With so many ways to score deals on just about anything, there’s never a reason to pay full price. It doesn’t matter if you’re shopping for a new wardrobe, planning your yearly vacation or buying little things for the house. With a little patience and savvy shopping, you might find exactly what you want for less than you expected. Depending on the savings, you might get more for your money and walk away a true winner.
Smart shoppers can probably break down a half dozen ways to save when shopping online. Everyone has their favorite go-to sites and strategies for getting the best deals—coupon codes, eBay or buying used on Craigslist.
Next to eBay, I’ve found some of the best deals on Groupon. I’m a little behind the times considering that I’ve only been using Groupon for a little more than two years. But in this short time, I’ve saved on travel, electronics, clothes, household goods and restaurants. If you haven’t discovered Groupon, you’re missing out. But this doesn’t mean you should sign up and immediately purchase the first deal you find.
It isn’t enough to save money, you want the most savings possible. Fortunately, there are a few tips to ensure you get the most out of your Groupon account.
1. Tell your friends about this amazing service
If you’re saving money with Groupon and getting more bang for your buck, share your knowledge. You’ll not only help your friends save, you can get $10 in Groupon bucks for every referral who signs up and completes a purchase of at least $10 in the first 72 hours. If you have a friend who’s looking to buy a flat iron and you see one on Groupon at a low price, send them a link.
2. Shop through a third-party site
If your credit card company partners with Groupon, you can potentially earn cash back on purchases you make through the company’s site. This is my strategy every time I make a Groupon purchase. I log into my Discover card account, and then click the Discover Deals link where I’m redirected to Groupon. As a promotion, Discover offers cardmembers 5% cash back on Groupon purchases. So far this year I’ve received $50 in cash back. Some cash back sites offer a similar promotion.
3. Get the Groupon app
If you only access Groupon on your desktop or laptop computer, you might miss out on savings. Download the Groupon app to your smart phone and use it whenever you’re out and about. Using your GPS location, the app can search for discounts in your immediate area. If you’re having lunch or dinner with friends, simply open your app to find the best offers. The app also comes in handy when you’re traveling and want to take advantage of local discounts on dining, entertainment and hotels.
4. Shop around
Groupon offers some impressive deals, but don’t automatically assume that every price on the site is the best you can do. Groupon features different merchants, and each merchant chooses the price for its products.
If you shop around and compare Groupon prices with other retailers, you might discover that some Groupon prices are higher. Groupon merchants typically include the normal retail price with their sale price. The problem is that some merchants exaggerate the normal retail price for an item, thus giving the false impression that you’re getting a steal of a deal. In actuality, their Groupon price might be comparable to other retailer prices or more expensive. So it’s important to do your homework and make sure you’re actually saving money. This includes factoring in any shipping fees charged by the merchant.
Just about everyone I know loves a discount. If this also applies to you, Groupon is an excellent alternative if you’re looking for quality items at low prices, just make sure you understand the tricks for scoring a good deal.
These tips just scratch the surface. If you’re already a Groupon fan, what are your strategies for saving the most on the site?