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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

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      Elena Prokopets

      Freelance Writer

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      Published on July 4, 2018

      Top 10 Recommendations on Money Management Apps

      Top 10 Recommendations on Money Management Apps

      Don’t want to overspend your budget, swipe your credit card too many times, and feel like a financial mess? Instead of beating yourself up for the bad financial decisions you’ve ever made, create a new plan!

      The solution is simple, save more and spend less. But, we all know it’s easier said than done.

      One problem is finding quality apps that save you time and money, and aren’t just hype.

      Luckily, there’re many great money management apps available at your fingertips. Here are 10 reliable money management apps that can help you save money, and crush debt.

      1. Personal Capital

        When was the last time you’ve tracked your net worth? Probably months ago or maybe never. Personal Capital allows you to easily track your net worth and plan for retirement.

        Here are some of its main features:

        • Sync many investment accounts, and expenses (mortgage, credit cards, etc.) in one place
        • Discover hidden fees and how much they’re affecting your retirement plan
        • Wealth management for investors requiring a long-term strategy

        With Personal you’re free to track your expenses and net worth.

        Available for: iOS and Android

        2. Mint

          If your smartphone could only install a few apps, Mint would be one of them. Why? Because Mint tracks all your balances and bills in one place.

          Here are some of its main features:

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          • Effortlessly track all your bills and balances in one dashboard
          • Categorized expenses to understand where you spend your money
          • Uncover hidden fees, and determine your investment style with sophisticated retirement tools.

          Feel at ease with managing your money by a reputable company that isn’t going anywhere.

          Available for: iOS and Android

          3. YNAB

            Everyone needs a budget, there’s no way around it. YNAB (You Need A Budget) is an easy to use app that will change the way you think about money. Their motto is to “give every dollar a job”, and you’ll quickly discover why.

            Here are some of its main features:

            • Easily sync all bank accounts in one place
            • Visually see your debt paying progress with eye-catching charts and notifications
            • Customized categories setting saving goals

            The best part about YNAB is the community that comes along with it. You can hop on the YNAB forum to receive support, listen to the YNAB Podcast or stay tuned for their weekly videos.

            Available for: iOS and Android

            4. Wealthfront

              Albert Einstein once said “compound interest is the eight wonder in the world”, and for a very good reason. The problem is, most people are scared or unwilling to learn the basics of investing. This is why Wealthfront is the perfect solution for the hands-off investors.

              Here are some of its main features:

              • Variety of investment account options including IRA, Roth IRA, and more
              • Your portfolio composed of 7 different asset classes
              • Automatically rebalanced portfolio
              • Daily tax loss harvesting

              Wealthfront is perfect for people requiring investment guidance, or prefer a hands-off solution.

              Available for: iOS and Android

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              5. Clarity Money

                If you’re staying on top of your budget but want to take your finances to the next level, Clarity Money can help you. Clarity Money helps you stay under budget and build a personalized savings plan.

                Here are some of its main features:

                • Easily cancel subscriptions with one click
                • Synchronize bank accounts fast
                • Transfer money effortlessly between different accounts

                Clarity Money isn’t an app that does it all. But, it does make transferring money and canceling subscriptions fast and efficient.

                Available for: iOS and Android

                6. Acorns

                  What if there was a way to quickly gain confidence in investing your money, without too much risk? There is, and Acorns is your solution. With Acorns’s technology, you’re able to make investments as small as $5.

                  Here are some of its main features:

                  • Automatic contribution option
                  • Customized portfolio tailored to your needs
                  • Low management fees ranging from $1-$2 per month

                  Stop wasting dollars on expensive coffee. Instead, invest them towards a brighter financial future.

                  Available for: iOS and Android

                  7. Albert

                    Do you budget by only subtracting your expenses from your income? If so, how would you discover any overpayments or extra money you could save? This is where Albert shines, and it does it all free.

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                    Here are some of its main features:

                    • Receive notifications for overpayments, hidden fees, and low balances
                    • An Automatic budget that’s built around your spending and income
                    • Easily track debt and set new financial goals

                    While Albert does offer a paid option, most of its core features are FREE. So, what better option to save?

                    Available for: iOS

                    8. Prism

                      Have you recently forgot to pay a bill because life got in the way? Prism automatically tracks your bills and syncs your bank accounts in one place.

                      Here are some of its main features:

                      • View all your account balances in one glance
                      • Bill due dates are automatically pulled and tracked
                      • Receive early reminders for upcoming bills

                      If your budget is on “fleek” but can’t seem to stay on top of your bills, Prism is your go-to app.

                      Available for: iOS, Android, Windows, Amazon

                      9. Mvelopes

                        Remember hearing about people using envelopes to budget their money? Well, Mvelopes is the new envelope system for this generation. Easily create monthly budgets and track your saving goals.

                        Here are some of its main features:

                        • Connect unlimited bank accounts
                        • Real-time budgeting with auto transaction syncing
                        • Low monthly $4 fee or $40 annual

                        Mvelopes can help you crush debt, save more, and help you stop overspending. With its low monthly fee, it’s worth a try.

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                        Available for: iOS and Android

                        10. Wallaby

                          Most people don’t have time to track their credit card’s changing rewards and interest rates. Because of this, you need help reaping the most of your credit card’s rewards. Wallaby is the app that will help you do just that.

                          Here are some of its main features:

                          • Automatic recommendations for the best credit card to use for each transaction
                          • A friendly user interface, displaying credit cards with their corresponding images
                          • Free to use

                          If you’re using the same credit card to make your purchases, you may be leaving money on the table. Give Wallaby a try if you’re ready to maximize your credit card’s rewards.

                          Available for: iOS and Android

                          Take control of your finances and experience financial freedom

                          Picture yourself staying on budget and saving more money than you’d ever imagined.

                          It took hard work and dedication but you’d finally learned how to manage your money. You have to start taking control of your spending and saving habits.

                          You now have a list of reliable apps that can help you build better money habits, what are you waiting for?

                          Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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