Online shopping guide. Wow. Could it be any broader? The truth is, I’m a save-aholic. Ever since the internet was a thing in Portugal – 20 years ago – online shopping took the first steps in my life. Yes, it was not safe, at all, for years. But I’ve been buying things online for at least 15 years and I’ve learned a lot.
A few years ago I wrote a post series on How to buy online (link here) and a couple years later, another one called The Ultimate Guide for Saving Money while shopping for Christmas (link here). They could still hold true today but a lot of the tools I mentioned then, I don’t use anymore.
The true key to online savings is, research and focus.
Yes. If you don’t have focus, you’ll get lost in the sea of discounts, offers and gift guides, and will end up spending a whole lot more than you wanted.
This is what I recommend.
1. Make a list of everyone you want to buy for and budget a specific amount to spend.
2. If you don’t have an idea of what you want to buy for someone, search on Google (even specific phrases like “what to buy for a teenage cousin” tend to get responses) and browse a couple gift guides. If you already know what you want to buy, skip this step. You’ll get confused and be wanting to buy more and more. Usually, our first idea is the best.
3. Redo your list with the items you want to search online and the maximum amount you want to spend on them.
4. Search for each and every item on the websites I’ll list next.
My go-to online shopping routine
If I don’t have a clue of where I can find the item I’m looking for, I start by browsing Google. Google and specifically Google Shopping are the best tools to localize the best shops to buy anything. Now, Google Shopping is not the best for some countries, and I also use a Portuguese specific website, called KuantoKusta. Not only these websites give you the online stores that sell the item you’re looking for, but they also show the price tags for each (and sometimes compare them).
When I already know the store that I need to buy the items from, I always use some sort of discount and cashback combo.
It’s 2017 and virtually everyone that buys things online have heard of discount and cashback websites. We have loads of them right now, some of them, regional.
I DO NOT buy a single thing without checking if the online shops I’m using offer some sort of cashback or discount. My absolute favorite sites to do that are Ebates, RetailMeNot, Quidco (for UK/European users) and BeRuby (for Portuguese users). They are really easy to search and I’ve earned a lot from them over the years.
Also, and the mothership of all savings, I check every item on Amazon. Most things I end up buying there because the price is usually lower. And if they’re not, free shipping or Prime shipping will do the trick.
Now, these are tips directed at Holiday Shopping, but that can be used all year. Ideally, you should also be using deals provided during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as these cashback websites also up their game during that time. But if you end up passing those, this the most helpful path to go.
A different path (and one that takes certainly more time) is through discounted products websites. Showroomprive, HauteLook, Zulily, and ThredUp are just a few of them – my favorite ones – and you can find a lot of items at lower prices than you would in-store or online. But beware – always confirm if the price listed is actually the lowest online. It sometimes isn’t.
If you follow all these tips, you should be able to Save the Most and Get the Best items! 😀
The next posts will feature gift guides. So check back if you still need any ideas!
Hope you like what you read and if you did, share it with someone that needs to read it also! 😉
PS – some of the links I showed are affiliate links and that means I get either a discount or a small credit if you buy through my link, but you’re free to not go through my links! 🙂 I do thank you a lot if you go through them, though.