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This year may have felt semi-apocalyptic, but Black Friday will survive 2020. With a few caveats, of course.
For one, most of us will be shopping from the comfort of your home (and pajamas). Which is why you absolutely need to know these online shopping hacks before you spend a single penny!
From getting cash back for your online shopping purchases to knowing the best time to shop your favorite stores, here are some of the best Black Friday online shopping hacks that could literally save you thousands.
Download the Krazy Coupon Lady app to get the latest online shopping coupons.
1. Use automatic promo code finders to get discounts you would’ve missed.
If you’ve been online shopping without automatic promo code finders, then you’ve been leaving money on the table.
Browser extensions — like Honey, WikiBuy, RetailMeNot, and PriceBlink — are easy for you to install on your computer/laptop and will automatically search the web and apply promo codes to your shopping cart at checkout. There aren’t always valid discounts out there, but if they exist, these sites should find them.
2. Use rebate and cash-back sites to maximize your savings when grocery shopping online.
Ibotta offers are a great way to save in addition to paper coupons. Also, in early May, Ibotta began accepting Walmart grocery pickup e-receipts for their rebates in select markets. KCL confirmed that the Ibotta-Walmart grocery pickup rollout is only the first of many national retailers, coming in the next few weeks.
New users can get a huge bonus just for redeeming their first few offers with Ibotta. There are three welcome offers, and we’re investigating how each of these will play with Grocery Pickup.
Sign up with this Ibotta link to receive up to $20 in bonuses.
- Welcome Bonus #1: Receive a $10 Welcome Bonus for redeeming an in-store offer (Any Brand and Any Item offers excluded)
- Welcome Bonus #2: Receive a $5 Welcome Bonus for redeeming a mobile shopping offer.
- Welcome Bonus #3: A secondary $5 Welcome Bonus for redeeming an in-store or mobile shopping offer.
To be eligible, you must be a new user and you must redeem your bonus offers within the first 30 days.
Add offers from Checkout51 and then tap “Redeem” to take a picture of your receipt.
Take a picture of your receipt and upload it to Fetch Rewards. You’ll get points just for uploading your receipt and Fetch Rewards will automatically add more points if you bought brands they’re currently offering bonus points for.
Snap a picture of your receipt and upload it to Makeena to redeem eligible rebate offers.
Clip coupons in the Coupons.com app, purchase an eligible product, then select the coupon and upload a picture or screenshot of the receipt.
Earn up to 2,500 “kicks” through Shopkick when you buy qualifying products and take a picture of your Kroger receipt. Kicks are points that translate into gift cards when you’ve earned enough of them. You can also earn kicks by scanning products in-store that you don’t intend to buy.
3. Get cash-back on retail, travel, restaurants, and more through Rakuten.
With Rakuten, you choose your store, shop online, and get your cash back by check or PayPal payment. In addition to groceries, Rakuten offers cash back on everything from hotels to sporting goods.
RELATED: Your Ultimate Guide to Rebate Apps
4. Get reimbursed for post-purchase price adjustments via Paribus.
Sign up for Paribus, and they’ll troll your inbox or your credit card statement, track your purchases, alert you of price drops, AND send you a pre-filled out price adjustment form should anything be delayed. All you have to do is send the form to the vendor’s customer service. The best part? Paribus’ tracking service is completely free.
And, if you want even greater coverage, sign up for one of the price-protection credit cards I mentioned above, and sync up the card with Paribus for fully automated price adjustment refunds!
TIP: Paribus can also score you a gift card if your shipment arrives late! Which is definitely going to happen this Black Friday.
Paribus compensates us when you sign up for Paribus using the links we provided.
RELATED: Things You can Always Get for Free
5. Earn free gift cards through Swagbucks.
In addition to Swagbucks’ cash back shopping, the company offers “SB points” for completing surveys, playing games, and even watching content. So, it’s like a hybrid of points and cash back. These points can then be exchanged for gift cards — to Amazon, Target, Walmart, and more — or direct money through PayPal.
Get this amount of cash back for online shopping at:
- 2% at Walmart
- 1% at Sam’s Club
- 4% at Macy’s
- Up to 8% at Home Depot
6. Find out which days are the best to online shop at your favorite stores.
Believe it or not, there are good and bad times to shop online.
Research from Rather-Be-Shopping.com shows that some days really are better for shopping at certain stores — often because there are days when coupons are more often released.
According to their research, Monday is the best day to shop at Staples, you should shop at the Gap on Tuesdays, American Eagle on Thursdays, and so on. Check Rather-Be-Shopping.com for more info.
PRO TIP: Always check KrazyCouponLady.com for the latest online shopping coupons and deals!
7. Abandon your cart to get discount codes via email.
If you’re not in a rush for your retail items, playing hard to get by abandoning your cart is an excellent option.
By not completing the checkout process, most companies will send a tailored follow-up email with discounts for the items you wanted (and still want) to purchase.
By working the system a bit, you’ll be racking up discount codes to your inbox in no time—and with little effort on your part. I’ve had this happen with Etsy, Shein, Overstock, Home Depot, and Popsockets.
Check out our list of sites that are known to offer discounts via email when you abandon your cart.
8. 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 the easy way.
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. Raise sells discounted gift cards and cash back for tons of stores and companies — everything from Kohl’s to Dunkin’ Donuts to Airbnb. The savings usually range from 1% to 10%.
If I want to buy Kohl’s gift cards at 9% off or more, for example, I set an alert and then get an email every time a new gift card is added.
9. Use price comparison tools like Google Shopping and Amazon Assistant.
Some of the promo code finders I mentioned at the beginning of this post — PriceBlink, Honey, and WikiBuy — also do price tracking, but it’s worth installing more than one to make sure you are getting the most thorough info.
