I’ve learned a few tips and tricks over the years on how to avoid paying full price when shopping online. I’ve gathered those tips here and hope that you will find them useful, if not earth shattering.
I know, I know. Not one of your virtues. I feel you. However! If you can play the waiting game, you will end up saving money. Especially when it comes to bigger price items (rugs, furniture, boots-with-the-fur, etc.). Almost all retailers have ‘Friends & Family’ sales a few times a year (google F&F and the store name to find out when), and almost all places have major sales around the holidays. And we’re not just talking the token Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales. Many stores have sales on random holidays like Labor Day and Columbus Day. What better way to celebrate the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria than by scoring a rug at 50% off? Additionally, waiting until the week after Christmas will score you the sweetest of sales on clothing.
Sign up for emails
Ok, stay with me here. I know you don’t have patience and I know you hate spam. But if you can handle daily or weekly emails from your favorite stores (either ones you actually shop at or would like to be able to afford to shop at), you’ll get notification of secret sales. I remember signing up for Anthropologie emails and realizing that is how people were affording to buy clothes there–they have 40% off sales all the time! This is especially handy if you’ve been practicing #1 and have been waiting for the right time to finalize a purchase. Most stores offer an initial discount code when signing up for their emails, too.
Download a store’s app
Similar to the above, you’ll get notifications when a flash sale is happening. Only in a more invasive in-your-face-and-on-your-phone manner. Might not be your cup of tea, but it has saved me money. I find it especially useful for times when I know multiple stores carry a specific item I want, but I’m not in a hurry to purchase. If an app pops up with a notification of a really good sale or coupon, then I’m more inclined to go ahead and buy the item.
Promo codes and coupon websites
I know I’m not covering new ground here, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve agonized over the price of an item and teeter-tottered back in forth for days before finally clicking the buy button only to realize I forgot to google for an effing promo code. Coupon websites like RetailMeNot have saved me millions (ok, tens) of dollars–when I remember to use them. I also like the Slickdeals app. My husband, the cheapest SOB you’ll ever meet, actually got me addicted to this site. It’s crowd sourced meaning users submit deals they find around the internet and other users vote those deals up or down based on how good the deal is or if the community has had experience with the retailer/deal before. I furnished my baby’s nursery using furniture deals I found via Slickdeals. My husband also bought enough AA batteries to last us until 2064 thanks to a deal he found. Bless you, Slickdeals.
If you’re really yearning for a specific item, it may be worth it to receive notifications of price drops so you’re not having to waste time visiting the site each day. Shop Style, CamelCamelCamel (that name!), Price!pinx and Slickdeals Price Tracker offer notification alerts whenever a price drops on a selected item.
I know this list isn’t exhaustive and there are other websites and apps than the ones mentioned here, but these are the ones with which I’ve had good first hand experiences. If you know of any glaring tips I missed please, for the love of my wallet, email me toute de suite.