With over two decades of deal-finding expertise under our belts, our Brad’s Deals experts have mastered the art of finding a good deal. While we all love the thrill of a low price, our editors know that shopping safely is equally important. Each deal we post is carefully curated by a real-life human who has been trained to spot sketchy sellers, verify authenticity, and find best-of-web pricing.
Today, our editors are pulling back the curtain on our top tips to help you shop like a Brad’s Deals expert. This simple three-step process will not only help you score the best price, but it will also help you to stay safe while doing so.

Step One: Assess the Retailer

You’re minding your own business, just flipping through Pinterest when it hits you like a truck: an ad for those UGG boots you’ve been eyeing…and they’re only $50! Is it too good to be true? Well, maybe. Don’t be so quick to draw out that precious plastic until you follow our expert tips.

  • Carefully review the site to make note of any bad design, typos, or other signs that they might be unprofessional. 

  • Navigate to the bottom of the page and look for a “Contact Us” or “About” page. It will give you a little background about the retailer and whether or not they have legitimate customer service practices in place. Here’s an example from known and trusted retailer, Zappos:

    The screenshot displays two lists of menu options related to Zappos, such as 'About Zappos,' 'Customer Service,' and various sub-categories like 'Zappos ONE' and 'Shipping And Returns Policy.'
  • Look for a physical address of the company. It will not only allow you to find out what country they are shipping from, but it will also help you figure out if the business is legitimate. With a quick Google search, you’ll be able to see if the address of the business corresponds with a legitimate location.
  • Research their reputation on review sites and social media. Reddit, The Better Business Bureau, and Trustpilot are all great resources to help you vet a business you're unfamiliar with.

Step Two: Evaluate the Deal

Once you’ve figured out if the website is legit, you’re going to want to find out if your deal is, in fact, an actual deal. Every single deal we post is evaluated by highly trained deal editors. We have a commitment to bring you the best products at the best prices possible. Our editors only post items they would buy themselves or would recommend to their closest friends and family. You can keep yourself in front of the best online pricing if you follow our basic deal strategy:

  • Perform a comparison price check to confirm the product isn’t available anywhere else at a lower price. This can be done by simply running the name of the product through Google. It can also involve multiple searches because of differences in product names at different retailers.

  • Consider the shipping cost when performing price comparisons…it might be on sale, but is the shipping fee as much as the deal itself? If so, then it’s not a great buy.

  • Be mindful of other offers, such as gifts with purchase, cash back offers, and rebates that may impact the overall value.

  • Look at previous-year sales to make sure it’s deal-worthy pricing, taking seasonality into account.

Step Three: Rely on Tools and Tricks

We know that online shopping is the easiest way to get the best deals, but we also know that it can be overwhelming. All the different retailers, all the price comparisons, and not knowing if something is a genuine deal or a scam, can all be more daunting than just walking into a store and walking out with the product. Here are some of our favorite tools and tricks for smarter online shopping:

  • Deal alerts. Sign up for alerts to stay up to date with all your favorite brands and products. At Brad's Deals, we have an alert system that flags deals you're interested in to notify you when they’re at a price we think is worth buying. 

  • Download mobile shopping apps (like ours!). Our deal feed will provide you with up-to-the-minute best sales happening online. 

  • Do the dupe. Look for alternative brands for those high-end items you’re eyeing to get the same look or function for less. We’re always posting great deals on dupes of popular products and brands, like Stanley and lululemon, so you can get the look without breaking the bank or sacrificing quality. 

  • Contact us. Our entire team is dedicated to helping you shop smarter. If you’re ever unsure about a deal, whether it’s from our site or not, feel free to shoot us a message on Facebook and we’ll help you decide if a deal is worth your hard-earned money.

The overabundance of choices and advertisements can make finding trustworthy online deals seem nearly impossible. But by following our three-step process you’ll have an edge when it comes to vetting companies and finding deals, just like our deal editors! Be sure to check out our blog articles for more information on our favorite reputable retailers, top-rated dupes, and more to help you shop smart.