DIY

5 Money Saving Tips For Shopping Online

My love of online shopping stems from my high school days. Growing up in Kelowna, there was very limited selection. Although Vancouver have more variety, I hate dealing with crowds, line ups and sometimes terrible customer service. To avoid all this, I spend most of my time shopping online. Shopping online makes sense if there is free shipping or you can easily return the items to the store. To make the most of your money online follow these tips:

Find Coupons Online
I have blogged about RetailMeNot before. Anytime I am about to order anything online I search for a coupon code on RetailMeNot to see if I can get any additional discounts. 

Sign up for Ebates.ca
Ebates.ca is a website that refunds you a percentage of your online purchases. All you have to do is create a profile on the website and sign in every time you want to order something online. Ebates will either mail you a cheque or you will can receive payment through Paypal. 

Set up Sale Alerts
Like probably everyone else in the world, I love designer clothes but I do not enjoy the designer price tags. Every season there is an item that I fall in love with, but I cringe when I see how much it costs. Shopstyle has this amazing function where you can set sale alerts. Once the item goes on sale, the website sends you an email notification. 

Purchase High Quality Items on Sale
I had to change the settings on my e-mail subscriptions because I can not resist a good deal. Hautelook, Gilt.com  and Beyond the Rack have flash sales on designer products. The discounts are quite significant, ranging all the way up to 80% off.

Do Your Research
The nice thing about the internet is that you can do a quick google search to compare prices of products before you buy them. Make sure you add the item to the checkout so you can factor in shipping or duty costs. 

Other Online Shopping Tips:
Check the size guide and the reviews before you order. The reviews can tell you a lot about how an item fits. If you are between sizes order more than one size, especially if there are free returns. 

Stores that have free shipping:

  • Amazon.ca has free shipping depending on the vendor
  • Lululemon has free shipping and free returns
  • Zara has free shipping over $50 and you can return to the store
  • Forever21 has free shipping over $50 and you return to store
  • Hudson Bay has free shipping over $99 and you can return to store. There is more variety online as well
  • Aritzia has free shipping over $150 and you can return to store

Hopefully these tips help you get the best deals when you are shopping online. Leave me a comment below and let me know if you found these tips helpful or if you have any online shopping hacks of your own. 

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  • Journeys of The Zoo

    Dear Jaemie,

    I've started purchasing (actual) gift cards or ecards using CardSwap. You earn CardSwap points depending on the stores you shop at (they have most of the ones you list above as well as TONS more). Last month, I purchased $500 in cards, what I would have spent anyways (and I charged to my credit card so I earned an additional 1% back) and I earned 2% back from CardSwap equaling $10 (the minimum to cashout, which I took as PayPal Cash).

    It works for me because the grocery and gas stores that I shop at (Food Basics and Stinsons) don't have their own credit card "loyalty program" (like PC Financial with Shoppers Drug Mart, Esso and Loblaws or Canadian Tire with their own gas bar). If I had these stores, I would use my corresponding credit cards (I hold both) and earn up to 4% back instead of 2% from CardSwap. Make sense!?

    For transparency, I have a review blog and wrote a post for CardSwap years ago (November 12, 2012 to be exact), however, I didn't start using the program again until last month. Five years ago, I wasn't as interested in finance and regardless, didn't see how the program could result in a cost savings for me.

    Time will tell how much I will/can save but the time commitment is minimal (5 minutes, once a month) and based on my current lifestyle, could save me $120 a year.

    Note that I can also use the CardSwap cards and still take advance of Ebates savings as well (it just impacts my form of payment and not the URL/portal). It all adds up!

    Besos, Sarah.

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