It’s easy to shop online–but it isn’t always easy to make sure you’re scoring the best deals that you possibly can. By following these tips, you can make sure you’re finding and getting the greatest prices every time you shop.
Be Aware of Which Browser You’re Using
It may not seem like it, but the device or browser you use to shop can have an impact on how much you end up paying. Many retailers use a technique called “dynamic pricing”, which will show a range of prices based on what’s being used. For example, if you use a Mac, you’ll likely see higher prices, because companies assume having a Mac means your income is more expendable and you’ll be able to pay more than PC users. Similarly, you’ll find lower prices if you shop using Firefox or Chrome; Internet Explorer and Safari will have higher prices.
Make Sure You’re in Incognito Mode to Shop
A study that was conducted by The Wall Street Journal showed that zip codes that tend to have higher-priced housing are served higher prices by stores. They’ll also show higher prices to areas that are rural, where there isn’t as much competition. Stores can identify your location through the IP address located on your device, and through the data that’s stored in cookies which indicates your preferences and patterns for shopping. Cookies can make online shopping more efficient and faster, however, if you’re looking for low prices, it might not work for you.
To hide all this information, you’ll need to conduct your online shopping in incognito, or private, mode. You’ll typically find the ability to do this in the Settings tab of your browser. You can also use DuckDuckGo, a search engine that does not store information at all as you shop or search. It’s a great alternative. You can also simply take care to clear your browsing history, as well as clear cookies, and make this a habit.
Compare Prices as You’re Shopping
You can use tools and apps that will help you compare and contrast prices as you shop. There are many add-ons and plugins you can install that will show you if the item has a lower price on a different website. There are add-ons such as Priceblink and Invisible Hand that do exactly this. Similarly, there are tools that can track prices, and will help you know when to buy it at its cheapest. This is similar to consistently checking airline prices to get them cheap, as the price will oscillate.
Use Those Coupons
There are many websites that help you access promotional codes and coupons that you can apply to your purchase before you check out. Although something like 10% off may not seem like much, over time, it will add up and save you a lot of money. Many add-ons and plugins can help you achieve this. You can also sign up for an account on a cashback website, which will require you to launch the website you’re shopping on from the cashback site itself in order to apply your savings.