Holiday shopping season has come and gone, but saving money should always be on our minds especially since we’re starting a new year, and probably want or need new items or necessities. Online shopping is like the recently developed and hyped phenomenon, which may not necessarily be a bad thing to follow. We can save more money than ever by using Ebay and Amazon instead of having to wait in line for items at the stores without a guarantee that we will even get what we want if more customers are also interested in the same products.
Online shopping just brings more convenience but there’s sometimes so much to learn and so much that’s hidden from us unless we’re actively seeking the deals we want. MakeUseOf has covered a lot of ground when it comes to saving money with online resources so it’s certainly a rich source of information but we’ll try to condense some of the best shopping tips here.
Let’s check out the best ways to save money online.
Using Cash-Back Programs
Before buying anything online, check to see if the store participates in Ebates, the cash-back program that offers anywhere from 1 to 25% (depending on the store) back, or you can even check whether your bank offers a cash back program. Bank Of America, for example, offers the Add It Up program to debit or credit card holders.
Trading & Obtaining Cash For Items You Already Own
Instead of letting your books collect dust in a corner or selling them without getting much money in return, consider trading them to get books you want. Tina featured a number of popular trading sites that specialize in books, games and CDs. If you own an old phone, MP3 player or even a game console, you can sell it to Gazelle, which even pays you to ship your old electronics to them. To earn money for knowledge you already own, consider writing articles for major online knowledge bases, such as Bright Hub.
Getting The Lowest Price On Virtually Anything
Want to score an amazing cruise package to the Caribbean for cheap? Last-minute booking sites can really help you save money on trips. Additional sites that weren’t featured on that list is lastminutecruises.com, which showed $139 trips to the Bahamas last time I checked, and VacationsToGo.
If you’d rather stay in your state or within the country and take a road trip instead, you can also check any of these 6 sites for the best prices in gas so you can save up big time, including my personal favorite, GasBuddy.
Maybe you don’t want to travel anywhere and just want to save money on everyday purchases. Amazon is probably the biggest online marketplace for you to get a variety of items for excellent prices, but you can still get lower final prices with the help of promotional codes for Amazon. Additionally, you can get even more heavily-discounted open box items (returned products that are guaranteed to be like new) at the Amazon Warehouse, which not a lot of people know about.
If you’re looking to buy things not for yourself, but for others, check out GiftCardGranny or CardPool (see a quick review here), which offer tons of discount gift cards and buys your unwanted gift cards for up to 92% cash back.
Taking Advantage Of Deal & Coupon Sites
You’re definitely not alone if you want to save some money. There are countless communities that focus their efforts in classifying best online deals so you can fully take advantage of them. There are general deal sites that aggregate all sorts of deals, while there are also plenty of comparison sites once you know what you want to buy. Then apply one or two coupons from any of the dedicated websites and you should be golden.
If you’re constantly purchasing things online, it might be beneficial to integrate shopping-friendly plugins into your browsing experience. These Firefox addons were made with shoppers in mind (Google Chrome users should check out these extensions). iPhone owners should also check out the RedLaser app [iTunes link], which can scan the bar code of any product and tell you how much it is at other stores and online.
Monthly purchases that seem unavoidable, such as cable TV and phone service, but the truth is, there are emerging alternative services that bring extra convenience and savings once you add up everything. Netflix and Redbox are major cable alternatives that won’t really empty your pocket. In fact, you can even get free codes to score free Redbox movie rentals using InsideRedbox.
There are also websites, such as Hulu and network sites, that let you stream full episodes of your favorite TV show for free. Don’t forget Crackle, which you can think of as Sony Pictures’ version of Hulu.
When it comes to shrinking your phone bill, VoIP services are the most convenient ones as you can use your computer to make calls. VoIP services abound so you pretty much have lots of options in this area, but for starters, be sure to see 3 Alternatives to Local Phone Companies That Will Save You Money.
Buying in Bulk
Buying things in bulk makes sense as you end up saving money in the long run and have products to last for a while. One way you can save money by buying things in bulk online is with BulkTix.
It’s a service that lets you purchase movie tickets and snack vouchers in bulk while saving tons. The tickets don’t expire and BulkTix takes Paypal, Amazon Payments and even Google Checkout.
Scoring Free Stuff
You might have heard of any of the freebie sites that accumulate free offerings from all over the net. Most of them are offerings that you don’t really need, but the next one might be of interest if you’ve ever reserved a table to a restaurant over the phone. Instead of calling the restaurant, create an account at OpenTable, and reserve tables through the website. Every time you show up for your reservation, you accumulate 100 points towards gift cards to any of the OpenTable participating restaurants. Some restaurants offer 1000 points for honoring a reservation, and once you get 2000 points, you score a $20 gift card, or you can wait to accumulate 5000 points for a $50 gift card.
The restaurant selection at OpenTable is still expanding so you may not find all of your city’s restaurant, but you might want to give it a try as it’s pretty much effortless to be on your way to receiving a restaurant gift card!
Share your money-saving tips with us in the comments!
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