I’ve been working in the marketing industry for seven years, and I’ve been a thrifty queen for even longer. I love a good deal and will shout from the rooftops whenever I get a discount. Before working in marketing, I thought a brand’s best deal was their BEST DEAL EVER. Well, I will let you in a couple of secrets to ensure you never pay full price online again.
However, being a marketer and a consumer, I’ve seen both sides of the advertising behind a company’s deals, discounts, and sales. A brand will always tell you they’re offering the ‘best deal ever’, and I’m guilty of using that tactic to entice new customers. A little secret? You’re getting duped for clicks. The ‘best deal ever’ is usually only up for a short window and is rarely the best price they can offer you.
I’m not gatekeeping anymore. I’m sharing the secrets and tactics used to drive over $1 BILLION in revenue for several e-commerce brands. I think it’s time we share that wealth. Keep reading for my insider’s guide on how to never to pay full price online again.
RULE #1: NEVER Pay Full Price
E-commerce brands (without brick-and-mortar store locations) measure their success by growth metrics. Nearly all internet brands will offer promotions to entice you to click on their site and increase their growth.
Rule number one is to keep that in mind. Easy peasy! Don’t impulsively buy a product simply because a brand immediately offers you what seems like a good deal. You’re leaving money on the table without using the following insider tactics.
RULE #2: Never Buy a Product Before Receiving a Promotional Email
We’ve seen this. An interstitial ad will pop up after a few minutes (or even seconds) of browsing a brand’s site, prompting you to submit your email for an exclusive discount. Put your email address into their prompt. Because they are attempting to capitalize on your initial site visit, nearly all e-commerce brands have the best chance of getting you to purchase if they send their biggest offer within 24 hours of your visit.
But my email inbox is already so cluttered!! I know. Life hack. Whenever I’m prompted to submit an email, I use a separate address I created just for these purposes. This way, I can be sure that only store emails and promotions wind up in that inbox, and my personal and professional emails don’t get lost among the (many) discounts I receive. Sign up for the promotional email, wait for this email, and then buy.
RULE #3: Customer Service is Your Best Friend
Remember when I said some deals are limited-time offers? Often, deals get removed from the site and are no longer available on the web…but the customer service team always has the best deals. My advice, reach out to their team via email, live chat if they have it, or even better (and old school) give them a ring.
Turn on the charm, and make up a sob story. I’m not telling you to become Frank Abagnale Jr., but the Customer Service team will usually have the best promotions handy to share with you if you’re nice to them. All you need to do is find the customer service contact information – there is usually a ‘Contact’ page that can be found at the bottom of most sites. Newer or more savvy brands also have chat features. Get yourself that promo!
RULE #4: Google Works Wonders
This goes back to rule #1. We are never paying full price. Before purchasing your item(s), you can Google some variation of ‘Brand Name Promo’ or ‘Brand Name Discount’ and easily find crowdsourced and publicly available discounts on RetailMeNot, CouponFollow, Honey, and even Capital One Shopping.
I’ve been using RetailMeNot since I bought my first pair of UGG Boots in the 6th grade. They haven’t failed me yet. If the promo code is verified or says it was used in the last day, you’re golden. That means it will probably work for you (and isn’t a scam).
RULE #5: Use Patience During the Holidays
True or false, is Black Friday the biggest sale of the year? False. The ubiquity of e-commerce has somewhat sunset the doorbuster sales we used to see the day after Thanksgiving. And often, when brands launch their first-holiday offer on Black Friday, they intend to launch an even bigger offer on Cyber Monday. Sometimes they even extend their online sales to Christmas or New Year’s.
My advice is to be patient. If you don’t need the product or gift immediately, we recommend waiting for these later days because you’ll likely find the best price. They do say patience is a virtue, and your wallet will thank you.
RULE #6: Add the Honey Plugin to your Browser:
Honey, another hack I’ve been using since I discovered what online shopping is. It’s free to install (we love that) and takes two clicks to add it to Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and even Opera. That’s pretty much it – while you shop online, Honey scours the internet for promo codes. Then with one click, applies it to your cart and save money. If you’re not using Honey, you’re spending more money than you should.
As I finish this article, I’m so happy that I could share my experience on both sides of the advertising behind a company’s deals. As a marketer, it’s my job to make our customers think they’re getting the best deal ever with every single campaign to grow their business. With the tips I shared above, hopefully, you can save money and be an insider too.