Let’s face it: We’ve all been working on our online shopping game this year. With shopping for everything — groceries, clothes, household goods — from the comfort of your home being the new norm, there’s no better time to make sure you’re shopping smart.

Here are my online shopping secrets.

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1. Buy price-y replacement items — like Brita filters, Sonicare heads, and electronics — on Amazon.

Instead of buying price-y replacement parts from the retailer, look for them on Amazon.

You can usually find generics that work just as well as the name brand; plus, on some items, you can use the Subscribe & Save feature to earn an additional 5% off.

Some examples:

A six-pack of Brita pitcher filters
From Brita: $24.99
From Amazon: $18.99

Sonic replacement toothbrush head
From Sonicare: $39.95 for one
From Amazon: $15.96 for eight

One two-meter USB-C Charge Cable for a MacBook charger
From Apple: $19
From Amazon: $13.99


RELATED: Top Generic Products You Can Get for Dirt Cheap on Amazon


2. Use Google Shopping to compare prices across multiple online retailers.

If you want to see what other sites are charging for an item that you believe to be marked up, or if you want to see if you can get it for cheaper anyway, one quick method is to search for the item on Google Shopping.

You’ll see competing retailers offering the same or similar products with different prices. This can help you gauge what a fair price may look like for that item online.


3. Sign up for Paribus and get compensated if your Amazon item arrives late.

When you sign up for Paribus, you get to kick back and let them monitor your shipments. If your Amazon shipment with a guaranteed delivery date arrives late, they’ll notify you and provide information to contact Amazon customer support for compensation.

Paribus monitors many stores (Target, Costco and Old Navy, for example).

Paribus compensates us when you sign up for Paribus using the links we provided.


4. Compare cash-back apps/websites to get the best deal.

I recently compared RetailMeNot and Rakuten and found that, on average, RetailMeNot had better deals — by a smidge. Here are a few examples:

  • Macy’s — 12% cash back through RetailMeNot, compared to 10% through Rakuten
  • Kohl’s — 3% cash back through RetailMeNot, compared to 2% through Rakuten
  • Gap — 10% cash back through RetailMeNot, compared to 8% through Rakuten
  • Nike — Both sites offered 10% cash back



5. Look for discounted gift cards from sites like Raise and Gift Card Granny.

I’ve said it like 3,546 times, and I’ll say it again: Use gift cards on all your purchases to save big.

I fill my cart online, then once I know my subtotal, I head to Raise.com to find a gift card in the amount of my purchase. My average savings usually falls between 5 and 15%.

You can also set alerts to find out when new gift cards at your favorite retailers become available. If I want to buy Kohl’s gift cards at 9% off or more, I set an alert and then get an email every time a new gift card is added.


6. Always aim to get free shipping.

Many retailers — like Zappos, Billabong, Madewell — don’t have a minimum purchase requirement for free shipping.

Here are 26 stores that do free shipping with no minimum spend.

RELATED: Shipping Hacks Every Online Shopper Should Know


7. Use FillerItem.com to help you reach Amazon’s minimum free shipping amount.

If you’re not an Amazon Prime member, you have to meet a minimum $35 purchase threshold to get free shipping. FillerItem.com will help you spend the exact amount you need in order to reach that minimum.

So instead of adding something like a $10 book to your cart when you’re $2.46 short of $35, search for $2.46 items at FillerItem.com. It’s cheaper than paying for shipping, and you get something for your money.


8. Check CamelCamelCamel to be sure your Amazon item is a good deal.

CamelCamelCamel will show you a history of prices on your item so you can see if you’re buying it at a good price. Sometimes you can even see trends — like what times of year your item tends to be the cheapest — so you know what time of year to buy.


9. Add Honey to your Chrome browser and find promo codes with zero effort.

Honey is super low effort. Once you add it to your search browser, it’ll search for codes every time you’re checking out.

It’s awesome when Honey finds a code, but your mileage may vary since there are many times when Honey strikes out.


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