Ultimate Online Shopping Hacks – How to Save Money in Every Store

We love helping shoppers save money when shopping online. To ensure you always get the best possible deal, no matter where you shop, we're sharing our ultimate list of online shopping hacks – including many you won't find published anywhere else.

Try these online shopping hacks the next time you add an item to your cart. You never know where you might save some money, as discounts can come from the most unexpected sources.

Use Coupons!

The first and probably most popular way to save money is coupons. Almost all online stores offer them, and usually, you don't even have to look hard. Major retailers often offer a discount coupon when you visit their site, though sometimes they are tied to conditions, i.e., you must spend a certain amount to use the coupon.

We always recommend quickly searching for coupons when you reach the checkout page. Often, you'll find a code shared by another shopper, and it's undoubtedly one of the quickest ways to save.

Sign-Up Hacks

Abandon Your Cart

Online stores don't like it when you abandon your cart, and they'll do almost anything to convince you to buy everything you've left in the cart. This often includes sending an exclusive discount code you wouldn't get any other way, so abandoning your cart can help you save money when shopping online.

Here's how it works: Add everything you need to your cart and start the checkout process. Proceed until you get to the payment. Once there, close the tab – but make sure you've entered your contact details or that you're logged into the store. Wait a bit, and with a bit of luck, you'll find an email in your inbox with an exclusive discount if you go back and complete your purchase.

Create an Account or Subscribe to Their Newsletter

If you're shopping in an online store for the first time, you're likely offered a discount code if you register as a customer. This is pretty straightforward, just use your email address and set a password to create an account.

Alternatively, some stores don't even require an account – just enter your email address when they ask you to subscribe to the newsletter, and the first email you receive usually contains a discount for your next order.

Many stores are willing to give you a discount to get you on their email marketing list, but you can always unsubscribe later to avoid a full inbox.

Get the Deal Again with a New Identity

You might have thought about it, but nothing stops you from using a different email address to get the same discount again. Just don't overdo it. Some stores technically notice you're the same person and block you.

Make sure you're logged out of your first account if you created one, and you might even need to open the store's website in incognito mode or private browsing to use a store's sign-up bonus for the second time.

Social Media Shopping Hacks

Just Ask

It's amazing how successful you can be by simply asking, following the motto: "If you don't ask, you don't get." So, if you come across an online store with live chat, don't hesitate to ask about current discount promotions. Often, we even get discount codes made specially for us, just because we took the initiative. This strategy costs you nothing but a few seconds of your time and can lead to significant savings in the end.

Check Social Media Profiles

If a store has a social media account on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok, there's a good chance it's used to post active sales or discounts.

Checking these profiles is a good way to see if there's an active discount on any of the store's products. These will likely appear in newer posts.

Price Comparison

Look Around - Check Alternative Marketplaces

If you find a product you like, it's not always the best idea to buy it right away in the store where you found it. Often, you can find the same item on Amazon or Ebay for a lower price. Of course, this requires a bit of time and patience if you do this for every product you like, but in the end, you'll likely save a lot of money, so it's worth it in the long run.

Also, don't believe that Amazon always offers you the best price. Often, you can find items on sale for a lower price directly in a brand's own online store.

Use a Price Alert Tool

There are a few handy tools that inform you when a product falls below a certain price. This is very useful because often we see a product and think to ourselves, "If this were 30% cheaper, I'd buy it." Well, with these tools, when that 30% discount arrives, you get a notification or email.

Compare Prices with Google Shopping

While Google Shopping isn't the first tool of choice for many, it's still a great way to get the same product from different other stores or marketplaces. Google Shopping compares products from thousands of stores, including many you probably wouldn't think of on your own.

To make matters even better, you see the prices almost immediately, so you don't have to waste time visiting multiple other sites - everything is there, in one place, neatly organized. All you have to do is find the store that ships to your location and has the lowest price.

Take Advantage of a Store's Price Guarantee

Many stores offer this, but not many shoppers take advantage of it. Here's how it works: if you can show a retailer that you can get a product cheaper elsewhere, they'll match the lower price so you buy it from them - often with an extra discount! This way, they make a sale, and you get a lower price, so it's a win-win situation for both.

Amazon Shopping Hacks

Shop on the Outlet Page

Amazon's Outlet page offers a variety of overstock and discounted products to choose from, all organized by category. Here, you'll find heavily discounted items that are usually new but offered at lower prices. You can really find everything here, including clothing, electronics, household supplies, and car accessories.

Shop on the Coupon Page

Like the Outlet page, the Coupon page offers certain items that come with a pre-applied coupon. All you have to do is find the item you like, click "Redeem Coupon," and then place the item in your cart while shopping. The coupon's discount is automatically applied at checkout.

Save Money on Shipping Costs

Pick Up Items in Store or at a Pickup Point

If you have some time, why not pick up your items in the store, even if you ordered them online? By being your own courier, you save on shipping costs.

Many stores also offer a discount on shipping if you do the last bit of the delivery yourself. Check the shipping discount option to a "pickup point" at checkout, and besides the saving, you often get your purchases faster than if you had them delivered all the way to your doorstep.

