Online AT Shopping Tips!

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A smiling couple sits at their kitchen counter, reviewing a tablet with a credit card in hand. Under the Where it's AT logo, the text reads "Online Shopping Tips: Getting the most AT for your money this holiday shopping season." -

Assistive Technology (AT) can be expensive, and it is not always covered by insurance or public resources. That is why it is crucial to use as many advantages you have at your disposal to get the best deal possible. With the holiday shopping season kicking into full gear, tactics to get a deal when shopping online are in order! Where it’s AT is here to help!

Look Out for Sales

Keep an eye out for when you know sales will certainly be happening and do your homework ahead of time. Having a game plan for what you will be buying and how much you will be spending is incredibly helpful when trying to navigate major sales, like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and/or Amazon Prime day. Many times, sites will give sneak peeks at what will be on sale, so you can better plan your approach.

There are also great deals if you participate in more pop-up types of sales like Amazon Daily Deals or the Amazon Treasure Truck. With these types of sales, you will need to keep an eye out, as the sales change on a much more frequent, daily basis.

Reach Out

Reach out to sellers. Whether you call or use their website’s chat function, as long as you are a kind and respectful person, you typically get white glove treatment. They will give you a heads up about upcoming sales, promo codes, or free shipping offers. They also are more likely to give you a coupon, with a percentage off of your purchase, if you have a discussion with one of their reps.

Save for Later

Leaving items in your cart, wish list or saved for later list is a great tool to determine when it is a good time to buy. The company wants you to spend money at their establishment, so most times, if you are logged in to your account for the store you are perusing, you will get notifications if an item had a price decrease.

Comparison Shop

Always be sure to comparison shop. If you need a specific device, don’t necessarily purchase from the easiest, or first source. Shop around before committing to buying from a place.

Two good things to keep in mind however are: always remember to check the shipping costs as those can really jack up the price of what was originally a great deal, and if you aren’t familiar with the site, check their Better Business Bureau rating to be positive they are a reputable seller (this can be a problem, in particular with some sites that offer Assistive Technology. Due diligence is your friend).

Coupon Codes

Search for coupon codes for the store you are shopping. Coupon code resources like Honey or Retail Me Not might have codes that you can apply to your cart that could provide some deep discounts! You can also use similar sites like Rakuten (previously ebates), Groupon, or if you are really into the couponing experience.

Mailing Lists

Sign up for mailing lists for first time shopper/one-time code discounts. A good method for corralling the deluge of incoming promotions is to have a junk email address that gets used for activities such as this, thus saving your primary email address from getting overwhelmed with unwanted emails. Whenever you go shopping at the store in the future, you can just do a search in that email for their most recent offers.

Additionally, if you subscribe to the mailing lists of particular AT you are considering investing in, you will typically get heads ups about great sales. PRC-Saltillo sends sale notifications for their LAMP Words for Life®, TouchChat®, and Dialogue™ AAC apps, typically in the 50% off range!

Use Points

Use points that you may have built up from credit card purchases. Points can be cashed out – which in itself is great, free money! However, if you have the option to instead of “cashing” them out to a cash or a gift card to rather cash them out to a brand specific gift card, they will typically give more money that way. Say 10,000 points gets you a $100 Visa cash gift card, the same 10,000 points might get you a $150 gift card to Target, Home Depot or Macys. You can see which place gives you the more bang for your points, and as long as it works for a place you can get your AT from, you now have more money to apply to your purchase!

Walk Away

You can also do the virtual version of walking away from the negotiating table by abandoning your cart. At some sites, this will trigger a similar response that you would get if you were to do this tactic in person — force them to offer you a better deal. As long as you are signed into your account on the site, so they see that your account has a cart full of items that aren’t being purchased, many times, sellers will send a coupon code to your email. Beware to read the fine print of any coupons you receive though, as sometimes certain AT, like smart devices, are excluded, which is the case with the famous Bed Bath and Beyond coupon.

I have included a link to a blog that outlines the stores that most frequently send codes to those who abandon their carts.