How to Save More by Shopping Online

Posted on 28th Oct, 2016 by Barbara Davidson

When you’ve got a laundry list of shopping items to get, driving from store to store can take up hours of your time and use up a whole lot of gas. So why not skip the trips and order online?

Shopping online is a great way to save time and money. Need some convincing? We have eight great reasons why, plus suggestions on how to make the most of your online shopping. Read on and start saving today!

  1. Convenience

We cannot overstate how convenient online shopping is. There’s no getting in the car, buying gas, sitting in traffic or driving around to numerous stores. Life is hectic enough without trying to cram in running errands! All you need to shop online is a computer and an internet connection — you can even stay in your pajamas while you shop.

In addition to saving time from not driving, you’re also avoiding standing in long lines. This is especially an advantage during the holiday season, when shoppers are out in droves. Instead of standing in line to check out, all you have to do is click a button to finish shopping. You can even speed up your online checkout process by securely storing your credit card information with your preferred web browser. This way, your payment information is ready to go when you make your purchase.

  1. Find Cheaper Prices

Online shopping is a great way to find cheaper prices on a wide variety of items. Because you’re able to order directly from the manufacturer or seller, you avoid dealing with the middleman (in this case, the physical store location). This cuts down on the manufacturer’s distribution costs, and those savings are passed down to you. It’s a win-win situation!

However, not all items will have this kind of lower pricing. Save time looking online for cheaper buys by sticking to items that almost always have lower prices compared to in-store prices. Household cleaning products like dishwashing liquid, general hand soap and surface cleaners are always a sure bet. Laundry detergents and fabric softener are also good online buys. Plus, you can order a bunch and possibly get a bulk discount, helping you save even more money and postpone the dreaded laundry day when you run out of detergent!

  1. Avoid Sales Tax

The easiest way to save money while shopping online requires absolutely no effort from you at all! If the manufacturer or seller you’re purchasing from does not have a physical location in your state, then you are not required to pay sales tax. Talk about easy savings — you can actually save by shopping at home online! This makes shopping with large online retailers a great option if their warehouses are located out-of-state.

  1. Get More Variety

One of the more compelling reasons to shop online is the sheer variety. Whether it’s clothes, food, tech or more, you have so much more to choose from than you would by going to a store (or two or three!). What if one site doesn’t have what you’re looking for? It’s as easy as clicking over to another site to see if that seller has the item. This also comes in handy if you’re looking to purchase a more popular item that sells out quickly. You can search multiple vendors in a matter of seconds, and chances are at least one seller will have the item in stock.

  1. Review Before You Buy

When making purchases large or small, nothing beats reading online reviews. It’s a good way to see how well the product actually performs in real life — and it’s not just for expensive purchases. Looking to buy a new pair of jeans or a shirt? Read the customer reviews to see about the quality of the material and how the fit is. It may or may not be worth it depending on the reviews. You can save your money by avoiding purchases that won’t work well or last a long time. Save your hard-earned dollars for quality purchases that will last!

  1. Price Comparison

Comparing prices can be difficult when you have to drive from store to store. It’s not worth the time or the money you’ll spend driving around. Shopping online makes price and discount comparison a snap. All you have to do is open multiple browser tabs or windows to check prices! This is a great way to see how good those sale prices really are — check against the normal price of the item from other sellers. Try the online price comparison extension Invisible Hand — it will automatically notify you if it finds a cheaper offer for the same product.

Tip #1: If there are online stores you frequent, consider signing up for promotional emails. It’s a good way to catch sales when they start. If you’re not ready to shop, simply delete the emails.

Tip #2: Sometimes retailers offer sales for online shopping only, so it pays to check back every so often for deals you can’t get in stores.

  1. Save on Shipping

Online retailers often offer free shipping when you spend a certain amount of money — some even offer free shipping outright. Even though shipping may cost less than $10, if you’re paying that every time you order something it will add up quickly! If you’re ordering clothes that need trying on, you can lose out big time on return shipping costs. Some stores will even charge you a restocking fee. Avoid these small but significant costs by closely reading the shipping and returns/exchange policies.

Tip #1: During the holidays, be sure to look for free holiday shipping. Some online retailers will ship gifts directly to the recipient’s address, saving you the cost of postage and a trip to the crowded post office.

Tip #2: If you’re purchasing items and can get free shipping by spending a certain amount, consider how much you need those items right now. If possible, wait to make a larger order so you’re eligible for the free shipping.

  1. Easily Track Your Expenditures

Shopping online is a better option for tracking your spending than shopping in store. When you’re running from store to store, it’s easy to just grab items without tallying up your total until you’re already swiping your card or handing over the cash! Plus, keeping track of all your paper receipts can be a hassle.

There is far less pressure to pay and be on your way when you’re shopping online. It’s much easier to step back and take stock of how much each item costs and what your total purchase will be. Take a minute to look at your digital shopping cart and check the items and corresponding prices. Do you have all the items you need? Did you add anything unnecessary that you don’t really need to purchase?

Ask yourself these questions before submitting your order. Once you’ve submitted, take a screenshot of your receipt and save it to a designated receipt folder on your computer. This way you can easily track your shopping expenses with the click of a mouse or tap of the finger!

About Barbara Davidson

Babs is Lead Content Strategist and financial guru. She loves exploring fresh ways to save more and enjoy life on a budget! When she’s not writing, you’ll find her binge-watching musicals, reading in the (sporadic) Chicago sunshine and discovering great new places to eat. Accio, tacos!