November 18, 2016
As much as I enjoy finding ways to make money online, I also love saving money, in my business and in life. I love a bargain, although it loses its appeal if it takes a lot of time (think clipping coupons for hours or shopping at multiple stores to find the absolute best deal). That’s why I always look for ways to save money with as little effort as possible.
Use this trick during the holiday season, during early January and early July (when every store everywhere seems to have huge sales) and beyond.
I follow a simple process for online shopping (my favorite kind) which has saved us a good amount of money over time. And it doesn’t take a lot of time. Score.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
I’m going to walk you through a recent purchase I made. These happen to be shirts, but you could use the same method to buy almost anything for your business, life or home.
If the process sounds confusing, don’t worry, at the end of the post, I’ll outline the exact steps I use so you can do it too.
How I bought $30 shirts for less than $8, with little effort
I do all my clothes shopping online for two reasons: (1) I can stay home (intense introvert) and (2) I’m very tall and it’s nearly impossible to find long-enough clothes in the store.
Old Navy is one of the few online stores with a good selection of tall clothing at reasonable prices. So when I was looking for some cool weather shirts the other day, I decided to start there.
But I didn’t go to OldNavy.com.
Instead, I start at Ebates. Why? Because it’s a rebate site, meaning, once you sign up with them you can click through any of the store links on their site (like Amazon, Old Navy, The Children’s Place, LOFT or hundreds of others), make a purchase and earn cash back (usually 2%-10% of the total which may sound small, but adds up). Once you reach a small threshold amount (about $5), Ebates will send you a check in the mail or a deposit in your PayPal account. (This is totally legit by the way. They are simply splitting their affiliate earnings with you.)
Back to my story…
So I need some shirts so I go to Ebates. Once there, I search for Old Navy in the search bar and click the “Shop Now” button:
Ebates tells me they’re sending me to Old Navy’s website:
Then I see OldNavy.com as usual. It looks the same, feels the same, is the same.
I always look for sales or coupon codes to add at checkout. In this instance, I see the 40% off sale:
It didn’t require a coupon code at checkout, but was automatically applied.
At this point, I shop as usual, adding things to my cart. I pay special attention to any sale items because a lot of times, extra discounts work for them too. For example, here’s one of the shirts I found:
Note the original price was $29.94, but three colors were on sale for $15.00. As soon as I put it in my cart, the 40% off sale was applied, knocking the price down to $9.00. Nice!
I’m ready to check out, but I notice they have another deal, this one for free shipping with a $50 minimum purchase:
My daughter could use a few shirts and these might make good gifts too! So I add a few more to my cart. Can’t go wrong for $9 bucks! Alright, time to check out.
But I don’t use my card. I use one of my Raise gift certificates.
Wait, what? What’s Raise?
It’s a site that sells gift cards at a discounted rate. You can find gift cards for almost any store you can imagine (even Dollar Tree). Obviously I had to buy the gift card before I check out, but Raise sells eGift cards which are available to use almost immediately. I got my Old Navy gift card for 13% off.
Bottom line: I got a $30 shirt for less than $8 and shipped to my door for free.
I’ve also layered on more savings by using a cash back credit card to purchase the Raise gift card, but that’s another post.
Did that seem confusing? It may sound like it, but trust me, it’s not! Here’s what to do:
- Step 1 (one time only): Sign up at Ebates. It’s free.
- Step 2 (one time only): Sign up for a Raise account. It’s also free.
- Step 3: Search the Raise site for stores you shop at. Set alerts for any you want to watch. Buy an eGift card if you want to use it right away. (Physical cards come in the mail.)
- Step 4: When you’re ready to shop, go to Ebates.com. Search for the store you have the gift card for and click its “Shop Now” button. Shop as usual. (Don’t forget to apply any special deals or coupon codes!)
- Step 5: At checkout, choose “Gift card” as your payment method and use the number and PIN from your Raise gift card.
Check your Ebates account for your rebate balance and to specify how you want them to send you your money (by check or PayPal).