Amy Stoltenberg is a staff writer at Finder. She manages Finder's newsletter, which is about all things personal finance, with a sparkling eye toward cryptocurrency and the exciting world of DeFi. When her laptop's closed, you can find her driving around Los Angeles, marveling at the palm trees. She studied writing at Savannah College of Art and Design and has been featured on the Zoe Report.
- Online shopping
- Featured on the Zoe Report
- Author of over 500 shopping and travel articles
- Traveled to 28 states (and counting!)
- BA in writing and fashion | Savannah College of Art and Design | 2013–2018
Industry insights from Amy Stoltenberg
Amy gets absolutely amped by finding life-changing products for a price that feels good. We asked her to give us some of her best tips for saving money and staying sane when embarking on an Internet shopping spree.
What’s your No. 1 tip for cutting down on impulse shopping?
My number one tip is simple — walk away. Sleep on it. If you wake up and still want to buy the thing, go for it. But make sure the brand offers free shipping and returns! I never place an order somewhere that doesn’t offer free shipping and returns — UNLESS it’s a household essential or I’m 100% certain that I can’t live without it.
Usually, you’ll know in your gut when you’re about to buy something purely out of impulse. Listen to that feeling. Before checking out, imagine yourself using that product in a month, six months, a year. Will it improve the quality of your life? Will it bring you joy? If the answer is no, you should definitely give yourself a few more days to think about it.
How can Americans protect their financial information when shopping online?
When you land on a new website, check to make sure the lock icon is visible to the left of the URL. This ensures that your personal information is secure when you send it to that website. Never send your financial information to someone over email, even a customer service rep. If you’re chatting with customer service via instant message, insist on giving your credit card number over the phone — and only if it’s absolutely necessary.
What are your favorite ways to find the best deals on high-ticket items?
From my time working in corporate retail, I can tell you with 100% confidence that almost every product goes on sale, eventually — unless there is an overwhelming demand and limited supply. So my favorite way to find the best deals is just to watch and wait. Check the site every couple of days, and eventually that item will be discounted when it’s time for the brand to move new merch in.
You should also check your calendar for the next upcoming holiday. Many big chain retailers hold sales for holidays like the Fourth of July, Labor Day and even President’s Day. That can be a great strategy for finding deals on appliances and home goods.
If you can’t wait, or need to buy a high-ticket item now, you can usually get 10% to 20% off by signing up for a brand’s mailing list. Trade your email address for a good deal (you can even create an email address specifically for marketing emails), then sit back and save!
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