We all love saving money and online shopping has revolutionized the way we do so. Back in the pre-internet age, if you wanted to save a few bucks, you either had to drive to the edge of town to compare prices or spend an entire Sunday afternoon cutting those darn coupons.
Thanks to the internet revolution, saving money shopping online has never been easier. With more retailers setting up shop on the web, all it takes is a click of a button to compare prices and find the best deals. If you know what you’re doing, there are ways to save even more money. Here are some online tools guaranteed to save you some of that hard earned cash. Shop away!
Buy Cheap Books Online
You’ve probably noticed, but books are expensive! As an avid reader myself, I know how some of you feel about buying books at the bookstore. You want to support the author, but just can’t bear to part with so much money. Luckily, there are lots of online websites that let you buy books for cheap, so hurry up and get that book you’ve always wanted!
Half.com is an E-bay company that used to specialize in books transactions but now also sells music, DVDs, and Video Games. Like E-bay, Half.com lets you buy or sell books from other people. A feature I really like is the Bargain Bin, which lists items at outrageously low prices. You can buy books for less than $1*, CDs for less than $3*, and DVDs for less than $8*. But like E-bay, be sure you check the seller’s feedback to prevent getting scammed.
*Shipping costs not included (sadly)
Education may be free, but textbooks certainly aren’t. Being a student means shelling out loads of cash for textbooks every semester. If you’re still a college student looking for some cheap textbooks, look no further. eCampus is for you.
At eCampus, students can buy, sell, and even rent textbooks online. Best of all? Free shipping! Just search for the book you want and compare prices between multiple sellers. Don’t want to buy the book? No problem, you can pay less and rent the book for a specific amount of time (usually one semester). Be warned, if you don’t return the book you’re going to be charged extra so don’t try to scam the system!
What’s better than a cheap book? A free book, of course! Project Gutenberg is the oldest and largest archive of public domain books. They have a collection of over 32,000 free e-books for you to download and claim millions of downloads each month. You also have access to free audiobooks and even some old DVDs, so what are you waiting for? Go check it out! This is definitely the first place to look for those classical pieces of literature.
DailyLit is another source for getting free e-books, but I wanted to feature it because it’s unique. Instead of having you download the entire book, DailyLit e-mails you an excerpt from the book, one a day, until the book is finished. The time it takes you to finish depends on how many installments the book is divided into and also how often you want to be e-mailed. You’ll find plenty of popular and classics on here. A great tool to save you money and make sure you read, all at the same time.
Get Online Coupons
Believe it or not, retailers have promotions all the time. You just might not know about them! All you have to do is enter a coupon code and you could have free shipping or 50% off for that new gadget you want to buy. Thanks to the generous shopping community, you can find many of these coupons online.
FatWallet is an online community where you can find tons of coupons and deals from your favorite online stores. Just type in the name of your favorite retailer and find those coupons. The best feature about FatWallet is its Cash Back program. Basically, you get paid to shop! Just sign up for an account and shop at a retailer that offers Cash Back. When your purchase is completed, just wait a few days and if everything went smoothly, you’ll have some money in your Cash Back account. Earn money while saving money. Awesome!
RetailMeNot is also a coupon aggregating website, like FatWallet, but it doesn’t offer the Cash Back program. However,it does seem to have a larger selection of coupons since all coupons are submitted by the community. Users can vote on which coupons worked for them and which didn’t, so you can be sure that your coupon is genuine. RetailMeNot also features a section for printable coupons and grocery coupons. Just input your ZIP address and perhaps you’ll be dining on cheap pizza tonight!
Get New Deals Daily
While the above websites are great ways to save some money, they are quite time consuming to use. Wouldn’t it be better if the best deals were just presented to you? Here are some websites that find the best deals for you, updated daily.
SlickDeals offers a section for coupons, but I prefer using the site for its fantastic front page deals. Every day, the best deals decided on by a combination of the community and editors are featured on the front page for you to sift through. Vote on your favorites and see what others have to say about each product.
As the name suggests, this websites has a giveaway every day. Each day, GOTD offers a free download for licensed software you’d normally have to pay for. This is easily the best way to save hundreds of dollars on computer software! There are only two downsides to this amazing website. The first is that you won’t receive any technical support and can’t upgrade the software. The only other problem is that you only have 24 hours to download the program, so act fast!
Woot! has a slogan that says it all: “One day, one deal!” Woot! only sells one item a day (albeit at an amazing deal), and at 11:59pm CST the item will disappear forever to be replaced by another item. Since the deals at Woot! are so amazing, many of the popular items sell out fast so if you see something that you really like, don’t hesitate, just buy it. If you don’t buy it that day, you may never get such a good deal again. If you like the Woot! deals, be sure to check out its other branches: shirt.woot!, deals.woot!, kids.woot!, and wine.woot!.
Compare Prices Online
A downside to shopping online is that there are so many sources to buy the same item from, all sold at different prices. Use these websites to compare prices and make sure you’re getting the most out of your Benjamins.
PriceGrabber is the place to compare prices, and many “deals” websites use the PG engine. Search for your favorite product and compare with hundreds of online merchants to find the price that’s right for you. You can optimize the search by filtering certain stores, technical specs, or specific price ranges. Still can’t find the right price? Just enter your e-mail and a target price and PriceGrabber will e-mail you when your target price is met. Make sure your target price is reasonable though, as I never got a response back for that $5 iPhone (rats!)
I think the one thing that all online shoppers hate is the shipping fees. I don’t know how many times I’ve been tricked into thinking how I’m going to get a great deal, only to find out that shipping costs $200. With FreeShipping, you don’t have to worry about being overcharged for shipping ever again. You can find thousands of coupons codes for free shipping and compare product prices without worrying about the shipping.
As a bonus, here are some Firefox Addons that will enhance your shopping experience even more.
InvisibleHand is an addon that functions like PriceGrabber. When you’re browsing at one of their hundreds of supported retailers, InvisibleHand notifies you if they find a cheaper price elsewhere. This addon is still in beta so it’s not perfect yet, but it can save you some trouble searching on PriceGrabber.
This is just the RetailMeNot addon for Firefox. When you shop at a website with RetailMeNot coupons available, you’ll be notified. It’ll save you lazy peeps some time and energy.
All tech savvy consumers know that Amazon is one of the best places to buy things for cheap. Due to the price fluctuations at Amazon, it’s hard to know when to buy. Ookong is Firefox addon specifically designed to help you get the best deals at Amazon. You can view the price history of any product in a nifty graph, track price changes, and be notified when prices drop. This addon makes Amazon even better (Yep, it’s possible).
When it comes to online shopping, there are so many different ways to save money. The next time you want to buy something online, just grab a cup of coffee, fire up one of these websites, and start saving cash! Keep in mind that many of these tools have similar functions and can work hand in hand so be sure to browse them all and don’t forget to check out the ‘Similar Sites’ section!
Did I miss an awesome money saving tool that you use? Do you have any tips on saving money online? Let me know about it in the comments and don’t forget to subscribe!