(BPT) - Summer can bring a flurry of activities and experiences. Whether you're traveling to see friends and family, camping, going to the beach or simply enjoying outdoor summer activities, this time of year can quickly put a dent in your bank account.
Shopping online can help make summer fun more affordable. You can find great online deals on beach and pool accessories, warm-weather clothing and more. However, to make sure you're getting the best deals, you'll need to follow some online shopping strategies.
Check out these five tips to help you save time and money this summer.
1. Wait and shop at the right time
If you've ever bought something during a Black Friday sale, you know how rewarding it can be to wait and get a big-ticket item at a bargain price. You can use this tactic year-round by becoming familiar with seasonal retail sales.
According to NerdWallet, if you're looking for fitness equipment for your home gym or TVs and electronics, then take advantage of discounts in January. If you need to replace your old mattress, wait and buy in September around Labor Day.
Make a list of items you'd like to purchase this year and research the best times to shop so you can get the best deal possible.
2. Use online shopping tools for price comparison, cash back and coupons or discounts
There are numerous shopping apps and tools that help ensure you're getting what you need at the lowest price. Some even offer cash back for simply using the savings tool when you complete your purchase.
It’s even easier if you do your online shopping on Microsoft Edge, the browser with built-in tools designed to save you time and money. No need to download extensions to your phone or laptop! On average, people save about 20% (or around $25) when shopping in Microsoft Edge using features like:
- Coupon alert: You’ll be alerted about any coupons available for the site you’re browsing, which can be automatically applied at checkout.
- Price comparisons: Microsoft Edge will check prices at competing retailers for lower prices.
- Price history: Plan your next online purchase by looking at historical price trends to fit your budget.
- Price change alerts: You’ll be alerted if items you’ve viewed have changed in price.
- Reviews and ratings: Access online expert reviews and customer ratings for over five million products
- Express checkout: Microsoft Edge will autofill your information so you can speed through checkout.
"We want to help people save time and money so they can focus on the things that matter most," said Liat Ben-Zur, corporate vice president of marketing, Microsoft. "Whatever you’re searching for, whether it’s clothing, gifts or furniture, you can shop confidently with our built-in savings tools and know you're getting the best deal without all the extra leg work."
3. Avoid markups by beating dynamic pricing
Have you ever gone to buy a plane ticket and realized that the price has gone up within a matter of hours? Dynamic pricing (also known as surge pricing, demand pricing and time-based pricing) is to blame. This strategy allows companies to adjust the price of an item in real time based on supply and demand.
To avoid markups, delete your browser's cookies or shop in a private window, especially when buying airline tickets or booking a hotel room. Also, if you don't need an item urgently, leave it in your cart. You'll likely get an email the same day or a day or two later that the item you were thinking of purchasing has had a price drop.
4. Use your credit card’s cash back
Are you using your cash-back rewards? If you have a cash-back credit card, you make back some of what you spent on your regular purchases like gas, groceries and household products. While it may not seem like a lot for individual purchases, cash-back rewards can quickly add up, so you can put that money in the bank or apply it toward other purchases.
5. Join loyalty and rewards programs
You've probably been asked at grocery stores, clothing retailers and gas stations about joining the store's loyalty and rewards program. These programs are generally free to sign up for, and you can even do it at checkout in most places that offer them. Simply input your phone number and/or email address and you'll earn reward points or receive coupons and discounts for future purchases.
Smart shopping pays off. Use these five tips while shopping online for all your summer needs.