Love post-Thanksgiving bargains? These four easy tricks will ensure you spend less than ever this year and snap up all those holiday deals.
Focus on marked down products.
For more than a year, stores were experiencing shortages in inventory due to supply chain issues, so they over-ordered merchandise to fill in gaps on the shelves. But the snags have been fixed and now stores are inundated with goods they want sold before the holiday season ends. The result: Prices on certain items will be even lower than expected! These include beauty products, clothing, electronics, fitness gear, furniture, kitchen appliances, and toys.
Another way to keep more cash in your pocket: Visit consignment and thrift stores, which are overflowing with products right now due to a substantial uptick in folks selling their unwanted, gently used apparel, furniture, and other items.
You may have heard that many online stores raise the price they charge you for products based on your online shopping habits, which they uncover by tracking “cookies” — digital footprints that follow you around the internet. And now some stores are also charging you higher prices based on whether you have a coupon code plug-in enabled on your browser (like Honey and Rakuten) to make up for the discounts your plug-in finds.
The easy way to avoid an inflated price tag while also taking advantage of coupon codes: Use two browser windows! To do: Use your usual browser window and any coupon plug-in to shop for items at a favorite online store and put the merchandise in your virtual shopping cart. Then let your plug-in find a coupon for you. But don’t complete your checkout. Now, open a private browser window by clicking the menu on your web browser (typically three dots in a row on the upper right-hand side of the page) and selecting the “Incognito” or “InPrivate” option. This hides your digital tracks and doesn’t attach your coupon plug-in. In this private window, visit the same store and check the prices of the items you put in your virtual cart. If they’re lower, buy them in this window. Then look at the coupon code your plugin found on the first window and enter it manually here. You’ll get the lower price along with the coupon discount for double savings!
‘Abandon’ a cart.
You probably already know that when you leave products in your virtual cart without buying them, many stores will email or text you a coupon code to encourage you to complete the sale, saving you up to 20 percent. That’s why it’s always a good idea to sign up for free accounts to online stores so they know where to send your code. What you may not have known? Research shows that sending coupons to customers who leave items behind results in a whopping 300 percent more sales, so private sellers on eBay and Etsy are now sending them out to those who abandoned their carts as well. To receive the coupons, be sure to sign up for a free account and include your email address and phone number.
Check out your credit card company’s deals.
Log on to your credit card’s online account, then look for a link that says “deals” or “offers.” Most credit card companies partner with retailers to get exclusive savings for their cardholders, which could be a percentage off products, a certain amount of cash off an entire purchase, more rewards points for every dollar you spend, or double your usual cash-back bonus. American Express recently offered customers $10 off a purchase of $50 or more from UnderArmour.com. Typically, all it takes to get the deal is clicking a link on the credit card company’s website that takes you straight to the retailer. Use that card to pay, and your savings will be automatically applied at checkout!
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.