Check for Free Shipping Thresholds

Many online retailers offer free shipping or free express shipping if you spend a certain amount. Of course, the amount varies depending on the retailer, and there are some other factors to consider, such as your location or the weight and size of the products.

However, it's worth checking the shipping details page of the retailer where you're buying, as this should give you an idea of how much you need to spend. Additionally, some retailers have a "Spend X amount more for free shipping," so your calculation is made for you, and you know how much more you need to spend.

Don't Always Fall for Free Shipping

Free shipping is nice, but it's not always free, per se. Often, you'll find that a store advertising free shipping has increased the prices for their products to compensate for the shipping costs. This way, you pay the same amount, if not more, but think you're getting free shipping and saving money.

Instead, if shipping is the deciding factor between buying your items in one store or another, proceed to the shipping page at checkout and check the total price in both stores. This way, you'll know if you're really getting free shipping or if you're paying more than you should.

Credit Card Savings Hacks

Use a Store Credit Card

Some online retailers offer their own brand-specific credit cards. In some cases, it's a card you can only use in their store, in other cases, it's a regular credit card that offers you rewards and discounts when you use it in a specific store. Either way, if you shop frequently at certain retailers, it's worth considering.

Take Advantage of Cashback on Your Credit Card

You'll need to check with your credit card company, but some offer you cashback on your purchases. Whether it's at a specific retailer or for online shopping in general, it's good to have an idea of how much you could save.

Check Credit Card Offers

Like cashback, some credit card companies offer you discounts at certain retailers. Of course, this is at the discretion of your credit card company, but it usually involves significant discounts that are limited to the customers of that company. It's definitely worth checking if your credit card company offers something like this and taking advantage of it if so.

Take Advantage of Credit Card Insurances and Warranties

This isn't technically a way to save money, but some credit card providers offer you bonuses on purchases. For example, you might get free (or discounted) insurance on electronics you pay for with your credit card. If something happens to them, you save quite a bit on repairs. This sometimes also applies to things like extended warranties for products, mobile phone screen insurances, and travel insurances if you buy plane tickets with your credit card.

Take Advantage of Credit Card Price Drop Protection

Price drop protection is something many retailers have recently started offering, but it's also something we see from credit card companies. It essentially acts as a price guarantee and works similarly to price matching. Instead of comparing the price with another retailer, you need to keep an eye on the price of the product on the retailer's website.

What credit card companies do is give you a timeframe, whether it's a week, a month, or another period, in which, if the price of the product drops, you get refunded the difference. If you buy an item for $100 and it's reduced to $70 within a day or two, you get the difference refunded. This might not happen often, but when it does, you won't regret the purchase of the item earlier.

More Online Shopping Hacks

Check for Refurbished or Used Items

Refurbished or used can sometimes mean the item was only taken out of the packaging and then returned. Often, they're essentially new but available at a significant discount.

Of course, not every refurbished or used product will be in this state, so you'll need to search on websites like eBay, Amazon, and Google Shopping for items in a condition suitable for you.

Join a Rewards Program

Online retailers that offer a rewards program usually make it worth your while to join. Sure, you might not save money directly through a typical discount, but you get something back and can use the rewards to save on future purchases or get exclusive discounts that otherwise no one has.

Participate in a Referral Program

A referral program at online retailers works just like any other referral program - every time someone makes a purchase through your referral link, you get something back. Some retailers give you discounts on the entire range, while others give you a gift card or something else you can use to your advantage. Either way, it costs you nothing to try, and you can potentially save money.

Subscribe and Save

If you regularly buy products like pet food, cleaning products, or personal care items, you can often get solid discounts if you subscribe. Of course, you need to choose a retailer that supports a subscription, and if you come across one, it's simple to do the math. Check how much of a particular product you buy per month and see if a subscription for the same amount is cheaper. If so, go for it, it will definitely make a noticeable difference, especially in the long run.

If you're not tied to a specific retailer, you can look for "Subscribe and Save" products on Amazon - you'll come across some interesting options, some of which might work perfectly for you.

Check Cashback Websites

In addition to your credit card company, there are special websites that offer a cashback service. In most cases, there are no significant differences, but if you use such a site for a while, it adds up, and you get quite a bit back.

There are many options, but the most well-known is probably Rakuten. You can register with both and take advantage of all the benefits you get by using this account for online shopping.

Online Communities

You're probably not the first person wanting to get a certain product at a discounted price. And more often than not, there's someone better than you at finding that discount. The best saving solution is often to let someone else do the work for you - stand on the shoulders of giants.

That's why online communities like Ozbargain and Slickdeals are created - they're communities full of people who know how to get the absolute best deals for a product. They know how to combine coupons, discounts, cashback offers, and various other deals to get the best out of it, and you'll very likely find something that saves you more money than you initially thought.

Look for Military, Veterans, or Student Discounts

The last of my online shopping hacks concerns military and student discounts. If you belong to one of these groups, whether you're a veteran or a student, many retailers offer discounts that are only for you. You'll need some sort of proof that you're a member of one of these groups, but once you do, you get discounts that otherwise no one has.