I'm going to let you in on a little secret today about how I save money shopping online for my jewelry-making supplies.
Let's face it, beading can be expensive. The beads, those gorgeous little suckers, really diminish all willpower once you walk into a store, don't they? I go bead shopping with one item in mind but then I see colours and new bead shapes that I just can't resist! Then, there are all the other supplies you need: thread, findings...
After all the holiday shopping for gifts and groceries, I know my purse can sure use a break. Are you ready for the truth about how I save while online shopping for beading supplies?
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So How Do I Save Money?
The number one way that I save money shopping online is Ebates!
Okay, if you have never heard of Ebates, let me tell you all about it. Ebates is a website that allows you to receive cash back, via check or PayPal, when you shop online with thousands of major retailers. It has been around for quite some time as it was founded in 1998.
To use the service, all you need to do is create a free account on their website. Then, before you begin online shopping, simply log into your Ebates account, find the store with which you want to shop and click on the store's website. Now you are eligible to receive cash back. It's as easy as that! A few stores that you can shop with for jewelry supplies through Ebates include Joann, Michaels, Walmart and Amazon.
There is also an Ebates button you can add to your Google Chrome browser in case you forget to log onto the website first. This button will notify you anytime you go to a website where you can get cash back. This is very handy, if you're like me and you often forget about this money-saving tool.
To get the button, scroll to the bottom of the Ebates homepage until you reach the grey footer. Click "Ebates button" under the heading "Apps, Tools & Services".
On the next page, click "Get the Button".
A box will appear asking to "Add Ebates Cash Back". Click "Add Extension".
The button will be added to the top right of your Google Chrome browser window.
You may be thinking that this free service is too good to be true and wondering how Ebates makes money. Well, companies pay Ebates to advertise their stores so when you shop with JoAnn, for example, they pay Ebates a commission. Ebates, then gives you part of that fee and everybody wins. Honestly, this is my favourite way to save money that I'll be spending anyway.
2. Compare prices and value
When there is an item you want to purchase, shop around first and compare prices and the value you get from different retailers. You can do this in mere seconds when shopping online. When I say value, I'm referring to things like shipping costs and rewards points. Sometimes, if you spend a little more, you may be eligible for free shipping and this might make up for the few extra dollars you spent. Weigh your options and see where you get the best deal before you click that checkout button.
3. Coupon Codes
You have all the items you want in your online shopping basket and you're about to complete your purchase, but wait! Have you checked for a coupon code yet? Websites like Retail Me Not are fantastic sources of coupon codes. Simply go to the website and type in the name of the store in the search bar.
If you don't find a coupon code there, you can always try Google. I have done this several times and have found active codes to apply to my purchase.
Social media sites are also great for finding deals from your favourite stores. These offers are sometimes exclusive to the customers who follow these pages so be sure to check them first.
4. Mailing Lists
Many stores have mailing lists that you can join. Email lists are a great way to get notifications when there are sales and special deals being offered to customers. Be careful not to go crazy and buy things you didn't really want in the first place. Remember you are trying to save money! Retail Me Not also has a mailing list so this can be a great way to avoid emails from lots of different stores cluttering up your inbox.
Impulse shopping is a huge culprit when it comes to overspending. You see something and all of a sudden, you must have it! As I mentioned before, it can be hard to resist the call of beads sparkling on the shelves. (They're so pretty!) But how many times have you bought items and then found them months later, forgotten and unused and then you're overcome with guilt?
When you go shopping, online or otherwise, make sure you have a list of the items you would like to purchase.
Sidenote: Please make sure you write the exact colour and size you need when bead shopping. I have seen people guessing many times while I owned my bead shop and they usually selected the wrong item and had to exchange it later.
But I digress... if you see anything you would like to purchase that is not on your list, just pause and think about it. Walk away and do something else. When I do this, 95 percent of the time, I completely forget about the item or it just doesn't seem that important anymore. Stores are designed to make you buy so wait a bit before you give in to the naughty angel on your shoulder telling you to just get it.
6. Shopping Out Of Season
Another way to get huge discounts is to shop for items out of season. Many stores slash the prices of their seasonal stock after the specific holiday has passed. If you want Christmas-themed supplies, now is a great time to look for items for next year's jewelry.
So the cat's out of the bag. You now know how I save money shopping online for beading supplies. Of course, these tips apply to shopping in general but this website is dedicated to beading. 😉
Let me know if you have any other tips for saving money while shopping for jewelry supplies online.