Online flash sales can offer some steep discounts on your favorite clothes, accessories, and electronics — but can also drain your wallet if you’re not careful. And as with everything in life: do not accept the sticker price, even if it is a discounted one! There are plenty of ways to save even more and get the most out of your online shopping. Here are three of my favorite tricks:
1. If you have a coupon or discount code that has expired, don’t trash it. Call customer service. In many cases they’d rather honor the expired discount that leads to a sale than lose you as a customer altogether, so they might just extend it. Chances are they’ll be on to another promotion, too, which could lead to even bigger savings.
2. Pay attention to tags so you can spot an item that is retail versus manufactured specifically for sale in the outlet. Only then can you know what you’re really saving. For example, tags on clothing at Gap outlet stores are white with blue lettering, the opposite of their retail tags. Banana Republic factory stores feature three small diamonds indicating they’re not retail quality. And Brooks Brothers outlet goods are labeled as “Brooks Brothers 346.”
3. Be smart about the order in which you use online discounts. If the retailer lets you apply multiple discounts, use the percentage-based code first (say, 15% off your entire order) and then the dollar amount (for example, $25 off your purchase). This way you get the percentage off the full retail price, aka bigger savings.