Money Savers For Online Shoppers

Category: Shopping

In 2017, an estimated 1.6 billion people purchased something online. Online sales totaled $2.3 trillion dollars worldwide, up more than 16% from the previous year. As online sales have soared, a number of tools have emerged to help consumers find the best deals. Check out these clever tools to help you save money when you shop online...

Try These Online Shopping Tools

Shopping online is a two-step process; first, find the product you want, and then find the best price for it. A lot of factors may come into play, including sales tax, shipping fees, and the availability of discount coupon codes. Here are three nifty tools that will try to help you get the lowest price when shopping online…

Lots of people shop on Amazon because of their "free 2-day shipping" option for Amazon Prime members. But the truth is that free shipping isn't always free, and Amazon's price for a given item is not guaranteed to be the lowest. WikiBuy tries to solve those problems by finding discount coupons, and shopping around for the seller with the lowest price, factoring in discounts, sales tax, and shipping charges. It even helps you compare shipping dates and estimated delivery times of multiple sellers.

WikiBuy is “an unbiased source you can trust before you buy - powered by the community,” according to its own description in the Google Chrome store. So first, you must join the Wikibuy community by registering and agreeing to share data from your shopping experiences, such as coupon codes that work, and item pricing.

Save money with online shopping tools

WikiBuy extensions are available for Chrome and Firefox browsers. It runs automatically when you shop at Amazon, and pops up offers from other sources when a lower price is found. At other shopping sites, Wikibuy will offer to try all known discount codes on the checkout page. WikiBuy members also earn loyalty rewards from participating sellers, including Macy's Walmart, eBay, and Needless Markup – er, Nieman Marcus. Rewards are applied automatically when you buy from a participating seller.

Wikibuy says they will not disclose your information to third parties without your consent, but there are some exceptions. In their Privacy Policy it says "We may make certain aggregated, automatically-collected, or otherwise non-personal information available to the public or to third parties for various purposes," which "business or marketing purposes" and "to assist third parties in understanding our users’ interests, habits, and usage patterns". Make of that what you will.


Honey automatically finds coupon codes for you while you are shopping. Just register at Honey’s site and install the browser extension for Chrome or Firefox. Then, when you add an item to a site’s shopping cart, click the Honey icon to display the coupon code that saves you the most money (or learn that no coupons are available).

I tried the Honey extension for desktop Chrome. But I found that this thing tries too hard to become my one and only shopping assistant, which is sometimes annoying. An animated “happy guy” pops up at inconvenient times, obscuring information I would rather see. Honey, I don’t want to be your friend; just do your job and stay out of my way.

That said, over 110,000 of the 10 million users Honey claims have left mostly positive reviews. The coupon codes provided by Honey work most of the time and save users considerable amounts of money. Honey has a loyalty rewards program that pays “Honey Gold,” in-app script that can further reduce the price you pay when buying selected items from participating sellers. At least Honey's privacy policy is refreshing and clear: "We do not sell personal information about anyone who uses our services. Ever. That wouldn’t be fair."


Ebates has a simple, straightforward business model known as a loyalty program. The company earns cash from participating sellers each time an eBates member makes a purchase. Part of that money is shared with members in cash payments.

Ebates offers up to 25% in cash rebates when you shop online at popular stores like Amazon, Best Buy, JCPenney, Kohls, Macy's, Old Navy, Target and over 2500 more. There are no points, and no “funny money" -- you get cash to spend however and wherever you wish. You get paid every three months via your choice of Paypal or paper check.


The Camelizer extension works only with Amazon. It provides a shortcut to the CamelCamelCamel database of historical prices, presenting charts that show how the price of an item has varied over time. Amazon prices, along with new and used Marketplace sellers’ prices are plotted on a single graph. At a glance, you can see the volatility of an item’s price and which sales channel you should choose. If an item’s price is pretty stable, you may as well buy it now. But if it has fluctuated significantly in the past, you may want to set a future date on which to check the price again. The Camelizer accommodates these options.

The Camelizer works with a slew of national retailers, and is available for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Internet Explorer and Edge users can use a bookmarklet in lieu of the Camelizer browser extension.


Each of these shopping tools has other features, such as eBates’ Visa credit card that pays cash back on offline as well as online purchases, which may be decisive if you have to choose just one shopping tool. But you don’t have to make that choice. You can disable any or all of them for most of your web-surfing time, and enable one or more only for significant shopping sprees. (Use your browser's settings icon in the upper-right corner to turn extensions on or off.)

I really don’t need to compare five prices when shopping for pencils; the price differences are going to be negligible. But when it comes to expensive geek toys or power tools, I will often use both eBates and WikiBuy to find a good deal. Note that I didn’t say “the best deal.” That is and will remain as elusive as a unicorn.

Do you use these or other tools to save when shopping online? Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

 
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Most recent comments on "Money Savers For Online Shoppers"

Posted by:

ernie
26 Oct 2018

Try ibotta and checkout 51


Posted by:

Lucy
26 Oct 2018

I don't want to rain on this parade, but personally I am limiting the number of entities that have my personal information. It is not if, it is when will these sites be hacked.
I'll pay a little extra now in the hope I am less likely to find my information has been hacked, which is painful for the mind and the wallet.


Posted by:

nick
26 Oct 2018

I must be honest, about the only thing i envy about the USA is your choice of and very competitive retail landscape - online and bricks and mortar.
Down under in Australia we pay shockingly high prices and thanks to our recent government intervention, even higher prices and much less choice - we can no longer directly purchase from Amazon.com for example, we need a US shipping address and face a raft of new charges associated with such.
So most of these online shopping tools are regrettably no use to me in Australia.


Posted by:

Laurie
27 Oct 2018

For online shopping, I typically stick with Amazon Prime. Even if I do see a lower price somewhere else, it’s typically not enough of a price difference to bother. I am comfortable with Amazon, I know my products will arrive very quickly, and customer service has been good when I’vd needed it. I also get points with every purchase, which I can apply as money off on subsequent purchases. Big ticket items, such as televisions, are usually sold at very similar prices among reputable retailers, since manufacturers tend to control pricing ranges. For convenience, I usually purchase these from Best Buy, who have been consistently good to me. I can order online for fast shipping or pick up in the store after paying online. Amazon usually has much better pricing and selection for small accessories such as cables, chargers, cases and the like than Best Buy. So, even if I buy a TV, tablet or phone at Best Buy, the accessories usually come from Amazon. Best Buy has no problem price matching, though, if the item I find on Amazon is cheaper. I do usually need to go into the store for that, though.


Posted by:

Dave Fox
28 Oct 2018

Hi everyone. I'm looking for sites that will compare prices for a given item. I used to see them, but now it seems like these sites that Bob is talking about are the trend. Any help would be appreciated!


Posted by:

carmen
28 Oct 2018

I use cash-back rebate sites like Ebates and discount code sites like RETAILMENOT.com.

I also use Swagbuck Shop and convert their "funny money" into Pay Pal gift cards.

I'm still weary of installing extensions.


Posted by:

Keri
28 Oct 2018

I use the Flipp app. You can get your local flyers on there and search for specific items on sale. Helps when I have coupons ready to expire.


Posted by:

Len
29 Oct 2018

In the article we see:
The Camelizer extension works only with Amazon.
...
The Camelizer works with a slew of national retailers …
Huh?


Posted by:

J.K.
04 Nov 2018

Dave, try price grabber.com.


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