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Savvy Online Shopping: Here's How to Get the Best for Less

An older adult using a wheelchair buys things online with a credit card.

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Most of us know a great deal when we see it. But, when it comes to online shopping, the "seeing it" is often the problem.

Many great internet deals go unnoticed, simply because online retailers don't advertise them widely. While few of us have time to go down a rabbit hole for our personal finances, the beauty of the internet is that you don't have to. With a few methods, you can make those big savings come to you. Here's how.

1. Download browser extensions

Browser extensions are little pieces of software that can add new functionalities to your favorite web browser, like Safari or Chrome. For shopping, these functionalities can include comparing prices at checkout, applying coupon codes, and activating cash back offers. Here are three popular browser extensions:

The benefit of these browser extensions is that you can download them and let the software work in the background. Then, at checkout, you can refer to them to see if there's a better deal for the same item on another website. They're free to use, but be aware that downloading them could slow down your browser.

2. Get familiar with deal websites

Deal websites do the bargain hunting for you. They scan the web daily for the best deals and offer you a curated list of products. You can use them to discover what's on sale today, or you could use their search bars to look for deals on specific products. A few deal sites you might want to check out include:

My favorite deal website is The Krazy Koupon Lady. The website and app are simple to use, and you can narrow down deals by categories (my favorite is "Top Under $1 Deals"). While some of these deals can be found only in stores, others are online. You can even sign up for newsletters to get coupons and deals delivered to your inbox.

3. Use price comparison apps

Price comparison apps take the guesswork out of finding the lowest price by comparing deals with different merchants for the same purchase. They're free to use, and you can use them both in stores and online. Many come with barcode scanners, which let you compare prices right from the product's UPC, while others have powerful search functions that can check prices for specific items.

I use multiple price comparison apps, but my favorite is Price.com. Like other apps and websites, Price.com will check prices for new and used items across thousands of online merchants. But unlike other apps, which are filled with advertisements, Price.com is easy to navigate and has an intuitive interface. Its prices aren't always accurate, but it comes pretty dang close.

4. Leave items in your shopping cart

This is the oldest trick in the book, but it works. If you don't need to buy something now, leave it in your shopping cart. Many retailers will try to entice you to buy it by sending you promotions for a certain percentage off. These "abandoned cart promotions" could take up to a week to arrive, but if you're patient, you might get a discount.

Although good deals can be hard to find on your own, these four methods can help you cast a wide net. When you do find one, use a credit card that earns more for online shopping, like the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card. This cash back card earns 3% back in an eligible category of your choice, one of which is online shopping. Combine it with the great deals you find online and over time, you could save more than you think.

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We're firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.Bank of America is an advertising partner of The Ascent, a Motley Fool company. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Bank of America. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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