With Christmas approaching, many will be placing orders for gifts online. This is a great option as there are no lines and you may be more likely to find what you want, along with receiving discounted prices. A few strategies do come into play for ways to save money when ordering online.
1. Choose Which Credit Card to Use
Before paying with a credit card understand how your points system works. For instance, if you are ordering from Amazon, Sam’s Club or a department store then Discover currently gives 5% cash back for this quarter. That is a good return. If I were to order from Amazon, Discover is what I’d use.
If I were to order through Walmart or other online sellers then I’d use my Citi Double Cash Card. This card pays 1% back when a purchase is made and another 1% when payment is made, so essentially 2% back. Other cards have their own perks as well, so consider the advantages based on which card you use.
2. Check out Businesses’ Rewards Programs
Some businesses do have rewards programs. For instance, I know that Sears does and Ace Hardware does as well. If making purchases regularly, even if solely online, consider joining these programs.
3. Compare with Amazon and Ebay
Before purchasing from any online seller, always check to see what price Amazon has on the product. It will vary, but sometimes Amazon will still be significantly cheaper. While Amazon is known primarily for books their product selection extends far beyond merely books. Another site to check is Ebay. While Ebay is probably best known for the used items that are auctioned, new items are listed as well with many available to be purchased on the spot.
4. Recognize Costs for Shipping and Handling
When comparing costs recognize that one seller may provide free shipping and handling where another may charge $5, $10 or $15. Some sellers overcharge in shipping because they recognize consumers don’t always take that amount into consideration. So when comparing costs account for cost of item, shipping and handling and even tax. If your item is being shipped across state lines and that particular business does not have a presence in your state then no tax should be involved. If you have an Amazon Prime account, then try to take advantage of the free shipping they offer.
Also consider whether to have your item shipped to your home or the local store. If the business you are ordering from has a local store then it may be cheaper to have it delivered to the store itself.
5. Consider Ebates
Ebates provides cash back on purchases through online sellers. Ebates is able to do this because the sellers compensate Ebates for driving traffic to their site and Ebates in turn compensates you for the purchase. Presently Ebates has increased their compensation for a number of stores. Typically the compensation is 2 to 4%, but now a number of large retailers have a cash back of 6 to 8%. Ebates is easy to use and periodically, probably about once a quarter, they will cut a check for what you have earned and mail it to you. I would definitely recommend Ebates. By signing up through my link here you can receive a free $10 gift card to Walmart or Target. The gift card will be awarded after your first purchase using Ebates.
Once signed up, all you have to do is go to Ebates and then click on the seller from whom you’d like to make a purchase. Ebates will automatically send you to that seller’s site and recognize that your purchase will merit cash back.
6. Some Recommended Sellers
If you are searching for Bibles, Christian books, music or decor then Christian Book Distributors is a great place to find discounted products. I have ordered from them for 20 years and am pleased with their selection, prices and service.
As mentioned, Amazon is a great source for a variety of discounted products. I have ordered through them since their early days as a company and can recommend them as well.
I just recently became familiar with Fanatics who sells sports clothing and decor. One of my sons preferred style of clothing is athletic. He has had multiple jerseys through the years. As a matter of fact, I recall when he received his first jersey, it was a San Antonio Spurs, Tony Parker jersey. When he was about 4 he literally wore that jersey and a San Antonio cap every day for at least 3 or 4 months. Part of the daily routine was to wash the jersey. So while jerseys can be pricey, he definitely got his money’s worth and evidently it was a quality product. If I were to order a jersey this holiday season, I’d likely make the order through Fanatics, since they are providing good discounts.
What online sellers would you recommend? I’d like to hear.
photo credit: GotCredit, Buy Button, Buy Keyboard Button, website www.gotcredit.com via Flickr cc License – 11/29/15 with no changes