A blog about keeping yourself and your expenses lean in Oakland County, Michigan.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Repost: How to maximize your on-line shopping

If you have been following blogs for a while you will notice deals come up every now and then and they will alert to go through cash back site like Big Crumbs , Shop at Home , ebates, or cashbaq.

When you see those you may wonder if it is worth especially if you are doing an on-line deal costing $10 or less. Well yesterday I get an email with the following:

Subject: Your Big Fat Payment From Ebates!
Note: Dear Ebates Shopper, Thank you for using Ebates every time you shop online. Congratulations, here is your Big Fat Payment! Please feel free to contact us with any questions that you may have about your payment or your Ebates account. Happy shopping! Sincerely, Ebates Customer Care
Custom Note: Thank you for using Ebates every time you shop online!
Payment Type: Instant

And then I had $13+ transferred into my paypal account. Between that, You Data , Surveys , and Swagbucks I have close to $30 in my paypal account. I think that is pretty good mostly for doing things that I normally do anyway.

To figure out the best site to use I go to Ev'reward I like the site a lot because it even tells you Upromise and converts mypoints points to a percentage for you so you can compare apples with apples. They will also let you know if there are any on-line coupons/promotional codes available currently available.  However you may need to look up a few manually I don't believe Shop at Home yet appears nor does zamzuu if you are an affiliate with them.

Two other sites to check for promotional codes are Promotional Codes and Retail Me Not.

Another thing I do is use a card that offers a rewards program. Usually credit card rewards programs are better than debit card rewards programs. Go Money Central MSN Credit Card Smarts for a great article on how you can chose the best rewards credit card for you. Go Credit.com Credit Rewards for a list of some available credit card offers. As the first article says though if you carry a balance on your credit cards then rewards credit cards are not for you. They are for those that pay their credit card off in full every month.

I do not have a rewards credit card however here is a list of some of the best rewards debit cards at Best Cash Cow best debit reward cards Every month it seems more banks are adding rewards programs so check with your local bank to see if they have one that you are not yet utilizing.

Go Extra Money for Searching Shopping and more for an article I listed previous with various cash back websites.

Also sign up for a rewards program for that store if available.

Here is an example of a transaction:
Need to buy ink from Best Buy
Ev'rewards informs that the best deal is 5.4% at Big Crumbs 
If I bought 2 cartridges from the store it would be $36.02 (including tax)
But I buy it on-line (and choose in-store pick up)
There is an automatic internet discount if you buy two cartridges you get 25% off the 2nd one bringing me down to $32.53.
Later $1.75 back from Big Crumbs bringing my total price down to $30.78
Additionally as a bonus I get points on my best buy rewards card (after $250 spent I get a coupon for $5 to spend as cash.
And I get a few points back for using my fifth third debit rewards card.
Although the last two are minor after 8 or so more transactions at best buy of that size I have an extra $5 to spend. And from just using my debit card as I normally would I'll have $25 deposited in my savings account. (For me it takes about a year but no extra effort.)
Do that a few times a month for necessary things like gifts and it can start to add up.

One last tip is to check Amazon.com (I have a search bar on the right hand side) and Ebay. You can still get cash back shopping at ebay through many of the sites I listed above.

So how do you maximize your on-line shopping experiences?

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