most retailers are perfectly aware of your price point and may show you a higher price compared to someone else who pays less in online purchases.

To get a less biased price you should:

  • clear your browsing history and cookies in particular
  • log out of your accounts (email, G+, Facebook etc)
  • switch to incognito mode or better take advantage of online anonymous browsing with Tor browser
  • choose localized website versions instead of being redirected to US
  • choose less developed countries as home to get better prices when searching for airfare

2. Shop at the right day

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    Even if it seems tempting to spend your lazy Sunday afternoon browsing around various retailers, don’t cash out too fast. Most stores roll out discounts and special deals on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. However, Sunday is the best day to score cheap airline tickets with Monday being the most expensive, according to Airlines Reporting Corporation who analyzed over 130 million domestic and international over the period of 19 months. Numbers speak for themselves: $432 is the lowest average price for a round-trip ticket on Sunday; $439 is Saturday’s average, while Tuesday – the former “cheapest day to buy airfare” turned out to average $497.

    According to Rather Be Shopping, Tuesday is the best day to purchase laptop and desktop computers as major retailers like Dell Home and Hewlett-Packard send out special coupons every Tuesday. Saturdays are bookworms’ specials as Amazon and Barnes & Noble launch numerous books on sale, targeting readers who love spending a weekend with a new fine read.

    3. Use multiple coupon codes strategically

    If the website allows you to combine different coupons and promo codes at the checkout, use them in the right order. Say you have a promo code for a 20% discount and a coupon for 10$, apply 20% promo code first. That will subtract 20% from the full price, afterwards you can dig more savings with your $10 discount coupon.

    4. Ask for price-drop refunds

    Say you’ve purchased an item yesterday, but when you checked the next day, it was now on sale. Pretty frustrating, right? However, some companies will refund you the price difference if you contact them directly within a certain amount of days. For instance, Amazon will issue you a refund if you notify them within seven calendar days from the delivery date. Use Camelcamelcamel.com to monitor price changes at Amazon.

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    Some credit cards also go with price protection. That is, no matter where you shopped – you will refund the difference if the price dips within a certain amount of days. These include Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®, Citi® Double Cash Card and more.

    5. Take advantage of smart reward programs

    Some apps offer you to redeem special bonuses for doing certain actions. You can earn kicks by doing paid online surveys or merely browsing around product catalogs with ShopKick that can be exchanged to gift cards or special discounts. Swagbucks TV allows you to earn swagbucks for simply watching videos and redeem them as discounts from different online merchants.

    Case Happy offers 1 point (equals to 0.05£) for each pound you spend on their goodies – lovely Ipad, Kindle and tablet covers. Points can be redeemed as coupons with your next order with no limits on spending. Basically, you can get the 2nd product for free. If you are into designers clothing, check out Guilt Insider loyalty program. You get early access to sales and a bunch of special discounts, plus you earn 5 points for each dollar spent, 35 points for liking them on Facebook and so on. Points can be exchanged for free shipping, exclusive access to flash-sales and a number of other perks. Amazon nails it with Amazon Rewards Visa card with $50 sign up bonus and 3 points added for each dollar spent.

    6. Bargain with the customer service

    Just discovered a juicy coupon at your email to realize it has expired two days ago? Fret not! Ring up the hotline and ask if your coupon can be extended as you are about to make your order. Typically, sales reps are interested in closing the deal and will either give you a new promo code or extend the existing one. It may not work each time, especially with low-priced items, yet it is always worth trying.

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    Alternatively, you can use live time chats now available at most websites. Be polite and ask a few questions about the product you’d like to buy and then inquire if there’s any sort of discounts they possibly may have. It’s not a well-known fact, but chat support can issue special promo codes that are not widely available.

    7. Organize your emails

    Signing up to newsletters, coupon sites and promotion lists can save you a huge bucks, but you are too reluctant about getting your email spammed? Try Unroll.me – a handy email add-on that lets you instantly unsubscribe from junk emails and de-clutters your inbox by sending one digest email a day summarizing your preferred subscriptions. Just choose the time of the day when you’d like to receive it.

    8. Run smart comparison checks

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      To avoid overpaying and scoring absolutely best deals online, install PriceBlink browser add-on (available for Chrome, Mozilla, Safari). It will save you tons of time by automatically pulling the prices for the same product from numerous merchants, organizing them in a smart chart and even notifying you if there are any coupons available.

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      Alternatively, you can try Pricegrabber app that does the same thing, plus can scan bar codes and provide “bottom line prices” that include taxes, shipping and other add-on expenses.

