In case you’ve been living in a cave for the last decade, the places where shoppers used to get their coupons and find special offers – newspapers, mail and in-store circulars – is practically dead and buried.
Not that many people actually read physical newspapers anymore, nor do most people do anything more with their “junk mail” than throw it in the trash without looking at it. And as for in-store circulars, it’s hard to gain access to these when you don’t physically shop in stores but instead do most of your comparative shopping online.
Yet there are still many great deals, discounts and special offers out there – as long as you know how to find them. Here then are six ways to find the best online discounts, deals and coupons in the digital shopping age.
Subscribe to Commercial Websites
Most providers of products and services today have websites. It’s practically an essential part of doing business in the modern age. That’s because most people today go online to find the products and services they want, rather than physically going down to a shopping mall or downtown shopping center and window shopping.
Sure, they may take special shopping trips. But these usually are to a specific destination – an afternoon day trip to an outlet mall or nostalgic holiday shopping with family or friends. For the most part – other than perhaps grocery shopping – most people today shop online.
The websites of your favorite stores offer more than just online access to their products. Most also offer significant discounts and special deals when you subscribe to their website. Generally, all you need to provide is an email address or your mobile number and you can get special deals delivered to your inbox or phone automatically, often several times per week.
Sign Up for Credit Cards
The credit card industry has gotten a lot more competitive in recent years. There are more companies vying for your business and most of them now offer special discounts and other exclusive offers to their customers.
Some credit card companies offer discounts of 1% to 5% on every purchase, while others offer cash back on certain types of products, such as gas purchases or restaurant bills. Compare the benefits of various credit cards before committing to one or two so you can make the most of your credit value.
Online Local Couponing Sites
In the past decade, a new business model has sprung up in which companies make special deals with local businesses – including discounts, VIP services, and other benefits – and offer them to their online subscribers. These online local couponing sites experienced a boom in popularity about five years ago, but now they are consolidating into just a handful of the biggest ones.
The benefit to the consumer is huge: They generally are free to join and will often personalize your offers based on your preferences. The more you interact with their website, the smarter they get about what types of deals you are most willing to want.
Use Customer Service to Ask for More
Here’s a way to get deeper discounts that most online consumers don’t know about. Most businesses with websites have live customer service people that you can actually speak to on the phone or chat with online. In many instances, it’s possible to get additional discounts, better deals such as a lower interest rate on credit, or other discounts simply by asking a live person for them.
Computer-based algorithms aren’t programmed to “wheel and deal” with customers. But real people can and will, especially when you are polite and friendly when you ask if there’s more they can do to “sweeten the deal” for you. This is especially effective with cable, satellite television, and phone service providers, although it’s usually worth trying with just about any retailer with a live customer service department.
Before you buy anything online, it’s often worthwhile to simply use a search engine such as Google, Bing or Yahoo to see if there are any coupons or other special offers you can use before you take out your credit card.
For example, planning on ordering a pizza from your favorite chain pizza restaurant? Before you do, Google “[NAME OF BUSINESS] + ‘Coupons’]” and you can often find online discounts, coupons and other savings that can save a significant amount off of your purchase.
Word of Mouth
Even though we live in a digital age, actually talking to other people – such as your friends, family and social media contacts –is often all you need to do to find the best online deals and discounts. Before you make any big purchase, send out a group email or post a status update on your social media accounts asking if anybody knows of any special offers you could use to pay less.
Author Bio – This article is written by Dmytro Mirenkov in support of Ofree.net, an online portal famous for freebies, coupons, discounts, giveaways etc. If you’re on the lookout for new free stuff & free samples, do visit ofree.net today.