Shopping online is great for so many reasons — mostly that I get to stay in PJs — 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 shop without Paribus — you can’t track price changes yourself!
Paribus checks your online purchases (using your email address), and if anything you bought drops in price, they’ll get you the difference — credited to your account.
TIP: Paribus is totally safe, but 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.
2. 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%!
3. Don’t pay for shipping — ever.
Amazon Prime’s two-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 site-to-store delivery, 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 (for example, any beauty item purchase at Macy’s gets you free shipping).
4. Don’t skip out on ShopRunner if you have American Express, MasterCard, or PayPal to get free shipping.
ShopRunner allows you to get free shipping at a ton of popular online stores including RayBan, Kate Spade and more.
American Express and MasterCard customers can get this for free. PayPal users have one year free, and everyone else gets three months free before a $79 annual fee.
5. 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.
6. 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 the Monday before Thanksgiving). Jump on it!
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 when it comes to the holidays when delivery services are at their busiest.
TIP: That Paribus app I mentioned earlier? Yeah, if your Prime shipping is late, they’ll negotiate to get you an Amazon credit!
Paribus compensates us when you sign up for Paribus using the links we provided.
8. Use discounted gift cards on your online orders.
If you have gift cards you’re never going to use, you can sell them on the same site to get money back.
9. Download the KCL app to find the best deals online.
10. Don’t miss out on coupons — sign up for stores’ newsletters.
Almost all online retailers have some form of a newsletter and many include some kind of a coupon for signing up.
This is the best way to get a heads up when the sales are coming and know the best times to shop.
11. 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.
12. 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 cashback in-app purchases. You can also redeem offers found on the app by adding them to your offers.
13. Don’t shop online on days other than Tuesday and Thursday for the best savings.
These two days 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!
14. 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 free, just by filling out a couple questions about their little ones.
15. 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.
Delete cookies and clear your browser history and open a private window to find missing discounts.
16. 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.