      9. Leave items in your cart

      Leave the products in your cart and step away for a day or two. Firstly, you’ve just avoided making an impulse purchase. Secondly, most retailers hate unclosed deals and will try to retain you. Stores that send coupons or offer a better price on the next day include Bed Bath & Beyond, Macy’s, JC Penney, Office Max and much more.

      Remember the trick works only when you have an account on the merchant’s website and you are logged in when you leave your cart.

      10. Accumulate more coupons with multiple email addresses

      Some stores love sending huge single use coupons to a selected group of their customers. Increase your chances of saving the big bucks by signing up to their newsletter with multiple email accounts. Now imagine how much money you will receive with three 50% discount codes for one full-priced item purchase, instead of one.

      Featured photo credit: Tim Reckmann via flickr.com

      More by this author

      Elena Prokopets

      Elena is a passionate blogger who shares about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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      Last Updated on April 28, 2020

      9 Millionaire Success Habits That Will Inspire Your Life

      9 Millionaire Success Habits That Will Inspire Your Life

      As technology evolves and information becomes more accessible, it has also become more challenging to define success. A lot of people are trapped in the rat race while trying to discover the actual formula for success.

      You could become overwhelmed with what tools, techniques or philosophies to imbibe while trying to get tips over the internet. At every click and turn, there are ‘how-tos and quick-fix’ on how to become successful overnight. You will find several courses, articles, videos and books on how to achieve financial success.

      But what if I tell you it doesn’t have to be complicated as people made it out to be? What if you could achieve success by merely following these 9 millionaire success habits?

      1. Read for Personal Development

      A daily habit I have discovered millionaires share in common is reading. For instance, if you are an entrepreneur, you need to read to become an efficient leader and a productive business owner. Reading helps you to grow and learn without going to a business school.

      A research conducted by Thomas Crowley indicates about 85% of self-made millionaires read at least two or more books each month. [1] Warren Buffett is one of these examples. He spends 80% of his day reading. In the early days of his investment career, he would read 600 to 1000 pages in a single day.

      While millionaires sometimes read for pleasure, they also learn to improve themselves. They read topics on leadership, how-tos, self-help, biographies, lifehacks and also follow current events.

      Here’re some recommendations for you: 25 Best Self Improvement Books to Read No Matter How Old You Are

      2. Establish Multiple Sources of Income

      Another success habit I noticed about successful people is that they don’t depend on a single income source. Every millionaire possesses multiple sources of income. This helps them to manage economic challenges and also make more money.

      They are passive income addicts. They earn interests from loans, rental income from real estate, royalties from intellectual properties, dividends from investments. They also launch a side business or run a website or sell information products.

      How income is made either passively or actively is what separates the successful from the wannabes. They are always learning ways to build multiple streams of income.

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      3. Live on a Stipulated Monthly Budget

      An average millionaire does not believe in luck and jackpot. They take the time to understand cash flow-income and expenses. Based on this, they establish a monthly budget and religiously stick to it.

      The essence of the budget is to minimize unnecessary expenses. This will help you gain complete control of your financial life. Budgeting helps you to avoid overspending to achieve your financial goals. Here’re some tips to help you stuck to your budget: 32 Hacks for Sticking to Your Budget

      4. Manage and Maximize Money

      The most significant education for a millionaire is financial intelligence. Nobody attains financial freedom without gaining financial intelligence. This is the more reason millionaire, regardless of their income, keep their knowledge about tax strategies updated.

      They always seek to reduce their tax bills. One approach they employ is by living or incorporating their business in states with no income tax.

      Do you know that about 60 companies paid $0 legally in the 2018 tax year? Some of these companies that ‘avoided'(note: not evaded) federal income tax include Chevron, Amazon, Halliburton, General Motors, Delta. Their US income was totaled at $79 billion with an effective tax rate of -5%.

      What’s the deal? They got a tax refund.

      How do they accomplish these?

      An ITEP report indicated that they have the culture of throwing huge sums at tax experts who assist them in discovering creative, as well as convoluted means of paying little tax as much as possible.[2]

      5. Avoid Debt

      Another habit that separates the millionaires from the rest of the world is how they manage debt.

      They don’t live an extravagant lifestyle; instead, they only buy what they need and can pay for. They do not book hotels and flights by using their credit cards to pay for them.

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      They are conscious of the interest rates even when they use credits cards or take loans. If possible, they try to pay with cash because of its zero percent interest rate.

