Often times when you order from a retailer’s website, there are MANY more options than you might find in store. It’s thrilling to see that cute shirt or great pair of boots you tried on in the store, but could use to be a half size bigger available online by the plenty. And not even just more sizes, but stores like Kohls, Target even major department stores like Nordstrom will have items on their website that aren’t even sold in their stores, and are marked “only available online” on their website. (For anyone who is rolling their eyes at this information, trust me some people don’t know – my roommate was shocked at this concept). In some cases, items you’ve seen in store are online too – but for a cheaper price (Target actually does this A LOT).
Which brings me to the topic of this post: not paying full price for online orders. There are so many ways to catch deals online, so I will highlight the couple I use mainly.
1. DO sign up for emails – Any retail or e-merchandising site you go to will without a doubt have a place where you can put in your email address to “join our mailing list for updates” or to “sign up for an account.” This may initially seem annoying because who wants more spam in their inboxes? But many times I’ve gotten coupons, coupon codes, and secret sale alerts through these types of emails. As long as all you need to do is put in an email address (not anything like your real address, phone number, or SSN), there’s very little harm that can come of joining a store’s mailing list.
And to avoid mixing your deal-hunting life with your regular, more important one, I suggest making an email address used primarily for any online shopping, or just putting in an email address you use for frivolous things. Yahoo, Gmail, any of these major sites will give you a new email account at the drop of a hat, and this way you can keep your important stuff separate. Plus, many sites will also give you 10 – 15% off coupon JUST for joining the mailing list in the first place.
Case in point above, is Katespade.com
Even if it’s a store you might not shop at on a regular basis, there might be some great items on sale when you get that 50% off code that makes it well worth it. And with these emails going to a separate, less personal email account, you won’t have your iPhone buzzing with every new marketing email.
If you find that any retailer you signed up for consistently sends what I like to call dummy coupons – like Express‘s ”GET 75 WITH ANY $225 PURCHASE!” coupon, or Victoria Secret‘s “FREE SHIPPING WITH A $100 PURCHASE!” promotion, then all you need to do is unsubscribe at the very bottom of the email. In the fine print there will be a link that allows you to remove your email address from the mailing list, and you’re off the hook!
2. Before you check out, check Retailmenot.com – if you’re a hardcore deal finder like I am, you’re probably familiar with many a coupon code site. One of my favorites is Retailmenot.com, and I check this before I make any online purchase. Users can submit any coupon codes they get, be it in email, snail mail, in store promotion etc. These are then listed with the retailer, and when you go to the site these submissions will show up with your search of that store.
HOWEVER, don’t put too much stock in this. This site used to be MUCH better than it is now. More recently there have been fewer and fewer user submitted codes, and more codes and general advertisements that were clearly regulated by the retailer you’re looking for. I would say try what you can, and if not maybe search for other coupon codes that might be listed on other sites. I always come back to this one either way, just because its the easiest to navigate, is generally reliable, and can’t hurt to check out!
And number 3. will be a TO BE CONTINUED, as in my next post I will discuss the many ways of avoiding paying for shipping.
Let me know if you have any thoughts or great tricks you use too!