Five ways to save money when shopping online

Published: December 19, 2020 at 10:48 am

Everyone amongst us shops online these days. Online shopping offers us the convenience of buying at our fingertips, doorstep delivery of goods, discounts on the MRP and much more. While we as finance enthusiasts tend to look at only the returns on our investments, savings also play a significant role- especially when your total corpus is small. Also, when you save money on small purchases over a long duration, the savings add up.  An e-commerce expert discusses five effective ways to save money when shopping online on top of the discounts offered by the websites.

About The Author: Rakesh Singh has completed his Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science and works with a top e-commerce company as a Product Manager. He is interested in Fintech, Personal Finance and enjoys reading non-fiction, travelling for food and playing a game of chess.

1 Coupon Codes

It is one of the popular ways to save money while shopping online. While not all merchants may offer coupon codes (popular marketplaces like Flipkart and Amazon do not provide direct coupon codes for discounts) many websites, particularly e-commerce websites operated directly by the brands do offer coupon codes regularly.

Many merchants offer coupon codes with higher discounts or better offers for new customers (as compared to existing users) as a part of their customer acquisition strategy. So make sure you explore them before making your purchase.

Some reliable coupon sites in India are:


  • Grabon.in
  • Couponzguru.com
  • Coupondunia.in

2 Price Tracking Tools

They are useful, especially when you intend to buy a high ticket item like a TV, washing machine, home appliances, etc. There are specialised browser extensions which allow you to track price changes for a particular product on the same e-commerce site over some time. Many of them also allow you to set your expected price and send you an email alert when the price for your desired product reaches below that amount.

Some popular browser (Chrome) extensions for price tracking are Keepa (works only with Amazon) & Price Tracker – Auto Buy, Price History by IndiaDesire (works with major marketplaces in India)

Price History for a Product on Amazon by Keepa
Price History for a Product on Amazon by Keepa

3 Cashback Sites

Most people tend to confuse cashback websites with cashback offered by banks or wallets, which is not the case. Cashback websites are websites which provide users with extra cashback (cash rewards or gift vouchers) for purchase at any of their partner retailers.

For those curious about their business model, cashback sites work on the principle of affiliate marketing. The partner brands give these websites a certain commission for every sale they bring on their websites. Cashback sites keep a small percentage of this with them and share the rest with the user themselves as a reward or incentive for making the purchase via them.

Some popular cashback sites in India are:

  • TopCashBack
  • CashKaro
  • GoPaisa

4 Bank/Wallet Payment Offers

It is one of the most widely used ways to save money while shopping online, which many of you would be already aware of. E-commerce websites partner with banks and payment service providers to offer discounts to their respective customers during a particular duration – generally for 2-3 days of a month.

 

The only downside is that not all of us may have cards or bank accounts of multiple banks. In such cases, we may have to wait for a long time for the offer to be launched for the bank with whom you have an account or ask for help from friend or family members for using their card/account to make the payment and get discounts.

5 Buy Vouchers at Discount & Use them for Payment

This is not so common a method which many online shoppers are not aware of.  Most e-commerce websites have gift vouchers as one of the available payment modes while making a purchase. 

The trick involves buying gift vouchers of your desired e-commerce website at a discount from any of the popular gift voucher aggregators and then using these gift cards (which were purchased at a discount) to purchase on the brand’s website while checking out.

Some popular websites to buy gift vouchers at a discount are:

  • Gyftr
  • WooHoo
  • Zingoy

Summary

I hope the five tips mentioned in this post will help you save money on your regular online purchases. As mentioned earlier, while the savings on every order may not be huge (especially on small-ticket purchases), they do add up over a period of time. After all- every penny saved is a penny earned!

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