      6. Set Daily Goals

      It does not matter if they are setting up a business, a career, or financial projections; they have the success habit of setting short term goals. They plan daily and weekly goals to generate momentum in achieving their long-term goals.

      Ensure you prioritize when setting daily goals. This will help you to achieve the most important to-dos on your list.

      Setting priorities will help you to focus on highly rewarding activities. If you desire financial freedom, it is wise to pursue activities that earn you thousands of dollars rather than hundreds of dollars.

      7. Don’t Act Rich

      The goal is not to act rich but to be productive. Interestingly, Thomas Stanley buttressed in his book that for the most prestige brands of cars, about 86% percent are toys of the non-millionaires. While most believe that people with huge fortunes tend to drive exotic cars, in reality the largest consumers of pricey cars are aspiring millionaires.[3]

      According to findings by Experian Automotive Researchers, 61% of individuals who earn $250,000 or more rarely buy luxury brands. Instead, they buy Hondas, Toyotas, and Fords like the rest of the world. The reason is they are not ready to spend money on premium cars that tend to drop in value in a couple of years as it would cost money. Millionaires invest in assets that appreciate.[4]

      8. Own or Buy Businesses

      In Robert Kiyosaki’s cashflow quadrant, he divided how you earn income into four quadrants. The E and the S quadrants take the left position while the B and the I are on the right side. According to Robert, it is possible to be on all quadrants, but the millionaires are not.[5]

      • E stands for employee – they work for others
      • S stands for self-employed – they work for themselves
      • B stands for a Business owner- employees work for them (500 or more employees)
      • I stand for Investors – Money work for them like Warren Buffet.

      Your goal is to move from the left quadrant to the right quadrants where you own big businesses or make money work for you.

      It is possible to become financially successful by pursuing what you love. For instance, if you love writing, aspire to be the best seller. Wealth and passion work together.

      Check out How to Start a Small Business with Little to No Money for tips.

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      9. Avoid Get-Rich-Quick Scheme

      A millionaire holds patience as an essential virtue. It takes patience to become successful, not only in finance but in every aspect of life. While it is possible to become financially successful at an early age, most millionaires hit it at age 50. They live a moderate life, invest in their future and retire rich.

      Bonus: How to Develop the Millionaire Success Habits?

      Having learned these habits, the next question is,

      How can I develop the Millionaire Success habits?

      Here are six values you will need to develop:

      Establish Your Life Vision

      You need to be clear about what you want in life to set yourself for a life of success. Your vision has to go beyond becoming a millionaire to understanding why you want to become one. Any great entrepreneur you will ever find has a clear vision and an established mission.

      Understanding why you are doing what you do will drive you to become the kind of successful person you want to be.

      Make Your Passion a Profession

      When your passion becomes your profession, work becomes pleasurable. Loving what you do enables money to flow to you and through you.

      So what’s going to be? Wake up every morning by speaking positive words into your work, love what you do, and focus on the work that brings you joy.

      Take a look at this article and learn how to make it happen: 5 Steps To Turn Your Passion Into A Career

      Focus on Solution

      Focusing on the solution means establishing the problem that you or your business address. This will help you focus on the solutions when others are faced with challenges.

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      A millionaire has a mindset that is fixed on the solution. He or she knows there’s a way out, and that every problem is an opportunity in disguise.

      Improve your problem solving skills with these tips: 6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

      Develop Your Leadership Skills

      Leadership skills are an asset that is indispensable if you want to develop a millionaire success habit. The more you hone your leadership skills, the more you will attract leaders who share your values.

      Be Growth-Focused

      Millionaire entrepreneurs prioritize self-improvement. Here’s how to achieve it:

      • Get a coach. Coaching will impact your life, and you will achieve peak performance in life and business when you have a life coach.
      • Be coachable. It is not enough to have a coach; you must be coachable. Sometimes, you need feedback and counsel to reposition your life and business. A coach has the wisdom and experience to counsel you from a higher perspective. The more you receive feedback and work on yourself, the more you become better at what you do and who you are.

      Flip Your Thought Pattern From Acting To Being

      It is not enough to have a millionaire success habit, you must also become a person of positive influence. This is how you can become significant. Bill Gates is not only rich; he is changing lives in Africa and different parts of the world.

      If you want to become successful, you must first be and think like a successful person. This is how resources you need can flow into your life.

      Here’s a final thought from me:

      It is not enough to do something to have something; success is about being someone who possesses what is needed to take positive and inspired actions.

      More Success Habits

      Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

      Reference

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