A Sneaky Way to Get Discounts Online

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Time just shared a neat trick for getting extra markdowns from Internet retailers…

Enter your items in the site’s shopping cart, but don’t buy anything. Then, sit back and wait for a special discount to arrive in your email inbox.

To nudge shoppers into closing the deal, some sites regularly follow up abandoned carts with reminders, offers to help if you had “trouble checking out,” and sometimes discounts and other incentives emailed to customers.

Here are some of the sites that have been seen doing this, though not always:

  • Lands’ End
  • Best Buy
  • Home Depot
  • Zappos
  • Lids.com
  • Allposters.com
  • Overstock
  • Hanes.com
  • Crocs

Like any other, these coupons might have restrictions or early expirations – $10 off $50 rather than a flat 20 percent off, for instance, and only if you buy today. So if you try this trick, make sure you get far enough through the checkout process to hand over your email address, then watch your inbox to make sure the discount doesn’t end up in spam.

Also make sure the deal is worth it – in a way, this is a digital form of haggling. Don’t be afraid to walk away (for real) if it’s not good enough.

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