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Shopping online is great for so many reasons — mostly that I get to stay in pj’s — but there’s an art and a science to doing it well.
It’s easy to keep the prices low if you know what to watch out for, so I made a list of DON’Ts for couponers shopping online.
1. Don’t purchase on Amazon without using CamelCamelCamel.
CamelCamelCamel tracks the cost of different items over time so you can see when the best time to buy is to get the best price when shopping on Amazon.
Hot Amazon deals to shop now:
2. Don’t shop without Capital One Shopping — you can’t track price changes yourself!
If you aren’t using Capital One Shopping, stop what you’re doing and sign up ASAP.
Capital One Shopping checks your online purchases (using your email address), and if anything you bought drops in price, they’ll do their best to get you the difference.
TIP: If you’re not sure about giving them access to your email, set up a free email account to use for all your online shopping.
3. Don’t check out right after filling your cart — wait for special discounts.
Some online stores like Kate Spade will notice unpurchased items sitting in your cart, usually after 48 hours, and will send you a coupon code to encourage your purchase.
Sure, that means you’ll have to wait to click that satisfying “buy” button, but you save between 10% – 25%!
4. Don’t pay for shipping — ever.
Amazon Prime’s 2-day free shipping ruined me for paying for shipping ever again. And these days, there’s no reason to.
Plenty of online stores offer straight-up free shipping. With others, you have to work the system a little.
Lots of other stores offer free ship-to-store, which just means you’ll have to take a quick trip for pickup.
Check your store’s shipping policy before you check out. You may have to hit a minimum purchase total to get free shipping (filleritem.com is a great help), or you may have to throw in a certain item.
5. Don’t skip out on ShopRunner if you have American Express, MasterCard, or PayPal to get free shipping.
ShopRunner allows you to get free 2-day shipping and free returns at a ton of popular online stores, including Bloomingdales, Saks Off 5th, Under Armour, Fanatics, and more.
And you get can get a free membership to ShopRunner if you’re already a customer of American Express, have a World or World Elite Mastercard, or have a PayPal account. You can get a 1-year membership for free if you’re a Chase Card member. Everyone else gets three months free before a $79 annual fee.
Related: Stores That Offer Free Shipping with No Minimum
6. Don’t check out before using Honey to find coupons.
Honey searches through a vast database of coupon codes to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
Just install the Honey extension into your browser, click the icon when checking out online, and enjoy the savings.
7. Don’t wait until the last minute to order something.
Even guaranteed shipping can be late once in a while. Your best bet is to plan ahead, especially shipping during the holidays when delivery services are at their busiest.
TIP: Retailers may sometimes reward you for planning ahead, like with Macy’s “No Hurry” shipping offer around the holidays.
8. Don’t pay full price when you can use discounted gift cards on your online orders.
You can buy discounted gift cards on Gift Card Granny and Raise for an average of 5% – 15% savings while you’re shopping online.
If you have gift cards you’ll never use, you can sell them on the same site to get money back.
9. Don’t forget to download the KCL app to find the best deals online.
We keep track of all the great deals and offers and put ’em in one place! Download The Krazy Coupon Lady app to easily find the latest deals at all the stores you love.
10. Don’t miss out on free coupons — sign up for stores’ newsletters.
Almost all online retailers have some form of newsletter these days, and many of them include some kind of coupon for signing up.
Signing up for their newsletters is also the best way to get a heads-up when the sales are coming and know the best times to shop.
TIP: Text DEALS to 57299 and be the first to know about the hottest deals each day from the team at The Krazy Coupon Lady.
11. Don’t start shopping without going through Ibotta.
Downloading the Ibotta app is one of my favorite ways to save money when I’m shopping online.
Stores like Target, Walmart, and tons more offer cash back for in-app purchases. You can also redeem offers found on the app when you shop in store.
Related: Here’s everything you need to know to get started with Ibotta.
12. Don’t shop online on days other than Tuesday and Thursday for the best savings.
Tuesdays and Thursdays tend to have the best discounts on your favorite online stores.
But there’s always a day with the best deals on certain items. Check out my list of these!
13. Don’t forget to sign up for Amazon Family to save up to 20% on diapers, baby food, and more.
Amazon Prime members can sign up for Amazon Family for free just by filling out a couple of questions about their little ones.
14. Don’t shop online before clearing your browser history and deleting cookies.
Some online retailers will hide coupons and deals by tracking your browsing habits.
To outsmart retailers and find missing discounts, delete cookies, clear your browser history, and open a private window.
Related: Here’s how to find cheap flights in 2023 (hint: you’ll want to clear your cookies, too).
15. Don’t worry about missing deals on eBay and Etsy using the IFTTT app.
I can use IFTTT for online shopping to set up alerts for items I’m looking for on eBay and Etsy for a certain price.
When something becomes available, I get a notification so I never miss a deal.
16. Don’t wait until Cyber Monday for great holiday deals.
Online deals are so good these days that you actually can avoid shopping in store altogether on Black Friday — even at Walmart.
But don’t wait for Cyber Monday. Even though there are deals to be had there, many of the best Black Friday deals are available online (and start as early as October). Jump on it!