The Broke Intern’s Guide to Online Shopping

This blog is written by Aviance, our Campus Ambassador for the University of Southern California.

For the college student on the go, there isn’t a lot of time to go off campus to shop. For those who aren’t quite ready to resort to wearing their old sweats to class, there is still a shopping destination that is within reach for every intern: the World Wide Web. Just follow these tips and get better deals plus exclusive clothing all from the comfort of your twin XL dorm bed.

Check for student discounts: Many retailers understand the plight of the broke college student and offer discounts for those who want to look good on a budget. Sign up for a Student Advantage card and get 10-15% at online stores like Armani Exchange, Topshop/Topman and Target. Other sites like StudentRate.com offer discounts or cash back at shops like Urban Outfitters, Free People and Nordstrom.

Shop around: Look on other website for the product that you want. If the brand isn’t exclusive to one store, you can usually find it on other websites with better prices. Nordstrom has a wonderful policy where they will match the price of any competitor who has the same color and size of a product.

Shop at the right times: Sometimes it can seem like torture to wait to purchase those perfect shoes but good things come to those who wait. If you don’t think it will sell out or if the product is brand new, wait a little for the website to either have a deal (check out the next tip) or lower the price. Online shopping is amazing right after holidays, around your birthday and, of course, on Cyber Monday.

ALWAYS look for online coupons and NEVER pay for shipping: Please don’t ever click that “Confirm Purchase” button without at least checking for online coupons! The thought of paying for shipping makes me shudder. Hunt as long as you can for a coupons online, especially free shipping ones. Simply go to your favorite search engine and type in the retailer your shopping from then “coupons,” and you’ll be amazed at the kinds of deals you can find. **BONUS TIP: Sign up for e-mail alerts for even more coupon codes and advance notice of upcoming online sales.

Use Broke Girl’s Guide: As a student in LA, this website has helped me tons when I’m looking for deals (and with giving me inspiration for this post J). Not only do they give you the latest deals for on and off-line shopping but they also give awesome ways to save when you want to go out. Check it out!