The Best Way to Save Money When Shopping Online

Hint: You'll need to use your phone for this smart trick!

If you're like me, chances are you do a fair amount of online shopping. Especially on a chilly Monday morning like today, doing some online browsing is my favorite thing to do as I sip my coffee and ease into the week ahead. And after all, shopping online is convenient, simple, and satisfying -- no crowds to deal with, no pushy salespeople, and no schlepping your purchases home. With just a click of "add to cart" and 'check out now," you can buy almost anything you want and arrange to have it delivered to your door in a timely manner. How wonderfully easy!

Well, it can be easy, but turns out that with just a bit more effort, you can make online shopping work for you more than ever before. I've learned a thing or two over the years about saving myself some money and scoring the best deals online -- this is one of my most tried-and-true tricks:

Pick Up the Phone and Make a Call
Yes, this sort of takes away from the ease and convenience of the whole experience, but preceding or following up my online purchases with a phone call to customer service has led me to super savings more than once. Sometimes, I call just to check on delivery time; other times, I might ask them to check the stock to see if the company really does have an item in my size, and in the exact color I want. Doesn't really matter what you ask; the point is to get someone on the phone and establish a friendly chat -- and that's when you can swoop in and use your bargain-hunting savvy. Often times there are similar products for a lower price, hidden coupons, student discounts, friends and family sales, or free shipping deals available that the company isn't blatantly advertising. If you ask nicely, you'll (nine times out of 10) be able to get some help with your purchases and -- the main goal -- negotiate some sort of savings on your order.

Remember, these customer service representatives want to keep clients like you happy -- if you're a happy shopper, you'll keep coming back to their site -- so it never hurts to simply and politely ask for the best deal possible. You'll probably get it. (Oh, and afterward, when asked to go through one of those "customer satisfaction surveys" on the phone or via email, it's important to pay back the karma gods and tell the company how wonderful your salesperson was. The only bummer here is that making these phone calls adds about 15 or 20 minutes to what's normally a quick process. But if you're looking to save, then hey, that's time well spent!

Try this tip when you make your next online purchase and let me know how it goes!

What's your best tip for saving money when you're internet shopping? Chime in below!

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