5 Tricks To Get the Best Deals When You’re Online Shopping

It's blustery and cold. Jack Frost is nipping at your nose outside, but your couch is cozy and warm. The only problem is, you need to do some shopping — and luckily, you don't actually have to leave your house to do it. Not only is it convenient to make purchases online instead of braving the cold and icy roads, online shopping also offers great ways to save on everything you buy. Here are some secrets to spending even less each time.

Snag coupon codes here.

You probably already know to find moneysaving coupon codes at free websites like TheKrazyCouponLady.com and RetailMeNot.com via coupon-finding browser extensions, such as CouponCabin, Sidekick, and Rakuten. But there’s a surprise way to find even more: Head to YouTube.com and search for a brand, store, or product you love, along with the phrase “coupon code” (for example, “Ulta coupon code”). Then filter your results by upload date so you’re seeing the most recent ones first. Reviewers with a large following (more than 10,000 subscribers) often receive exclusive coupon codes in return for promoting brands in their videos, which you’ll find in their video and in the description beneath it.

Tip: Worried about a website’s safety? Copy and paste its address into TransparencyReport.Google.com/safe-browsing/search, which tells you if there are known hazards (like malware) or if it’s safe to shop.

Get $ back with price drops.

Dread it when you buy an item online only to discover the price dropped a few days later? Great news: If you have a Gmail or Yahoo! email account, you can get the price difference refunded to you when you sign up for the Capital One Shopping browser extension (CapitalOneShopping.com). Not only does this free tool give you cash back and coupons that help you save, it also offers a price protection feature. This scans your email for online orders, then tracks the prices of items you’ve bought online for up to 30 days after. When it detects a price drop, it automatically requests a price adjustment for you, then you receive the difference back on the card you used when shopping. To enable the price protection feature, after signing up, click on your name, go to “Account Settings,” then “Link a mailbox to track your purchases” and select an email account.

Use photos to save.

When you see an item that you love at an online retailer or on social media, you can find out who sells it for the lowest price in seconds: Drag in or upload a photo of the item to Bing.com/VisualSearch or Images.Google.com. You’ll get a list of products that are the same or similar, along with where they’re sold and their price. Another option: Upload a photo to TrendGetter.com to find similar items sold at Walmart, or to Amazon.com/StyleSnap to find similar clothing at Amazon. Or tap the camera feature in the search bar on the Etsy app on iOS devices to upload a photo to find similar items being sold on Etsy.

Learn an item’s history.

Knowing an item’s complete price history can ensure you get the best price, now or later! To find out the history of products sold by major retailers like Amazon.com, BestBuy.com and Macys.com, install the free browser extension Honey (JoinHoney.com) or the Microsoft Edge browser and click the blue price tag in the web address bar while shopping. This way, you can find out if you should wait to make your purchase because the price is high, or if it’s a good time to buy because the price is low. Plus, if you do wait, you can request to be notified if the price drops, so you can snap it up before it sells out.

Saving science!

Heads-up when shopping online for clothes: When an item is accompanied by photos of a model wearing it in a real-life scenario (such as a woman wrapped in a scarf on a snowy day), you’re up to 36 percent more likely to buy it and are willing to pay significantly more for it than if you saw the same clothing on a model against a plain white background. To avoid overspending, before putting the item in your cart, compare prices at other retailers to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman's World.