Shopping online can be a great way to save money. It’s easy when you know how to go about it, and I’m going to share one way today, along with a few examples.
I always start any online shopping by going to Ev’reward.com. Let’s say I’m shopping at Target.com. Simply go to Ev’reward and enter target into the search box. For Target, you can get rewards or points at the follow sites:
- Cash Back Rewards
- College Savings Plans & Other Savings Rewards (Upromise)
- Points Programs (AMEX Rewards, MyPoints, Citi Thank You)
- Frequent Flier Miles & Hotel Rewards (Air Tran Rewards, AirMilesMart, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Amtrakm, Choice Privileges, Continental
Delta SkyMiles, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Marriott Rewards, Midwest Airlines, Priority Club, United Airlines, US Airways)
Instead of going to each of those separate websites and checking to see if the store I’m shopping has a reward available I just go to Ev’reward and can see in a glance.
The only time I don’t use Ev’reward first is when I shop Amazon.com as they do not participate in any rewards programs outside their own. Amazon offers a credit card for which you can get 3 points per dollar toward an Amazon Gift Certificate. It will take 2500 points, or approximately $834 worth of purchases to get back a gift certificate for $25.00.
The other thing I always do before shopping at Amazon is to start at an affiliate link. Many bloggers are Amazon Affiliates and the way I figure it, someone should get a little kick back, even if I can’t.
Okay, on to the saving money by shopping online. Let’s say I’m shopping for a 42″ High Definition Widescreen Television.
I’m going to start my search with another site I like to use to find out what is on sale locally: Sales Circular. Once I get there, I click on Arizona, then under Electronics Video I’m going to click on 41″ televisions. Now I can see what is on sale, for how much and at which stores. I’ve decided that I want to buy the Panasonic TC-L42U22. My next stop is to go to Google search and use the shopping tab. This allows me to see where this television is on sale at, and get the best prices so I can begin my research. I’ve narrowed down my choices to Amazon, Buy.com and Best Buy online.
Check out this neat infographic created by CreditLoan exclusively for Out of Debt Again, it details the method I’m explaining to save money shopping online. You may need to click on the image to get a closer look at the detail.
Without looking at the rebate options, it appears that Amazon.com is the winner at $571.99 with free shipping. Buy.com is $609.00 and Best Buy is $599.99, both with free shipping.
If I use my Amazon credit card and calculate the points value, in the end I will spend $549.28, which is an even better deal. The clear winner, unless you don’t have or don’t want to use your Amazon credit card.
Best Buy has the next best price at $599.99. Mr. Rebates is offering a 1% reward, and the final cost will be $588.01.
Finally, we see that Buy.com has this same television for $609.00, also with free shipping. Initially it looked as if Buy.com was the highest priced television. However, if you look on the infographic, you will see that ebates.com is offering a 5.5% rebate. This means you’ll get back $33.49 cash back, and your final cost will be $568.61.
In this case, if I didn’t have an Amazon credit card, Buy.com would be the best value.
A friend of mine told me about a book that is finally available that we both want to read. It won’t be out in hardback for a few months, but it is available at lulu.com. As always, I started my search at Ev’reward. I found there that lulu.com has a 5% cash back reward from ebates. Next I did a Google search and found a coupon code for lulu.com that gave me 40% off. The book was $8.56 to start with, but after the 40% rebate it was only $5.13. Sometimes the rebate sites don’t want to give you the rebate if you use a third party coupon code, so I don’t know if I’ll get the 5% back. If I do, that will be another 26 cents savings.
Every year Mr. A sends out holiday cards to his customers. We include a calendar magnet with each one, and I order those from Vistaprint. I ordered 40 calendars and they were going to cost $39.99. But I started out at Ev’reward first and found that Mr. Rebates was offering a 6% rebate. So I clicked through there. Next I found a coupon code online for 50% off of my order. If I had just gone to the site and ordered, I would have spent $40 plus shipping. Instead the final cost was $26 and some change.