Learning how to buy shoes online has been a massive advantage for my family in keeping our living costs low. Finding a nice pair of shoes can be extraordinarily expensive, and many people find it challenging to get reasonable prices on shoes.
Over time finding your preferred shoes at the lowest prices becomes an art, but getting the hang of does take some time. I have drilled this down into a four-step process.
Step 1 – Know Your Shoe Size
You cannot buy shoes online without knowing your size. Shoe sizes would seem more straightforward than it is.
Manufacturers have slight differences in their sizing. Women know this much better than men because women’s shoes are made to be uncomfortable (how do you fit your toes into a point anyway?).
The key is to know your favorite manufacturer. For instance, for running shoes, I am a big fan of New Balance. They do an excellent job for my feet.
When I discovered this, I figured out that in those shoes, I wear a size 11. For my general athletic shoes, I prefer how Nike fits. The Nike size that fits me best at size 11 1/2.
No matter what the manufacturer, you are going to have a preferred size. So hit the town and find out which size works best for you. Without this information, you are never going to get the best deal on your shoes.
Step 2 – Get a Discount or Cash Back
When I say find a shoe discount, I am not talking about getting your shoes on sale (That’s step 3). What I am talking about is getting your order discounted. There are two ways to do this.
My preferred method is to use cashback rebate websites. These sites pay you a percentage back on your order for using the link from their website.
So, if I want to shop at the Nike store online, I go to my preferred rebate site, search for the Nike store, and then click the link they provide.
The click-through activates the rebate, and I get whatever percentage back they offer on that website. My preferred site isTopCashBackThey tend to get the best rebate price from their advertisers.
Second is MrRebates, which also has a large number of retailers but tends to give less cashback. So I check TopCashBack, and if they don’t have the retailer, head over to MrRebates
No matter which cashback site you choose, they will work with TONS of online retailers. Make sure to check both before you start shopping, and they are great for any shopping you do online (not just shoes).
From time to time retailers will offer discount codes that you can use at checkout. The coupon codes can be found one the retailer websites or at aggregators like RetailMeNot.com.
Be aware that coupon codes will usually cancel out the rewards you get from cashback rebate websites. They do not play nice together.
Step 3 – Get Your Shoes On Sale or Clearance
When we make purchases on items we know we are going to need, the most important thing you can do is not purchase once it becomes an emergency.
I try to buy all my shoes as my current pair is just starting to show wear. It gives me time to find a ridiculous sale or clearance price.
This means you need to be visiting your preferred shopping websites regularly to know exactly when the sale or clearance event is in effect. If you are new to shopping for shoes online, here are some of my preferred sites:
- 6PM – they have some of the best clearance online and have all types of shoes.
- Joe’s New Balance Outlet – I told you I am a big fan of New Balance. Joe’s is the best site to get low prices on this brand. TCB gives you 4% cashback on this site.
- Nike Store – Nike’s online site has an excellent clearance section, and the cashback from TCB is 6%. That is a perfect combination.
You may find another site is better for your brand, but these will get you started on your way to getting the best discount shoe prices.
Step 4 – Purchase with a Credit Card
If you cannot control your spending, then shopping with a credit card will not be your best option. However, if you are a disciplined shopper, using one of the many cash back rewards, credit cards will get you at least another 1% cashback on your purchase.
The other reason to use a credit card for online shoe shopping is that the credit card companies are vigilant in stopping fraud. This is because when fraud happens, they are on the hook for the money. With a debit card, the money is already out of your account, and you may have to deal with the bank not putting your money back right away.
Final Thoughts on Online Shoe Shopping
With this strategy for buying shoes online, I typically save at least 50% off the retail price. If I realize my shoes are wearing out early enough, I can get that number as high as 80%.
With a little practice and a little luck, you too can get your online shoe shopping to a much smaller part of your budget.