The internet has provided us with many conveniences; with just a few clicks, you can communicate with a friend on the other side of the world, meet new people, get a job, and complete your work.
But shopaholics know that you can make the most of your time and money when you shop online. So here are eight super hacks to help you make the most of your online shopping.
1. Stick to sites with free shipping
Not sure which dress size will actually fit you? Then only shop at online sites that offer free shipping. This way, you can buy a certain product in more than one size, try them on, and return those that don’t fit well. Just don’t forget to check out the website’s return and exchange policies first.
What’s more, the money you save on shipping fees can be used to buy another item or two instead.
If there are certain online shopping sites that you religiously frequent but which do not provide for free shipping, then make the most of the shipping fee you pay for. Instead of purchasing only one or two items from these sites, consider buying in bulk instead.
2. Use coupons or promo/discount codes
Discount codes and other promo codes (such as free shipping codes) can reduce your total bill by half. It’s a good idea to track your favourite online shopping sites’ news, updates, and social media pages and grab the latest promo and discount codes.
If the website provides an option to talk to or chat with a representative of the company, use the opportunity to ask for new codes that you might not have known from anywhere else.
3. Benefit from filter features
Why go through items not on your shopping list or scroll over designs you love but that don’t carry your size?
Other than saving time because you can find what you are looking for more easily with filters, it also means you are less likely to put items on your shopping list that you did not really intend to buy in the first place.
4. If you are unsure about buying certain items, like/put in a shopping cart or wish list without purchasing.
This provides leeway for you to rethink whether or not you really want or need these items and therefore, avoid binge shopping and overspending.
You might also get discounts for specific items in your shopping cart. Consider as well, however, the possibility that these items may sell out, especially if they are already on sale.
5. Don’t be fooled by the ‘sale’ hype
Some shopping sites entice you into binge buying every time they hold a “sale”. How do they do it? They inflate the prices of the items sold so that when a “big sale” is held, they don’t really lose much in profit; the “discounted” price is actually just the original price. Don’t be a victim of this sales ploy and follow up with this next step…
6. Do your research
Trying out a new online shopping app or site? To make sure they are authorised to sell or “legit”, and to avoid being a victim of a scam, research the site first and check out other shoppers’ experiences.
Doing your own research is also a good way to avoid falling victim to fake sales/discounts and to see which sites offer certain products at the lowest prices. While Google can do the job well, you may also want to use apps like Price Grabber.
7. Buy discounted gift cards
No promo or discount codes available? No problem! Another option is to purchase discounted gift cards, for example a RM40 gift card sold for RM35 or less. Try visiting sites like Cardpool and GiftCardGranny for these.
8. Consider using your debit card instead
Numerous studies show that those who use credit cards when shopping tend to spend more than those who use cash. But when it comes to shopping online, we don’t always have the option to pay with cash when products are delivered to our doorstep.
This is when a debit card comes in handy. You should also consider setting up a Paymaya or Paypal account. In this way, you can transfer a certain amount of money to these accounts to avoid spending more than you plan.
This article first appeared in thenewsavvy.com
The New Savvy is Asia’s leading financial, investments and career platform for women. Our bold vision is to empower 100 million women to achieve financial happiness. We deliver high-quality content through conferences, e-learning platforms, personal finance apps and e-commerce stores.