I’m a big time online shopper. I live in a tiny town, where Walmart is THE place to shop… yeah…
So thank God for the internet! I want to share my top favorite places to buy my supplies and some of the tricks I use to get the best deals. This is a little bit of a lengthy post, and some of it may be common sense, but it’s worth reading if you want to save some serious money! A lot of these tips can be applied to any kind of online shopping, not just craft supplies.
Top Favorite Sites
10 Tips for Saving
1. Look for a newsletter sign up on the site. You’ll automatically receive special deals and coupon codes you can use at their site. If you don’t want the extra email traffic, set up a different email JUST for this purpose. Or, if you have an email account like Gmail, you can label these emails and automatically have them archived. That way they won’t clutter your inbox, but you can easily access a list of them. Sites like Hobby Lobby and Joann constantly send coupons for 40% or 50% percent off any one regularly priced item. That’s some serious savings!
2. Sign up for birthday clubs. A lot of the time this is automatic when you sign up for newsletters. You’ll receive extra special offers around your birthday. Some places even give you a gift certificate.
3. Sign up for rewards. For example, Artbeads has a rewards program called Crystal Rewards. You earn points with every purchase that can be redeemed for gift certificates. Oriental Trading has a similar program called Oriental Trading Rewards. These are not credit cards or anything that will cost you money. This is the online equivalent to those barcode keychains you get at regular stores. It’s completely FREE.
4. COUPON CODES! This is where the big savings happen. You’ll get codes in your newsletters, but there might be better ones out there. One of my absolute favorite sites is RetailMeNot. It’s a site where people share their coupon codes. Just search for the site you’re buying from, and find the best code/deal. (This is a great site for ANY kind of online shopping)
5. HONEY! Ok, this is similar to using coupon codes, but it’s so cool it deserves its own bullet point. This only works if you have Chrome. In my opinion, Chrome is the best browser, and if you’re not using it, you should. Honey is an extension for chrome. When you get to a check out page, you’ll see an orange button. Click it and it will automatically check the web for coupon codes and find you extra savings. How awesome is that?
6. Compare prices. This can sometimes take a little bit of time, because there are a few variables, but it’s worth it in the end. Just because an item costs less on one site than another does NOT necessarily mean it’s the best deal. You should compare shipping costs and what kind of savings you can get through coupon codes. You can use Google Shopping to compare prices and shipping.
7. Shipping. Find the best shipping deal – a lot of people overlook this. This is similar to the last point. If an item cost $10 on one site with $5 shipping, but $12 on another site with free shipping, buy the $12 item. Amazon has a lot of items that qualify for FREE Super Saver Shipping. So if you find an item on one site, see if you can find it on Amazon to get the free shipping. Artbeads has an awesome shipping deal. You only have to spend $10 to get free shipping, and if you don’t, it’s only $1.99!
8. This is one of those common sense tips, but if you can wait to buy something, then wait, and bundle as many purchases as you can into one order to save on shipping. Sometimes, the opposite can help you though. For instance, you may want to buy items separately if you want to use your 40% off one item coupons from Joann or Hobby Lobby. It’s one per purchase. Even with the multiple shipping charges, it can work out to be a better deal.
9. Take advantage of bulk shopping. If you know you’re going to use a lot of one item, stock up! Places like Artbeads give you a discount on higher quantities.
10. Check the packaging. When you receive an order, a lot of times you’ll find coupon codes in your packaging. This is especially true of Etsy sellers and Artbeads.
These are just some basic tips that I use every time I shop online. There are lots of ways to save money online, and these will give you a good start!