In recent years, online shopping has surged in popularity. While there are several reasons for this, convenience is certainly at the top of the list. Online shopping allows you to browse and buy everything from groceries and sundries, to treadmills and makeup in just few clicks. It also allows you to easily compare prices, so you can save money by getting the best deals (to say nothing of saving money on the gas it takes to get to and from brick and mortar stores).
To help you save even more money, here are four simple tips for finding the best coupon codes, increasing your cash back, and ensuring you get the biggest bang for your buck.
To Snag Coupon Codes: Search YouTube
You probably already know to find money-saving coupon codes at free websites
like TheKrazyCouponLady.com and RetailMeNot.com via coupon-finding browser extensions like CouponCabin, Sidekick, and Rakuten. But there’s a lesser-known way to find even more: Head to YouTube and search for a brand, store, or product you love, plus the phrase “coupon code” (for example, “Ulta coupon code”). Then filter your results by date so you’re seeing the most recent coupons first. Online product reviewers with large YouTube followings (more than 10,000 subscribers) often receive exclusive coupon codes in return for promoting brands in their videos, and they share those exclusive codes in said video and video descriptions.
To Get Cash Back: Install a Browser Extension
Bought an item online only to discover the price dropped a few days later? Great news: If you have a Gmail or Yahoo! email account, you can get the price difference refunded to you when you sign up for the Capital One Shopping browser extension (CapitalOneShopping.com). Not only does this free tool give you cash back and coupons that help you save, it also offers a price protection feature that scans your email for online orders, then tracks the prices of items in your orders for up to 30 days after purchase. When the tool detects a price drop, it automatically requests a price adjustment from the vendor. The difference is then refunded back to the card that you used to purchase the item. To enable the price protection feature after signing up, click on your name, go to “Account Settings,” then “Link a mailbox to track your purchases,” and select an email account.
To Save: Upload Product Photos
When you see an item that you love at an online retailer or on social media, you can find out who sells it for the lowest price in seconds by uploading or dragging and dropping a photo of the item to Bing.com/VisualSearch or Images.Google.com. You’ll get a list of products that are the same or similar, along with where they’re sold and their price. Another option: Upload a photo to TrendGetter.com to find similar items sold at Walmart, or to Amazon.com/StyleSnap to find similar clothing at Amazon. To search Etsy, tap the camera feature in the search bar on the Etsy app on iOS devices to upload a photo of your desired item.
To Learn an Item’s History: Click the Blue Price Tag
Knowing an item’s complete price history can help you identify cost trends so you’ll know when the best price will occur. To find out the history of products sold by major retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, and Macys, install the free PayPal Honey browser extension (JoinHoney.com) or the Microsoft Edge browser, and click the blue price tag in the web address bar while shopping. This extension tells you if the price is high or low relative to its price history, thereby alerting to whether you should buy now or wait until later. Better still, if you decide to wait, you can request to be notified when the price drops, so you can snap it up before it sells out!
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.