There are many reasons why people save money when shopping online. They don’t have to worry about gas mileage in their cars being thrown to the wind like that part of financial caution. They can find just about anything their store (boutique, specialty, or even big-box) doesn’t offer, like a durable clay or a toy that must be ordered on the Web.
But there’s a low-side to it. Besides the online costs and taxes, you have to pay handling and shipping costs. That really holds true if you live from a store several states from you. If you want to defray them, you have to buy a lot of stuff you don’t need in the first place. (See my post on differentiating wants and needs.)
So how can you keep your wallet fat (which is vital to build wealth) while fulfilling your Internet buying needs – er, wants?
Use A Payment Merchant Service to Pay for your Items
I know, I know – you may be bashing a few sites in the category, but by following terms of service, you’ll end up saving money. This is the best time to sign up for paid survey-taking sites and online writing gigs.
Words of caution: if you received payments from the site that amount to at least 75% of the items you’re purchasing for the first time, get your account verified, even if you have to use your debit card. Wait for at least 60 days before spending it. (You may need to wait for a particular coupon for the desired items.) Otherwise, your account will be limited and you can’t spend it until you get it lifted off (that happened to me before, I can tell you).
Oh, and there may be a limit in how much you can spend money on your account on the site, so set a spending limit below the actual limit. You’ll save even more and still follow the terms of service.
Look for Said Items in Discount Websites
They sound like online versions of big-box stores, but if a site is selling your wanted items, the discount shopping website does so too. Usually, the latter sells them for low prices. You may want to find a site that doesn’t require you to use a credit card to pay for them, but I wish you good luck if you do.
Use Codes to Save More
Ahhh… coupon codes. They work like normal coupons, but use less paper. So use them to your advantage. Just type in the codes before buying what you want.
Shop on Local Online Stores
If shipping and handling fees are your big worries when online shopping, consider shopping at a website of a store close to home. But there’s more to that than just paying the usually low shipping costs. You’ll also help your local economy just as you would shop locally in person.
Look for Free or Discounted Shipping Which Stores Don’t Require You to Buy More
Many sites offer free or discounted shipping, but you have to buy more stuff or pay a higher-price item or two. Search for sites that guarantee low or free shipping and handling. The aforementioned local shops’ websites usually fall under the category.
Look for Discounts
This is the really obvious one, and you should be really aware of that. So don’t forget to seize this opportunity when something is some percent off the original price. Sign up for newsletters and sign in as a community member. Subscribers to your favorite shopping sites usually get more discounts, meaning more savings.
Online shopping doesn’t have to be financial bears, and you don’t usually need to spend a lot on not just the price of an item, but also the shipping. By following those tips, it can be both a pleasure and a stepping stone in gradually getting wealthy.