Online shopping makes it easier than ever to get a good deal – whether it’s using comparison sites, getting alerts on new savings, or taking a scanner everywhere you go on your phone to make sure you’re getting the best price no matter where you are.
We’ve put together a short guide on how to save money on just about anything you might be looking for online. And remember, to be a conscious consumer, you also should do a little bit of research to make sure that your good deal really is a good deal.
If you’re shopping for a specific product, the best place to start is with price comparison sites. A good place to start is with well-known and reliable giants like PriceGrabber and Google Shopping. Each of these sites are fully searchable, and list products from well-known and reliable retailers like Amazon, NewEgg, Walmart and more. It also lists products available at more obscure sites, but luckily each retailer is rated by other users like you. One advantage that Google Shopping has over PriceGrabber is that it will not only point out online deals, but will also let you know where you can find a good deal at your local brick and mortar stores.
There are other ways to compare prices, besides doing a search on a site. You can also install a browser extension that alerts you when it finds better deals on any given product you’re viewing. InvisibleHand is a Firefox/Chrome/Safari extension that will get you good deals on products, as well as addressing your travel needs with flight, hotel and car rental deals. PriceBlink, available for Firefox/Chrome/Safari/Internet Explorer users is a solid alternative to InvisibleHand.
There’s no reason to limit your comparison shopping to only when you are at a computer. A smartphone equipped with a camera is all that you need to scan products while shopping to make sure you can find the very best deals possible.
ShopSavvy, (reviewed in-depth here by MakeUseOf’s Justin Pot) is a free iOS, Android, Windows Mobile app that allows you to scan barcodes on products and shows you where else it’s available – both online and in local stores. If you’re a faithful Amazon user and want to make sure Amazon doesn’t have a better deal than your brick and mortar store – you can do just that with the Amazon mobile app.
Deals and Coupons
Finding deals and coupons online can be a piece of cake if you bookmark a few sites. If you’re all about using coupons online, you’ll love RetailMeNot and CouponCabin. Not only do they offer up coupon and promo codes for use online, they also feature ways to take the savings offline too. RetailMeNot has a section for printable coupons, while CouponCabin allows US users to enter their zip code or choose their state in the , and you can find savings in your area.
Aside from actual coupons, there are a couple of good sites worth following to keep up with online deals and savings. Dealzon is jam-packed with good deals, free apps, and you can subscribe to an email list to get all the deals sent straight to your inbox. Dealnews gets you the best deals sent to your inbox, using the site’s free mobile apps and extensions, or alerts via email, RSS and more. Other sites worth checking out include FatWallet and SlickDeals.
With sites like IFTTT and mobile apps that can notify you of new deals, there’s no reason you ever have to miss a good deal again. Kannon Yamada has written a great guide on how to use RSS feeds and IFTTT recipes to get notified of all the great online deals that are just waiting for you. It doesn’t end there. On IFTTT, simply searching the word deal will turn up a ton of interesting recipes that will notify you of all kinds of deals you might not have even thought of. From Amazon Deals, Gizmodo Deals, Woot deals and more, you’re bound to save a ton just by using IFTTT. We’ve also highlighted some pretty nifty IFTTT money-saving recipes here.
If you’re looking for alerts on more than just apps, be sure to check out PricePinx.
We know all about the daily deals sites like Groupon and Living Social, but that’s not the only way you can get a good deal. First off, you can always search for all the deals aggregated on one page with Bing’s Offers page. The site detects your location and you can find all the best daily deals in your area, with just a few clicks of the button.
If you want to get all the deals for your area in your inbox on a daily basis, check out the aggregator Dealize.
Are you getting a good deal?
If you’ve found what you think is a good deal, it’s also worth asking yourself, are you actually getting a good deal? With hotels, a great site to check out is The Suitest which allows you to search for hotel rooms by location. Once you narrow down your results to the price range and amenities, The Suitest will rate the deal and compare the actual price to the usual price (how much you would normally pay for this room at this time of year) and the fair value price (how much the room should cost based on location, amenities and dates.
Another tip we have for how to save money is to do a little research before actually buying the deal. If you can find a site for the product or service, it would be worth checking out their online prices, and make sure it really is a marked down price from the usual offerings.
Do you have any tips or tricks to make sure that you’re always getting a good deal? Let us know in the comments.