Modern retail is full of deals –
IF you know where to look.
But between dynamic pricing…
And hidden coupons…
The good news is, with a bit of know-how you can still avoid paying too much.
Here’s how you can get those cart totals to come on down.
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70 % of the time we make purchases on impulse. If you're not thinking ahead, you don't even know what deals you're missing out on.
Guys, keep a shopping list, know what you want to buy. Be aware of seasonal trends, sales, and special offers.
By thinking ahead and simply planning for your purchases, you can guarantee that you'll save a lot of money over the long run.
#2. Shop On The Right Days Of The Week
Most online retailers offer the best prices between Wednesday and Friday. In brick and mortar stores, markdowns often occur between noon on Friday and noon on Saturday.
Statistical data can show you the best days to buy things whose prices fluctuate – like gas and airline tickets – in your area. Keep in mind that they may not be what you’ve heard in the past. Pricing trends change as often as the market.
#3. Give Your Info To The Brands You Love
If you love a brand, don’t be afraid to get on their email list, text notifications, or social media feed to get discounts.
If you buy a lot from a certain retailer anyway, keeping up with them online can make a difference in your overall spending simply because you’ll catch more of their discounts as they’re made available. Just make sure it doesn’t become a temptation to shop unnecessarily.
#4. Leverage The Wisdom Of Crowds
Find good forums and other websites that compile information on deals. There are plenty of great websites designed to save you money.
Try a web browser extension like Honey that automatically finds and applies the best coupon to your shopping cart.
As a consumer, your best allies are other consumers. Forums are a great way to not only find more discounts but find out which discounts and offers are worth it. It’s a great way to stay informed about what you’re spending your money on.
#5. Ask For A Discount – Even If You Don't Qualify
If you’re eligible, don’t be afraid to ask for a senior, student, or veteran discount. Some retailers can provide them, but only if you specifically ask – so speak up!
If there isn't an obvious discount available, ask for a discount anyway. If you get the right person on the phone or by email they may offer something up regardless.
#6. Find The Hidden Store Wifi Discount
Some stores will offer a digital discount code for shoppers in their brick-and-mortar locations via their local wifi network.
Log in to their wifi, often you'll find a secret discount hiding just behind the security wall.
Just show the cashier so they can subtract it from your total.
#7. Promote Brands On Social Media
If you like a product, don’t just tell friends in person – put it in writing (and in public) on social media too. You can often get discounts on name brands in exchange for social media feedback, especially if you have a substantial follower base. Make sure to mention their official account for best results.
#8. Avoid Dynamic Pricing
When you buy online, especially from large shopping sites that aggregate products from several retailers, sites may use your browser’s location data to adjust prices to your local “cost of living” as their algorithms understand it. This can result in items being marked up, especially if you live in a major city or another area that gets a lot of tourism.
Incognito mode hides your location data, usually defaulting you to lower prices. Clearing your cache and cookies also helps shake off dynamic pricing algorithms and find you better deals.
#9. Use Price Comparison Websites and Price Drop Notifications
Use price comparison websites, or services which will track the price of a product to find the best deal.
These pull pricing data from all over the web so you can compare. You can install portals on your browser which will search for a lower price every time you buy something.
Likewise, some apps will track a product and notify you when the price goes down.
This pairs well with the point below…
#10. Ask For A Price Match – Even Shopping Online
Especially with online shopping, sometimes you find a place that you just really love doing business with. Their shipping is fast, their service is great…but, sometimes, their price is just a bit higher.
Don’t assume you have to settle. Contact their customer service department and ask if they match prices. Some companies won’t, but if you can get the best price with a retailer you trust, it’ll be worth the trouble.
#11. Stack Your Coupons And Discounts
Although many websites and stores don’t allow coupon stacking, others basically design their discounts with coupon stacking in mind. If you have multiple discounts available, always check if you can use them together for one purchase.
If not, you can always make each item a separate purchase and apply your coupons strategically, but stacking often saves you more money in total.
When you shop online, it can sometimes make a difference what order you apply your discounts in. Always apply percentages off before dollars off – the same percentage of a higher total will save you more money overall.
#12. Pay Attention To The Free Shipping Threshold – Buy A Little More To Save The Shipping
When shopping online, it helps to buy in bulk. You’re probably familiar with a number of sites that offer free shipping over a certain cart total
#13. Know The Return Policy
Make sure they have a good return policy. Again, this is especially essential online where you’re buying sight unseen, but it’s important anytime you’re shopping. The best way to save money is to avoid wasting it on things you won’t use.
#14. Abandon Your Shopping Cart
If you’ve given them your email, fill your online cart, go through the checkout process, and then leave it right before you click Buy. Often you’ll get a discount code in your email to entice you to finish the sale.
Remember to log into the website before using this trick. They can't send you a discount if they don't know who to send it to.
#15. Use Reward Cards
If you have a reward card for the company you’re buying from,use it. You can often save 10-20%.
If you’re buying on credit make sure you know what kind of rewards your card offers. Different cards often offer miles, hotel points, cash back, etc. There are plenty of reward cards to choose from.
Sometimes you can also get a deal by using gift cards – Retailers often offer promotions where gift cards are sold at less than their face value, keep an eye out for third party retailers offering discounted gift cards as well.
#16. Find Out If They'll Ship To Your Home While Travelling
If you buy something on a trip, see if the online arm of a store will ship the item to your house to save on checking extra bags at the airport.
On top of saving the extra charge at the airport, you can sometimes save a bit on in-state taxes, and may even qualify for free shipping at a certain transaction value.
It depends on the location and the size of the item, but this option can be much cheaper.
#17. Check Your Receipts – DONT Get Overcharged
There's no avoiding error. 1 in 20 times you WILL be overcharged for your purchase.
Get into the habit of checking your receipt immediately after making your purchase. If you were overcharged it's easier to have it corrected right away.
Overcharging is surprisingly common at large retailers – there are a lot of moving parts to a store with hundreds of items, all of whose prices are subject to change. It pays to make sure your receipts reflect the advertised price.
#18. Retroactive Discounts?
If you forget to apply a discount code you can often get it retroactively applied to your order – but only if you still have the receipt.
Likewise, if your item goes on sale after you purchase, many retailers offer price protection and will refund you the balance…but only if you can provide a receipt.
Hang onto them for at least two weeks. You can usually sort this out by calling customer service if you don’t want to go back to the store.
#19. Hold Companies Accountable – Get Credited For Late Delivery
If you've paid for 1 or 2 day shipping, make sure you get it!
If a company delivers late, contact their customer service and they will often refund you the shipping costs. Express shipping isnt cheap, get what you're owed.
#20. Miss The Sale? Get A Price Adjustment
If you purchase an item and they run a sale on it a week later, you can often approach the company and they will retroactively match the sale price on what you purchased. Just make sure you have the item and proof of purchase available.
In conclusion… don't assume the price you see is the price you have to pay. Don't think automated shopping and big businesses have killed the art of haggling. It's simply taken on a different form. When you know how to find and take advantage of discounts, you know how to drive a hard bargain.
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