Five Online Holiday Shopping Secrets

Let’s be honest. The holidays are here and sometimes we’d rather just phone it in. We’ve had a helluva year and I give you total permission to treat yourself. Avoid the traffic, the annoying mall crowds, and the lines for Santa. Instead, pour that glass of wine, curl up to the glow of your computer and click away.

I know what you bargain shoppers are thinking – but won’t I miss out on all the in-store deals? The good news: it’s 2016 and there are a ton of online shopping secrets out there to help you score great deals. Here are some favorites:

1. Shop “Incognito”. Online retailers track your online activity and can offer you products at different prices based on their  analysis of your Internet behavior. If you and your best friend are shopping using different computers, your friend may get a different price if they have different habits. Avoid the trap by erasing your browser cookies or by searching using the “incognito” or “private” window in your browser.

2. Play hard to get. If you decide to forgo the incognito route and actually log in to your store account, you can use retailers’ spying to your advantage. Place your items in your cart and then just leave them there. Go do something else and forget about it for a couple hours or days. For many stores, this will trigger a response: they want to close the deal, so they’ll send you a coupon. Not all stores have this feature, but many of the major ones do.

3. Use coupon codes. Coupon sites like retailmenot.com, couponcraze.com and couponmom.com allow you to search for coupons from specific stores. You can also search the name of the store and “coupon code” in Google. But this process is time consuming. That’s where Honey comes in. Honey is a Google Chrome extension that automatically searches for coupon codes and applies them to your cart at checkout.

4. Get insider perks. Stores often give exclusive discounts to their most dedicated followers. If you know you shop at certain stores on the regular, sign up for their email newsletters, follow them on Facebook and Twitter. This is where they often send special coupon codes you can apply at checkout.

5. Get paid to shop online. There are a plethora of sites that give you cash back on your online purchases. They require you to begin your shopping journey by logging onto their platform and from there, wherever you purchase your items, they will give you cash back on a percent of your purchase. If you check back often, on certain days these sites offer bigger cash back promotions. Each site works differently, so find out which works best for you. Popular sites are Ebates, Coupon Cactus, BeFrugal, FatWallet, Extrabux and many more.

This year after you’ve avoided the holiday craze, breezed through your shopping list online and saved money, you may close your laptop, sip whatever is in your glass and realize that, yes, this is a magical season!

The materials on this blog are provided for informational purposes only and do not reflect the opinions of ChimpChange LLC or Central Bank of Kansas City, Member FDIC. Several of these blog posts may contain links to content on third party websites which are provided for your convenience, please note that linked sites may have a privacy and security policy different from our own, and we cannot attest to the accuracy of information. ChimpChange LLC and Central Bank of Kansas City do not guarantee nor expressly endorse any particular product, service or third party content.