Rule # 8 – Boss Ladies Don’t Pay Retail!
This simple hack is the “glitch” in the shopping Matrix, and it will elevate you to boss lady buyer status instantly. Plus it’s so easy that I can’t believe how many people are completely unaware of its existence.
Allow me to introduce you to the world of hidden online shopping discounts and, specifically, discounted gift cards. Everyone knows what a gift card is, but did you know that you can sell your unwanted gift cards for money? Maybe your aunt keeps giving you Christmas gift cards for Outback Steakhouse and you’re a vegetarian living 150 miles from the nearest franchise. Guess what? You can sell that bad boy and pocket the cash to buy something you’ll actually use.
You’re probably thinking: Great! So what does this have to do with saving a bunch of money when you’re shopping online? Well, here’s the rub — those same websites that buy your unwanted gift cards then turn around and sell the gift cards to other people, and they sell them at a discount of up to 35% off. So let’s say you went to RetailMeNot.com and found coupon codes for 10% off + free shipping for Victoria’s Secret, but you want to save even more money… no problem!
With this hack, you can save an additional percentage off by paying for your purchase using someone else’s unwanted gift cards (it’s not unusual to find gift cards discounted at 12% or more). On top of that, if you have a free Ebates account then you could get an additional percentage returned to you in cash back. You just use the retailer link from the Ebates website to start your shopping transaction, and Ebates automatically tracks the purchase and rewards you with cash back.
Bonus! If you’re brand new to Ebates and use my link,
you’ll get a $10 gift card just for signing up.
I typically get anywhere from $25-75/month in cash back just for using the Ebates links to do my online shopping. It’s for real, ladies, and it all adds up to major savings!
By the time you combine the regular promo codes with the discounted gift cards and the Ebates cash back, you can easily save up to 50% when you’re shopping major online retailers.
Congratulations, you’re now hacking online shopping like a boss.
1. Go to Ebates and do a quick search for the retail website of your choice (this hack works great for large retail chains like Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Gap, Babies R’ Us, Victoria’s Secret, Sephora, and many, many others). Use the Ebates link(s) to visit the retailer website.
2. Add your desired items to the shopping cart as usual.
3. Proceed through the check out process until you reach the page to input any discount/promo codes. For your convenience, Ebates even publishes an up-to-date list of current promo codes and specials being offered by retailers.
4. Add your discount/coupon/promo codes and recalculate the total, including sales tax and shipping if possible. This is where most people stop the saving process and pay, thinking that they got a great deal because they used a code from RetailMeNot.com or similar.
But don’t stop now! There’s more $ to save!
5. Once you have calculated the total after regular promo code discounts, visit one of the websites linked below to buy a discounted gift card.
Tip: You want to look for electronic card/codes which are delivered via email vs. an actual physical gift card which has to be mailed to your home.
6. Remember that it usually fine to buy and use multiple discounted gift cards to pay for your purchase. For example, if your cart total after regular promo code discounts is $100, you could buy discounted gift cards in whatever value increments necessary to cover that $100 (4 x $25 value gift cards, 2 x $50 value gift cards, and so forth).
Boss Lady Tip #1 – Many retailers will only accept 1 regular discount/coupon/promo code but they will accept an unlimited quantity of gift card codes, so this is where the hidden discounts come into play! Gift cards are considered cash, so you can usually layer as many as you like. I’ve personally paid for a single transaction with up to (4) individual gift card codes.
Boss Lady Tip #2 – Rakuten (formerly Ebates) now offers a free tool called the Cash Back Activator Button, which installs into your browser so that you can automatically see if the website you’re visiting is eligible for cash back without logging in, and it also displays cash back eligibility in product search results while you’re browsing the web. You’ll never miss a cash back opportunity again!
Which discount gift card site should you use? In my opinion, Raise.com and CardPool.com are both easy to use and have the fastest turn around time from purchase –> delivery of the codes. GiftCards.com is probably my third choice for user experience.
Ready to buy something? Here’s an example of how it’s done: