I love the convenience of being able to buy everything from coffee to couch pillows on sites like Amazon, but it’s not always easy to be sure I’m getting the best bang for my buck when I’m shopping online. Well, that’s where the Zinc Save browser extension comes in.

What Zinc different than others we’ve tried is that it automatically scours the web to find the best prices on the exact items you have in your cart. Then it orders the products from the place with the best price, and ships it all to your house — without you having to do anything extra. Sounds almost too good to be true, right?

The mechanics are pretty simple. You just install the Zinc extension for Chrome, or use the Bookmarklet feature if you use Firefox or Safari, and shop as usual on major sites like Amazon, Target, or Macy’s, just to name of a few of my favorites.  Zinc will take a look at the products in your cart and search online for the best deals on those exact items. When you are on the final page of the online order process (at least when using the Chrome extension), it will automatically show you your Zinc Savings, then you click the Zinc link to purchase. Your order is then managed through Zinc, not the retailers, and you can use your Zinc dashboard to keep track of all of your purchases in one place — which is great for those of us who do a lot of online shopping.

As for shipping costs, I looked into it and Zinc orders will always ship for the same or a better price than your initial order.

I tried it out on both Amazon and Target and saved about $5 each time. Certainly your savings will depend on what kinds of things you are ordering; I found that common brand name items that are widely available seemed to produce the biggest savings. So for example, if its a Martha Stewart home beekeeping starter kit that’s only available at Macy’s, you will obviously not get savings on it anywhere else. Though if you want to stock up on some Band-Aids to go with that, you will definitely see if there’s a better price through Zinc.

The process was a little confusing at first, but after I read the FAQs and tried out a few “practice” carts, I was up and running quickly. It’s not as intuitive as say, Priceblink, which just shows you the best prices all over the web; and it’s not as simple as Honey which automatically checks your cart at major retailers for online coupons. But then, Zinc does more for you.

One big caveat: some warranties may not apply if you don’t buy a product from a certain vendor, so do check that on big ticket items before you buy.

However if you are like me and prefer a few minutes of online shopping to running all over town to track down 10 different things, I think you will love Zinc for finding the best deals and bringing it all to your doorstep.

To get started with Zinc, download the Chrome browser extension or read the Zinc blog post on how to get the bookmarklet for Safari or Firefox. 

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