photo © 2004 Gareth Saunders | more info (via: Wylio) I am well aware of the instant gratification of shopping. This is a pitfall for some people, myself included. The feeling of just purchasing an item you want, holding it in your hands and the excitement to take it home.
This used to be a huge pitfall for not only myself but for my wallet too. That’s why I turned to online shopping. Not only was I more conscious of what I was buying but I found better deals online!
I’ve kept my favorite online shopping secret under wraps for years now, however, I feel it’s time to share the wealth — or at least the savings! Whenever shopping online: department stores, online stores and even when ordering pizza I check RetailMeNot.com for deals, coupons and savings before adding an item to my shopping cart. I’ve lost count of the hundreds I’ve saved over the years and urge each and everyone of you to utilize the site. If you like saving money that is.
Let me take you through a hypothetical shopping trip….
I’m a sucker for books. In fact, if I didn’t have more self control all of my wages would probably go to Barnes And Noble. But luckily for self control, I limit my book purchases and always look for deals.
I’ve been eyeing the Barnes and Noble “Classic Novels Boxed Set” for some time now and finally decided to purchase the collection. After searching their site I see that they have it in stock!
Their special “online price” for this book (online prices are sometimes lower than In Store prices) is $63.00 (10% off the list price). Not a bad deal. But to see if I can find a better deal I head on over to RetailMeNot.com.
Once on the site I type in “barnesandnoble.com” into the search box. What comes next will change your online shopping experience!
Coupons! Lovely, lovely coupons!
I can look through the list and see if any coupons match my current purchase. The coupons are divided into “Current Special Offers”, “Active Coupons” and “Unreliable Coupons”. I look through the first two categories and can see what they are good towards, when they were added and their percentage of success rate. After using a coupon you can rate the code as “worked” or “didn’t work” – this will help judge the success rate percentages. I see that the current special offer would be my best bet for 10% off my entire order with the specified coupon code.
I copy the code and paste it into the Barnes and Noble “Have a Coupon Code?” box and instantly 10% comes off of my order! My wanted box set will now cost me $56.70. That’s $13.30 off the list price in store. Luckily, Barnes and Noble provides free shipping on a purchase over $25 so $56.70 is my total without tax!
One thing to remember if you’re shopping from a store you have access to locally is to weigh the pros and cons of online savings based on what shipping will come to, although sometimes you can find a coupon for free shipping. If you find coupons for an item but shipping brings the total higher than the in store cost it will save you money to visit the store to pick up the item at regular price if it’s close by.
Shopping online causes you to think about your purchases and your available cash. One of the blessing and curses of online shopping is you don’t have that instant gratification, you have to wait for your item to be sent to you. However, I often find myself truly questioning the necessity of a purchase before hitting submit instead of being impulsive in store. For instance, right now, I got really excited about finding the box set but realize I don’t really need it, so I shan’t be hitting submit. Online shopping will sometimes result in the further questioning of an item once it arrives. You may find once it arrives it’s not something you truly need or not what you had hoped for so you decide to return it. This happens sometimes but your wallet will thank you for the extra thoughts devoted to the purchase.