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5 tips for smarter online shopping and prepaid solutions

online-shopping1-300x217Ever wonder what the real experts know that you don’t when it comes to online shopping? It comes down to a few smart strategies, a little organization — and the willingness to walk away from sites that skimp on consumer must-haves, like convenience and security. Want to make your surfing, clicking and buying quicker, cheaper and easier? Here are some insider strategies:

  1. ONLINE SHOPPING CAN BE A MATTER OR TIMING: Most online shops “release coupons on the second of the month or on the 27th or 28th,” says Hillary Mendelsohn, author of “the purplebook” online shopping series and founder ofPurple Book. “So that’s good to know, timing-wise,” she says.
  2. CONSIDER AUTOMATING REGULAR BUYS: Have something bulky or heavy that you buy regularly Instead of lugging it home yourself, consider setting up an automated order, says Mendelsohn, who uses Amazon’s “subscribe” feature to get her kids’ favorite tea by the case every other month. “And it’s free shipping. It makes a huge difference, and I don’t have the schlep it.” Free shipping can also sub in for “free delivery” for large one-time purchases, such as patio furniture and ping-pong tables, she says.
  3. COUPON + DISCOUNT CARDS = MORE SAVINGS: What’s better than a coupon for something you need? Being able to combine that coupon with a discounted gift card to amp up your savings. While you often can’t use two different coupons on one item, you can use a coupon with a gift card purchased for less than face value, says Michelle Madhok, founder of She Finds, an online shopping site. Madhok’s tip: Use a gift card search site. “You can often buy them for 6% to 15% off face value and many are ecards, so you don’t have to wait for delivery,” Madhok says. “I used a digital gift card and coupon code on a $300 purchase and ended up saving about $50,” she says.
  4. USE ALERTS TO SAVE NOT SPEND: Be careful about subscribing to those “daily deals,” says Kit Yarrow, consumer psychologist and author of “Generation BuY: How Tweens, Teens, and Twenty-Somethings Are Revolutionizing Retail.” Here’s why: They present a sudden deadline, plus an element of competition, she says. “People make hasty decisions when they feel like they’re competing with other shoppers.”
  5. USE A PREPAID SOLUTION TO GET INSTANT GRATIFICATION: When you shop with a virtual prepaid solution, you can buy instantly and easier than traditional credits because your using the code from deliver by email. Virtual Prepaid Solution are available to companies as employee rewards and market research companies as survey incentives through Virtual Incentives.

These tips through Fox Business and Dana Dratch. We’re grateful to know about them because because they help up practice smarter online shopping. Did they help you?

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