It’s no secret that I like to shop. And if I can score an amazing deal then I’ve really hit the jackpot! Now that online shopping has become mainstream – heck, even my Mom is doing it, I’ve learned a few things about how to find stuff and how to score the best deal, including free shipping.
Pretty much every store is constantly offering discounts, coupons and pretty much weekly sales. There’s no reason to ever pay full price for anything, unless you absolutely have no time to do a little comparison shopping, or you simply don’t care.
The first step is to sign up for ebates. I can’t believe I just learned about this website. It’s essentially a portal to countless online stores. By simply clicking through ebates to your store/s of choice, you will earn a percentage on each purchase. Ebates sends members a quarterly check. So now I can get paid to shop — sign me up baby!
In addition to ebates sign up for emails from your favorite stores. They might appear in your inbox a little more frequently than you’d like, but you can quickly delete the ones you aren’t interested in. You can save anywhere from 20-50% on a regular basis. You may also want to get a couple of credit cards from stores you frequent on a regular basis. Bloomingdales, Gap/Banana/Old Navy, and Nordstrom all have enticing rewards programs. Spend a certain amount of money and you’ll earn rewards coupons to be used as cash in each store. Combine the percentage offers with your rewards coupons and you will score some really great deals.
I also like to do a general google search for an item to see who has the best price. I simply “google” a description of the item, including the brand name, color and name of the item. For example, “Sam Edelman black Petty booties”. All sites who carry this product will pop up and you can quickly decipher who has the item in your desired size and color and who has the best price (including shipping). This is also a great way to find something that seems to be sold out at your go-to stores. Don’t be afraid to buy something from a site you’ve never heard of.
With all this online shopping, the shipping fees can sometimes be a little hefty. My goal is to always score free shipping. Oftentimes websites will offer free shipping with a minimum purchase. It typically ranges from $50 – $150, though free shipping coupons are also frequently offered, many times in combination with a promotion. Some sites have a flat rate of $5.00 regardless of the amount of purchase, but this is more the exception than the rule. Let’s say you wish to buy something at J Crew and they aren’t offering free shipping. Save the item in your cart on the J Crew site and then google “J Crew free shipping code” and see what sites pop up and their offers.
I’ve found that Retailmenot.com, coupons.com, and dealspl.us have the most reliable coupons. Incidentally, these sites offer all kinds of discount codes, not just free shipping. If you can’t find a free shipping code and you still want the J Crew item without paying too much to get it, you have two other options. One is to buy more items to meet the free shipping threshold (then simply return the unwanted items at the store), or two, go to J Crew and order the item over the phone at the store. Obviously if the store has the item in stock there is no need to place an order. J Crew, Anthropologie and many others stores offer free shipping when you place an order directly from their stores.
Many of you probably know that Nordstrom “will not be undersold”. If you find an item that Nordstrom carries at another store for a better price they will match that price. The clincher is that Nordstrom must have the exact color and your size in stock in order to give you the deal. You simply call their 800 number with the item number and website where you found it and they will verify the information. They will then take your order over the phone. Nordstrom also offers free shipping and returns on all purchases, with no minimum purchase.
Over the last several years a number of websites have cropped up that offer daily sales on designer goods from clothing to home goods to travel deals. Some of my favorites include Rue La La, Hautelook, MyHabit, and Gilt. Gilt also has a site called Gilt City with offers tailored to certain cities. I’ve found great deals on jewelry, cooking classes, fitness classes and travel. Their shipping fees are fairly reasonable and they also offer free shipping for a year for a set price. This may make sense if you shop a particular site frequently.
You can also shop for drugstore items online now too and sometimes get a better deal than at CVS or Walgreens. The combined sites of drugstore.com and beauty.com combine shopping for vitamins and mascara into one simple transaction. Just yesterday I earned $5 ebates dollars shopping at drugstore.com in addition to earning my drugstore.com $$ to be used on future purchases. Woo hoo!!
What online deals have you found?