8 hacks for the cyber-obsessed shopper

Free shipping sites allow you to buy an item in various sizes, keep the ones that fit and return the rest.

The Internet has provided us with a lot of 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, do your work, and of course, shop.

But what many do not know is that there are ways to make the most of your time and money whenever you shop online. Here are some hacks for cyber shopaholics.

1. Stick to sites with free shipping

Not sure what size fits? This would not be too much of a problem if you opt for free-shipping online shopping sites. This way, you can buy a certain product in more than just one size, try them on, and return those that don’t fit. But don’t forget to check out the website’s return and exchange policies.

That $10-$20 shipping fee can be used to buy another item or two instead, and if you do a lot of online shopping, these shopping fees combined could actually amount to a lot more.

If there are specialised online shopping sites that you religiously follow but do not give free shipping, then make the most of every shipping fee you pay for. Instead of purchasing from these websites in ones or twos, buy in bulk once every few months, depending on the kind of items.

2. Use coupons or promo/discount codes

Just like Grab promo codes can lower the fare you pay for significantly, discount codes and other promo codes (such as free shipping codes) can result in a deduction of a couple of dollars to even half your total bill.

This’s why you should track the news, updates, and social media pages of your favourite online shopping sites and take note of their newest promo and discount codes.

If the website provides an option to talk to or chat with a company representative, use this opportunity to ask for new codes that you might not have known from anywhere else.

3. Benefit from filter features

No need to go through items not on your shopping list or torment yourself seeing designs not in your size.

Other than saving time, having filters mean you are less likely to purchase items you did not intend to buy in the first place.

4. Unsure about buying a certain item? Like/put it in the shopping cart or wish list without purchasing it

This provides leeway for you to rethink whether you really want or need these items and therefore, avoid binge shopping and overspending.

You might also enjoy discount offers on specific items left in your shopping cart. Consider however the possibility that these items may sell out, especially if they’re already on sale.

Using coupons or promo codes when shopping online can save you a tidy bundle.

5. Don’t fall for the ‘sale’ hype

Some shopping websites, like actual shops, have a way of cheating you into binge buying their products under the illusion of “sales”.

How do they do it? They inflate the prices of the items so that when they hold their “big sales”, they don’t really lose; the “discounted” price is actually just the original price. Don’t be a victim of this and follow up with the next step…

6. Do your research

Trying out a new online shopping app or site? To make sure they’re authorised to sell or “legit” and to avoid scams, check other shoppers’ experience of these shops.

Researching is also a good way to avoid being a victim of fake sales/discounts and to see which shop offers certain products at the lowest prices. Google can do the job, but 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 eg a $20 gift card sold for $17 or less, can save you a couple of bucks! Try visiting websites like Cardpool and GiftCardGranny for these gift cards.

8. Consider using your debit card instead

Studies show why people who mainly use a credit card when shopping tend to spend more than those who use cash; for one, it is much less painful to swipe a credit card than to fish bills from their wallets. But when it comes to shopping online, you don’t always have the option to pay with cash when your products are delivered to your doorstep.

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t any other choice; for one, you can use your debit card so that your actual money is used rather than credited debts. You might also want to consider setting up Paymaya or Paypal accounts; this way, you can simply transfer a certain amount of money to these accounts and avoid spending more than you plan.

Not only will this save you from yourself, it can also help prevent falling for scams and continuous unwanted charges on your credit.

This article first appeared in thenewsavvy.com

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