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You may not realize it but the device you’re using to shop online affects the price you see.  Reports show that retailers tend to steer Mac users toward higher-priced options because it’s believed that they have more cash to spare.  The good news is there are some strategies you can use to avoid being taken for a ride.

Clear your cookies

Many websites use cookies to track your activity and collect information about your preferences.  If you keep searching for the same item repeatedly, some sites will raise the price because they know you’re interested and may be willing to pay more.  Therefore, it’s always a good idea to clear your cookies before starting your shopping trip. 

Shop in incognito mode

Another way to protect your privacy is to shop in incognito mode. This will allow you to browse a website without your history, cookies and site data being saved. There are multiple ways to activate incognito mode depending upon the device you’re using. For example, you can go incognito with Google Chrome by following these steps:

  1. Open Chrome on your computer.
  2. In the upper-right corner, click the more button.
  3. Choose New Incognito Window.
  4. A new window will appear.

Install a price comparison tool on your browser

Some people are so used to shopping at a particular store that they don’t even bother to look anywhere else.  We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this isn’t how you get the best deals.  Save time and money by using a browser add-on like Invisible Hand or PriceBlink.  Both tools automatically search for the lowest prices online while you shop.  If they find a cheaper price elsewhere, they’ll notify you.

Abandon your shopping cart

If you’re not in a rush, put everything in your shopping cart but don’t checkout right away.  Typically, when you abandon your cart, retailers will email you about your forgotten items.  Some even throw in a discount code to encourage you to complete your order.

Search for coupon codes

One of the easiest ways to save money online is to use a coupon code.  Sites like Coupons.com and RetailMeNot.com work with thousands of retailers to help you score the best deals.  Just search the retailers name and they’ll provide a list of available coupon codes.  If you prefer something that requires less effort, install the Honey browser extension and let them find the best discount codes for you.

Sign up for the store’s mailing list

Many retailers reward new subscribers by offering to take a percentage off their first purchase.  Subscribers also get early access to sales, so they can snatch up their must haves before it’s too late.  Additionally, some retailers offer better pricing for members versus non-members during certain sales.

Get money back when prices drop

It can be extremely annoying to find out an item went on sale right after you bought it.  Fortunately, you can use an app like Paribus or Earny to get your money back automatically.  How it works is they track the receipts in your inbox and if the price drops, they work on your behalf to get the difference refunded.