Online shopping offers convenient purchasing of products without the hassles of going to stores, going through different brands to find what you want, or waiting in line for the cashier. Sometimes you get lured in with deals that make you spend more than your budget, or you find out deals you thought were great weren’t really that good.

Here’s some helpful advice to make sure you get the best deals possible shopping online.

Marc Ellwood, author of “Bargain Fever: How to Shop in a Discounted World,” gives us some tips on how to deal with online stores that offer discounts to make sure you get the best price.

Make Use of Online Deals to Get the Best Offer

You are planning to purchase a purse and you find something that you really like in the store. However, it’s not for sale – yet.

Get your phone and look for the item online, find the best offer and bring it to the attention of the store manager. Most likely, the manager will give in and match the price you found online – and yes! You get the item right there, no waiting for shipping.

Get Shopping Deals from Social Media

Social media like Twitter has a strong influence on people and communities. You can start your own Twitter page for bloggers and dealhunters or anyone who enjoys finding sales. But why start your own, when groups like that already exist! Ellwood thinks that tweets can direct you to online sales and big discounts. Other people following a deal page discuss or tweet about brands and products and you discover more options and information about items you want to purchase.

This is great for limited-time, or true limited-quantity, deals.

Leave your Shopping Cart

Online shopping involves two steps. One, a potential customer goes to an online store, finds the item they want, and then places it in their shopping cart. Only this time, leave your shopping cart without completing the order and wait.

Most good online stores monitor abandoned carts. They follow up to contact you, since you already entered your email and information, to encourage you to complete the process by buying the item. Part of that encouragement? Discounts. You can expect sales discounts or promo codes in your inbox.

Your Location has a Price­

Ellwood stated that most of business owners of online stores get track your general location using online analytics that they can use to their advantage. If you are living in an upscale location, they may think that you can afford a few extra charges. Ellwood recommends that if you love to shop online, use a VPN to conceal your IP address, and hide your true location.

Another way to conceal your location is to check prices from a computer at another location, such as places you go after work or during your vacation somewhere. This is a well-known trick for airline tickets. Buy where the local economy is known to be weak, even if your departure airport is your home city, and deals often open up.

Free Shipping can be a Bluff

Records show that most online shoppers jump on sites where free shipping is offered. Always make sure it’s a real deal. Check the prices and analyze the shipping costs and compare it to those with free shipping. Do not mislead by free shipping. Some sites increase the cost of an item and bundle in the shipping price, just so they can say you are getting something for free. In reality, it can cost the same or more.