10 Money Saving Tips for Online Shopping

Today at Online Shopping Australia we've got 10 tips to save money when you're shopping online. From Facebook and Twitter to coupons and comparison shopping these tips will get you saving money in no time.

If you're not hunting around for the best prices online, most of the time you won't find the best price simply by choosing the first set of search results you get. Today, I'm going to show you 10 tips all designed to save you money when shopping online.

1. Like this Page - Facebook Pages

Search the retailers web site for a Facebook link

It's a matter of fact now that social media is here to stay. These days, retailers must have a facebook page setup or at the very least have a twitter account setup in order to appear up to date with the online social scene. Facebook pages are a perfect way for you to hear about the latest deal going at your favorite online store. So while you're busy with the other facebook things, retail stores can let you know of their latest bargain. Good online store facebook pages will send out lots of deals everyday.

Tip: Search the retailers web site for a Facebook link, and "Like" their facebook page. You can then simply watch for bargains and discounts to appear in your status updates until you find interesting.

Why not try it on our Online Shopping Australia Facebook Page 😉

2. Follow the Leaders - Twitter Tweets

Follow the Leaders with Twitter

Twitter is a little different than the multiple things to do at Facebook. With Twitter you can only send 140 characters in one post, maybe post a photo, but not much more. With this in mind retailers need to get to the point. So with Twitter you can get some real bargains, and know exactly what the deal is about before you commit to the click.

Tip: Same as facebook pages, look for the link on the online store web site (beware of imitations when you use search engines) click the "Follow" link on your twitter account and watch the bargains come to your twitter feed.

3. Subscribe to Emails - Bargains to Your Inbox

Bargains to Your Inbox with Emails

This tip would have to be the oldest in Internet history. Subscribe to the retailers newsletters. Here at Online Shopping Australia, I look through hundreds of newsletters from all over the Australian online shopping industry. There are literally thousands of bargains, shipping deals and discounts everyday. Emailed newsletters would have to be the best way for retailers to get their message to us. If you don't want to tell online shops your email address in fear of spam or too many emails, just create a hotmail or another web based email account and use it as your "subscription only email address".

Tip: Subscribe to email newsletters and get the discounts delivered to your inbox.

4. All You Can Eat - RSS Feeds

Eat Summaries of Clearance Categories and Much More with RSS Feeds

What are RSS feeds? Feeds are similar to twitter messages in the sense that they are shorter than an entire product listing at the web site. These feeds can be read by programs such as 'Reeder" on your iPad or iPhone. Most retailers have feeds setup for particular types of products. For example, here's a link to DealsDirect's RSS feed, and here's our RSS feed. You can see the difference to a normal Internet page, and that's because the page is designed to be read by programs and search engines rather than people.

There's heaps of these programs out there to read these feeds. I use an iPad app called Reeder and it's great for browsing new products or clearance items if the retailer has these pages setup. Here's a link to other feed readers for you to browse through: Windows compatible RSS Feed readers.

Tip: When you see the icon (pictured above left) on your favorite online shopping store, subscribe to the feed. Enjoy the RSS Feed as a one stop, personal place to browse all your favorite shops at once.

5. Clearance, Over Stocked and Reconditioned Categories - Look for Special Categories

The Apple Store Refurbished Category - Down Near the Bottom of the Web Page

When you're at an online shopping store, don't just take the main product listing as the best price. Take a look around the web site and you may find a link to a clearance category.Even better, some retailers and manufacturers offer refurbished models. Apple for example aren't ones to discount their products, but you'll find link at their store to some refurbished versions of the latest Apple products, but at a much cheaper price.

Tip: Search around the site for clearance items and reconditioned products. Save money on items selling for much more at the same store.

6. Same Product, Different Prices - Comparison Shopping

Comparison Shopping - Compare Stock, Compare Prices, Compare Service

Ok, so you have the product you want but before you buy online take a look at a comparison web site. Always check that the online store is selling the product for a competitive price. If you're looking at the same product then sometimes there is no reason to buy it for an inflated price. Comparison web sites like Shopping.com are big sites for comparing the same products across different retailers. You can always do this comparison yourself but it's going to a take a longer time to do it. Shopping comparison web sites make it easy to compare. A word of warning though, comparison sites and cheaper prices are not always the end of a good purchase. Make sure you're buying from a good web site as well.

Tip: Search for your products at shopping comparison web sites and compare the cheapest price, best store review, and cheapest delivery charges.

7. The Coupon Craze - Coupon Codes, Vouchers, Deal Spots

Coupon Codes, Vouchers, Deal Spots, Cut-out Deals

If you're a real bargain hunter you can subscribe to web sites that specialise in finding retailers currently offering coupon deals. These deals include coupons, coupon codes, and vouchers, even the old printable cut-outs. Years ago these types of deals could only found on the back of shopping dockets, but now there's a billion dollar Internet industry for these types of deals and offers. Just search for coupon deals in Australia at Google and you'll see just how many there are.

Tip: Hunt for coupon codes and discount vouchers web sites and subscribe to their emails and RSS feeds.

8. Car Pooling for Online Shoppers - Order Pooling

How do you Start with Order Pooling?

We did a publication about Order Pooling in July, but basically it's about combining your orders with a friend or good neighbour to take advantage of the delivery discounts. If you place your order right, you can save heaps of money on delivery costs. Simply let your friend know you want to place an order and add it to your cart. It should be cheaper than sending the two orders separately.

Tip: Share your shopping cart with a friend or neighbour and spread the delivery costs between you.

9. Ask Me - Hassling Customer Service for Better Prices

An ancient Shopping Technique is Called Haggling

This is must a have tip if you're shopping for expensive items. You see them do it at the stock market, so don't just take that $2000 worth of product at face value. Go haggle customer service for a better price or try get them to throw in a few free things. Haggling is an ancient shopping technique, and when I worked for an online shopping store about 5 years ago I would always get customers calling for better price. There's no harm in asking for a better price. At worse the retailer will say no, and on the plus side, you could save hundreds.

Tip: Anything over $100, ask for a better price!

10. Just Google It - Search Is Your New Shopping Companion

Companion Shopping with Google

Before you're committed to buying online in Australia, make sure you run a search on the product and the web site you're buying the item from. Research is the number one priority for me when I buy something expensive. I'll actually search Google for product reviews first before I go looking for prices. If you don't search for reviews, problems with the product, and generally check that the manufacturer and the retailer is of good quality, you could easily buy something you regret.

Tip: Do your homework and search Google for reviews on the product, manufacturer and retailer. It could save hundreds of dollars and endless amounts of time dealing with poor customer service because of a bad purchase.

These 10 tips on saving money when you shop online will get you discount digging, bargain hunting, and penny pinching in no time at all. Hopefully you will find these tips useful, and I really hope it saves you heaps of money in the long run.

btw: Don't let you're friends mock you for going through process of hunting for a better price, just them know how much you saved in the end 😉

Happy Shopping!

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