Daddy Duty

Sleep, Eat, Diaper Change. Repeat.

How to shop online…and save a ton of money

on May 10, 2012

I’m going to approach this using a real world example of a breast pump transaction I just did. Hold on, hear me out.  Regardless of whether you need a pump or not, I almost guarantee you’re leaving money on the table when shopping online by paying too much and I’m going to show you how to stop it.

Before I get into that, I wanted to share a quick update on how we got to be buying this pump. JJ has finally started taking to bottles! Going back to his birth, we were nearly forced to give him a bottle or he wouldn’t be released from the hospital, so we gave him one. Once home, we tried to switch back to the breast immediately based on the advice of our lactation consultant. Since then, he’s been exclusively breastfed until now. For the past 5 months, he would do whatever he could from swatting to throwing the bottle away and has refused to eat from one.

We thought it was a bottle nipple problem-too soft/hard, too fast/slow flow, shape, etc. As a result, my house has a mini bottle lab resembling Consumer Reports trying to figure out which bottle would work with him. However, all of the sudden, at 5 months, he is taking a bottle allowing me to feed him and giving Claire a much needed break. Who knows why or if something changed.  Let’s just accept it for what it is and be thankful.

As he wasn’t eating from a bottle, we had returned the breast pump we had originally bought pre-birth. We had chosen the Medela Advanced Double Pump as it’s highly rated and is also what our hospital used. In case you weren’t aware, these suckers are expensive!

So, I’m now in the market for one. I did my normal search of Amazon, Babies R Us, etc and ended up settling on JCPenney. Let me show you why:

Babies R Us is at $269.99 + tax.

Amazon is at $259.00 tax free.

JCPenney is at $250 +tax (so $270.25 in Las Vegas).

Seeing these numbers, most people would buy at Amazon since the tax savings trumps JCPenney’s lower price (unless you’re in Oregon where there’s no sales tax).

However, through some clever maneuvers, I ended up purchasing at JCPenney for a net price of $177.52 or a savings of over $81 by doing 4 steps before I purchased from JCPenney.com. Here’s how you can do it too:

1. Log in to Topcashback.com and get referred to Plastic Jungle. By doing this, you will receive 4% cash back of your total purchase at Plastic Jungle  ($200.54*.04 = $8.02 cash back) 

FYI TopCashBack is an affiliate referral site that shares its commission it receives with you. Basically when you shop at Plastic Jungle or any of the other retailers listed (Gap, Victorias Secret, Macys, etc), they give you back the commission they receive from the retailer.

Plastic Jungle is a seller and buyer of retailers’ gift cards.  Basically, if you have gift cards lying around, they will pay you in cash for them at a discounted rate.  Say, they may give you $80 for a $100 value card.  They then sell these cards for say, $90, clearing the $10 spread as profit. For this example, we are only buying someone else’s unwanted JCPenney gift card.

2. At PlasticJungle.com, I spent $200.54 for someone else’s unwanted $271 JCPenney electronic giftcard (you can get regular gift cards mailed to you if you don’t want an electronic card) representing a savings of 26% off. Now, that I have the card, I could just go to jcpenney.com and buy, but we’re not done yet.

3. Knowing that JCPenney pays affiliate sites commissions to send it business, we need to see who is sharing the largest amount of their commission.  To do this, I went to Evreward to find out who’s paying the most for JC Penney.com purchases. Reviewing the list, I see Ebates is offering 6% cash back. So, for my $250 purchase, I’ll receive $15 cash back ($250*.06).

4. From Ebates, I then click through to be referred to JCPenney where I finally make my purchase using the gift card I purchased.

I know it looks like a lot of steps and click this site to go to this site and so on, but once you practice it, it’ll become 2nd nature to deal hunt like this and you can do these extra steps in literally a few minutes.

For the effort, you’ll save over $81. Here’s the final math:

Spent $200.54 in real cash to receive gift card.

-Received $8.02 cash back ($200.54*.04) from TopCashBack for purchasing the gift card

-Received $15 cash back ($250*.06) from Ebates for purchasing the pump at JCPenney 

That leaves a net price of $177.52 even after paying tax. Heck, used ones on Craigslist are listing for more!

In case you’ve never shopped like this, I know it can get confusing, but I’m here to help. As always, thank you for following and I truly appreciate your time.

P.S. As if this wasn’t enough of a deal, use a miles or cash back card and you’ll earn an addition point or two off of this already amazing price!

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One response to “How to shop online…and save a ton of money

  1. Laura says:

    Thanks for sharing Jason! We are remodeling a bathroom and saving around 17% on all of our Lowes purchases due to your tips. Thanks!!

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