The Sneaky Way the Pandemic is Costing You Money — and the Secret to Fixing It

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Americans’ shopping habits have changed profoundly. Thanks to COVID-19, many of us have journeyed way, way deeper into the world of online shopping.

Instead of venturing into stores or restaurants or supermarkets, more of us are clicking the “Add to Cart” button from home. Nearly 70% of Americans shop online now, according to a new NPR poll. Of those, more than 90% have bought something from Amazon.

Sure, it’s super convenient to have boxes of stuff appear on your doorstep. But no matter what you’re buying online, you may be paying too much for it. In many cases, there might be a better deal somewhere else. It just feels like a pain to look for it.

Wouldn’t it be useful to get an alert when you’re about to overpay? A polite little alert, not an obnoxious one. That’s exactly what this free service does. These free alerts can be added to your browser. Before you check out on Amazon, Target or Best Buy, it’ll check other websites, including eBay, Walmart and others to see if your item is available for cheaper. It will also show you coupon codes, help you set up price-drop alerts and even let you see the item’s price history.

Let’s say you’re shopping for a new TV. You’re ready to check out, and you assume you’re getting the best available price. This is when those alerts will pop up and let you know if you’re about to overpay. It will even apply any available coupon codes to your order automatically.

So far, this free tool has saved users more than $160 million in the last year.

You can get started in just a few minutes and see if you’re overpaying online.

Mike Brassfield ( is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. He used to overpay, and now he doesn’t.

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