My Trick to Getting the Best Deal When Online Shopping

published May 21, 2017
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(Image credit: Getty Images)

It happens to the best of us: you hunt for weeks and weeks (or months and months) for a coffee table that’s just right. You finally find one you love at one of your trusted online retailers, usually one which you know to have fair (read: low) pricing. Congratulations! You are now the owner of a well-researched furnishing, purchased at a great price…or so you think. Sure, you might have gotten what you feel like is a good deal, but what if you learned that you could have purchased that same table for $25…$50…even $100 less? Well, I’m here to tell you just how to do that, because it’s possible, and in fact, quite easy.

I know I might be sounding a bit like an infomercial right now (“for just two easy payments of…!!”), but I promise, this is real. And it’s a trick I learned not that long ago (one I wish I had known when I was binge-buying furniture two years ago for my new apartment). All it takes is a little more research, and Google.

Here’s what I do, and though it might sound like a bit of a no-brainer, it’s easy to forget to do when you’ve already added something to your cart at first glance (without “shopping around”):

  1. Once you’ve identified the item you’re interested in, type the name into Google.
  2. Click on “Shopping” to filter your search results that way.
  3. The piece you’re searching for is likely to pop up first, so click on it to reveal all the sites that are selling it. This is where you will find the vast array of pricing, so you can make the smartest, most cost-effective decision.

Manufacturers typically give their stockists a suggested price, but the retailer chooses how much more/less they are willing to charge (or what sales they want to offer on a rolling basis). Just because your dream coffee table is being sold at for $299.99 doesn’t mean that’s what it would cost on Wayfair or Joss & Main.

Why don’t we take a look at some examples:

(Image credit: Google)

Let’s take this Modway dining table for instance. It’s being offered on Amazon for $675 (which appears to be one of the lowest prices), but had you found this same table on first and decided you had to have it right then and there, you’d be out nearly $250 more (!!!).

Here’s another:

(Image credit: Google)

Rugs USA, one of my go-to sites for floorcoverings, usually has fantastic pricing, but, with a little digging, I could save a few bucks by purchasing it through Overstock or Home Depot. Had I found it on Walmart, well…whoops.

Another solution is letting Amazon lead the way. Sometimes, when a product is being sold by multiple sellers, Amazon will offer some suggestions of “similar items” that frequently are just the same item you are looking to purchase…just with different price tags. For instance:

(Image credit: Amazon)

The far left and far right console table are not “similar items”…they’re identical, and they also happen to have a roughly $80 difference in price. Bingo!

See? With just a little more digging and knowing where to look, you can save big. Happy shopping!

I’d love to know if anyone has similar tricks they use to make sure they’re getting the lowest price possible when online shopping. Please share your tips and techniques in the comments below!