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3 Holiday Shopping Strategies Clever Consumers Use to Save Money

Erik Mathes
December 13, 2019

3 minute read

Holiday shopping always puts a dent in your bank account, but savvy shoppers know how to minimize the impact. Here’s how clever consumers are strategizing and stretching their spend this year.

Cashback sites

Cashback sites allow shoppers to earn money back on purchases at hundreds of stores. It’s simple: visit a cashback site, click a link from there to the online store of your choice, then make a purchase. The cashback site tracks the shopping trip, and once it’s verified, the shopper receives a credit for a percentage of their purchase.

Once you earn cashback, some cashback sites like Rakuten (formerly Ebates) will send a check, gift card, or PayPal credit once a quarter, while others like Lemoney let you cash out anytime after reaching a minimum amount in your account.

Another way that sharp shoppers are saving with cashback sites is through the site CashBackMonitor. There, shoppers can find the highest percentage cashback deals and a breakdown of every cashback site’s offers for every online retail store offering it, since on any given day one store can be running different offers across numerous sites.

Signing up to multiple cashback sites is common practice for today’s shopper, since the best deals for favorite stores fluctuate from site to site each day.

Some cashback sites also offer money back in the form of a donation to a charity of choice.

Bundles, sales, and clearance

When savvy shoppers are navigating their favorite online stores, they always remember to visit the sale and clearance sections. From there, they use filtered searches to narrow down the results to product categories they want and brands they love to find deals that other shoppers might miss, without compromising on quality. Retailers should take note that 44% of shoppers admit that they “can’t resist buying something if it’s on sale,” according to a 2018 survey of over 3,000 consumers by the National Retail Federation.

Savvy shoppers also seek out product bundles. Many top brands package similar products into sets, and if you’d otherwise purchase each item individually, grabbing the bundle can typically save you money.

Note that not every bundle is created equally, so strategic shoppers compare what they’d spend on each item a la carte versus the bundle price to evaluate the potential savings.

Brand emails, social media, and browser extensions for exclusive coupon codes

Some brands are so exclusive that it seems like they never run a sale. You won’t find them on cashback sites, they don’t offer product sets, and it feels like you’re confined to paying full price for anything they sell.

Not so fast. Clever consumers sign up for company emails and check their social posts.

Many brands reserve their best (or only) discounts for their most esteemed audiences, namely their email lists and followers. By following and opting in to emails, smart shoppers are among the first to know about holiday shopping promotions, often in the form of exclusive coupon codes only available through these channels.

Browser extensions like Honey and WikiBuy can also help shoppers save on top brands with coupon codes. These browser add-ons test out current promo codes on your shopping cart before you pay at checkout.

Rakuten (the cashback site) also makes a browser extension that tests out coupon codes at checkout, in addition to alerting about their cashback deals and letting shoppers apply them to any site they visit that offers one.

Combine these savvy shopping strategies, and smart consumers end up keeping extra cash in their wallet this holiday season.

Erik Mathes
Erik Mathes is a content marketing and SEO expert with an extensive background in food and drink, travel, lifestyle, and tech. He has consulted and created content for some of the world's most notable companies and startups, including Amazon, MasterCard, Unilever, AWAY, Neil Patel Digital, Vitamix, LivingSocial, and Oracle, and his writing has appeared in dozens of publications, including BuzzFeed, AFAR, The Daily Meal, The Huffington Post, Yahoo! Travel, and USA Today.
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