7 tricks for saving money when online shopping

We’ve gathered some clever tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your online purchases:

1. Connect on social media.

“Like” your favourite brands on Facebook or follow them on Twitter or Instagram to be the first to hear about upcoming sales and discounts as well as other news, such as new product ranges.

2. Sign up for their newsletter.

Stay in touch with retailers by getting their regular electronic newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. You’ll get access to exclusive “member” promotions, from free shipping to 20 per cent off your next purchase.

3. Never shop without a coupon.

Before you click “buy”, search for coupon codes that will save you money. Sites like finder.com.au/deals, ozdiscount.com or voucher-cloud.com.au offer discounts on products in categories including beauty, electronics, retail and travel.

4. Keep an eye on international sales calendars.

While traditionally, most retailers have half-yearly and post-Christmas sales, some markets have further sales, e.g. the US slashes prices for Independence Day on July 4 and Black Friday, which is the Friday after Thanksgiving. Knowing when these important dates on the sales calendars are coming up can help to make your cash go further.

5. Get a Google Chrome plug-in.

Download a nifty free tool from Google extensions to do the hard work for you. Before buying, it will automatically notify you of cheaper deals elsewhere. Finder’s Anywhere plug-in offers user-friendly side-by-side comparisons.

6. Enter competitions.

You’ve got to be in it to win it, right? Many retailers and websites hold competitions as a way to reward loyal fans, or entice new ones. In one current competition, you can win $1000 to spend at The Iconic. The best bit: entering competitions doesn’t cost you anything, so you could enjoy a free shopping spree.

7. Check the returns policy.

This, along with shipping, are usually the big expenses with online shopping — after all, returning items in-store doesn’t cost a thing, but this isn’t always the case online if you have to spend money on postage to send it back. Do your homework before you buy. If you’re not certain about the item, or are worried about fit, go ahead only if you’re willing to cough up return shipping costs.