With Google Shopping, you can compare a product from multiple online vendors. That way you can decide which online shopping site has the best deal.
If you’re an avid Amazon shopper, you can also install Amazon Assistant to your browser. The plug-in allows you to compare and track prices of items saved to your Amazon lists and will notify you of special deals and sales.
10. Or look at the price history on Amazon using CamelCamelCamel.
Let’s say you’re in the market for a new jacket from Amazon.
It’s selling today for $39.99. Maybe that price seems fair and you’re inclined to buy it now.
But, if you drop a link into CamelCamelCamel.com, it’ll pull up the price history showing that in the last five months, that jacket has sold anywhere between $29.95 to $46.99.
Based on that info, you can decide to either buy it now, or wait until the price dips back down again. You can even set price alerts through CamelCamelCamel.
11. Use Milled so you can see the best deals without giving up your email address.
Milled keeps track of subscriber emails and deals from big e-commerce brands. Rather than signing up for a retailer’s email list and suffering through endless spammy emails, Milled will alert you when deals are happening so your inbox doesn’t get cluttered.
Follow the brands you shop at and you’ll get notifications when sales are happening. It’s a great way to passively shop without having to monitor sites yourself, and you have access to promo codes and special offers without having to give up your data.
12. Always follow this one rule for signing up for store credit cards.
If you’re retailer-loyal, (spending at least $500-$1,000 at one store in a year) signing up for the store credit card may save you a decent amount of money. But only sign up for store credit cards that offer a minimum of 5% cash back. My top five store credit cards are:
- Pottery Barn credit card gets you 10% back on every purchase. Make sure to buy a 15% off coupon on eBay before purchase to stack up your savings.
- Target RedCard debit card gives an automatic 5% rebate on everything you buy at Target including groceries, diapers, furniture, and clothing. And debit means you don’t have the responsibility of paying off the card each month.
- Gap Visa card gives you 5% back on your purchases at not just Gap, but also sister stores Old Navy, Banana Republic, and Athleta.
- TJX Rewards card gives you 5% back on every dollar spent at TJ Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, and Sierra Trading Post.
- Best Buy store card pays out 5% back (2.5 points per dollar/$5 reward for every 250 points).
13. Chat with an online customer service rep to ask for a coupon code.
If you can’t find a coupon or deal for one of the must-haves on your holiday shopping list, just remember the old saying, “It never hurts to ask.”
Virtual agents are often given special discount codes and coupons to offer up when asked — especially during the holiday shopping season.
Just click to chat with a virtual agent, and ask a specific question or two about the product to show your sales potential. Then politely inquire whether any coupons or discount codes are available to purchase the item. You might get a no sometimes, but you’d be surprised by how often the answer is yes!
PRO TIP: Don’t be afraid to try to stack coupon codes at checkout. Many online retailers — including DSW, Macy’s, Sephora, Kohl’s, and Gap — allow coupon stacking on their websites.
14. Open a new incognito window — or different browser — to look for coupon codes.
Some retailers might sneakily hide coupons or vary pricing based on your browsing patterns and demand — so make sure to always clear your history and cookies before shopping!
At West Elm, I often get a 15% coupon code pop-up on my first visit to the site. But, once I fill my cart, or even if I leave and come back later that day, the 15% coupon offer was nowhere to be found.
Clearing my cookies or opening a new, incognito private window is all it takes to get my coupon. When browsing in incognito mode, none of your searches will be recorded or added to your search history later.
15. …Or use a different internet browser for comparison shopping.
Ever heard of browser fingerprinting? Basically, even if you don’t hand over your personal data to a website, they can legally track your unique browser settings and identify you.
So, even if you’re attempting to shop anonymously as a guest, retailers may already have you identified just because you use the same browser for all of your online activity.
Here’s the workaround: Use one browser to scope out the products you want online, and use a separate browser if and when you want to buy that product.
Not sure which browsers to use? Download at least two of these:
16. Amex cardholders get free two-day shipping from ShopRunner.
For $79 a year (even cheaper than $99 Amazon Prime), you can get free two-day shipping from some of the largest stores and brands online like Neiman Marcus and PetSmart. Not to mention a month completely free with a ShopRunner 30-day trial.
If you’re an eligible American Express cardholder, you can get the yearly fee waived entirely. Now that’s a sweet deal.
17. Look for in-store and curbside pick-up discounts.
From restaurants to retail, some businesses are offering discounts to customers willing to head in-store or do curbside pickup.
Some recent examples include 10% discounts on orders through DoorDash, GrubHub, and other food delivery services, and $10 promo codes for first-time pickup orders from Walmart. You can skip the shopping fees on retail when you head to the nearest store to pick up your order.
Retailers currently offering free ship-to-store include: Apple, Babies”R”Us and Toys”R”Us, Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, The Home Depot, JCPenney, Kohl’s, Kmart, Lowe’s, Macy’s, Office Depot, Sears, and Target.
18. Create a second (or third) email account to get the best email coupons.
Signing up for retailer newsletters is one of the best ways to find out about sales and coupons, and handy if you can’t find them on Milled.com. But promotional emails can quickly hijack your inbox, so it’s worth creating a separate, free account.
That way, you get all the benefits of being in the loop. Know about new sales, without the clutter. Plus, many online shopping sites offer first-time customer and/or birthday coupons when you register an email with them.
19. Follow retailers on social media for exclusive or first access to sales and coupons.
Many companies reserve first-looks and exclusive offers for their social media followers.
PRO TIP: Brand ambassadors and influencers also sometimes post special discounts and codes on social media — so don’t be shy about following them on Instagram or other relevant platforms.