I know Paris Permenter and John Bigley from a past life — no, not the woo woo kind, but the one where I earned my living primarily as a travel writer. Not only are they a great resource for whatever topic and destination they set their minds to (romance! Texas!) but they are also two of the nicest people you could hope to meet, and not in a nauseating way.
So I was very pleased to encounter them again in the dog community, as publishers of the excellent DogTipper.com site. And when I learned that they had written a book that helps dog owners save money, I jumped on it, asking if they’d share a few tips from it on my blog.
I knew they wouldn’t refuse because, as I mentioned, they’re really, really nice.
Without further ado…
Whether you’re shopping for holiday goodies or everyday necessities for your dog, online shopping can save both time and money. Instead of spending hours at mall shops or pet specialty stores, letting your (mouse) finger do the walking can realize real savings.
Search price aggregators
Sites like www.pricegrabber.com will do your comparison shopping to help you find the best bargains (and far more quickly than searching on your own). A quick search of this site found over 15,000 dog bed listings, nearly 400 listings for dog bones, and plenty of other pet goodies. Other popular deal aggregators include www.dealslist.com and dealnews.com.
Sign up for rebate programs
Several online programs offer you a percentage rebate for each purchase, and many of these programs feature numerous pet supply stores. For example, MrRebates.com presently offers over 2,000 cash back online stores including PETCO, 1800PetMeds.com, Dog.com, and more. The day we checked, rebates ranged up to 12 percent. Similarly, www.Ebates.com offers over 1,200 online shops (pet-related shops are located under the “Home and Garden” category), offering coupons as well as cash back refunds.
Search for online store coupon codes
Check for coupon codes before placing your online order by doing a quick search for the product name and the words “coupon” or “coupon code” before you place that order. Also conduct a similar search for the store name and the phrase “coupon code.” We recently ordered a Roomba automatic vacuum to tackle the pet hair; a quick search for “roomba coupon code” located a $25 off coupon and a free shipping code.
Find free shipping
Numerous online retailers offer free shipping, sometimes tied to the amount of purchase. Some sites, such as Amazon, clearly state their free shipping policies but at others you’ll need a free shipping coupon code to use at checkout. To locate these free shipping coupon codes, check sites like www.freeshipping.org and www.retailmenot.com. Another strategy: search for the name of the online store and the phrase “free shipping” to fetch those codes!
Although you might make your purchase online, if you need to return that new dog bed or crate you just might be able to make the return at the store, saving on shipping fees. Walmart.com, Target.com, and others allow you to return items directly to brick and mortar stores.
With these strategies in hand, a few minutes spent online searching for dog-related purchases can be a great investment, paying real dividends when it comes to your shopping budget.
Paris Permenter and John Bigley, the publishers of DogTipper.com, are the authors of Barkonomics: Tips for Frugal Fidos, a book featuring 300+ tips on saving money on all aspects of your dog’s care.