Online shopping can be a gift and a curse. You don’t have to worry about leaving home to stock up on your favourite items. However, maxing out your credit card is easy when you don’t see how much you’re actually purchasing. Because online shopping can be pretty dangerous, learning how to utilise your resources is wise.
Discovering different deals and implementing these nine helpful steps, you’ll develop a healthy balance between online shopping and overspending.
Use Coupons and Discount Codes
Unfortunately, many people don’t use the resources in front of them. There is an entire world of coupon codes and sales promotions that are just waiting to be discovered. Take advantage of these tools by putting in the extra research. Most companies offer free shipping or a percentage off of your total sale just by putting in a special code.
The beauty of online shopping is all you have to do is open another tab to compare a price. There’s no running to different stores or losing your mind wondering if you’re getting the best deal. You have the options neatly arranged in front of you. Some companies purchase from the same wholesale dealers. Depending on the reputation of the brand and its location, the items price can fluctuate a bit. Keep this in mind as you’re looking for the best deals. One of the best ways to do this is to compare the prices of three stores. Out of those three, make the best financial decision that fits your budget. You may even have room to squeeze in another item you like.
Sign Up For Newsletters
Although email subscriptions may seem overwhelming and annoying, they’re usually filled with goodies that are designed to help you save money. When you find a store you really like, sign up for their newsletter. Some stores offer 10-40% discounts just for signing up for the subscription. If you get too bogged down with the daily emails, you can always manage your subscriptions. This way, you’ll only get the information you want when you want it.
Understand the Logistics Behind Online Shopping
Did you know that you’re presented with certain prices and options based on your location, browsing history and past purchases? That’s right! Advertisements are targeted to show you items that you’re more likely to purchase based on your previous purchases. So, that one time you splurged on a designer set of pajamas could be the reason you’re getting targeted for luxury items. The best way to avoid this trap is to clear your browsing history. This way, you’ll have a fresh start when shopping. Advertisers won’t bombard (or tempt) you with items that are beyond your budget. Do this a few times a month and you’ll begin to notice a shift in what you’re being presented.
Choose Your Shopping Days Wisely
You know how they say flights are cheaper when purchased on specific days? The same is true with online retailers. Studies show that on Tuesdays, shops that sell electronics are likely to give out the best sales. Whereas, Saturdays are a major hit for bookstores like Barnes & Noble. Whatever your preferred industry is, do the research to determine the analytics behind their sales strategy. This will help you to understand their best days and times to shop. Keep in mind, this isn’t consistently accurate, it’s only a rough estimate conducted by retail researchers.
Stack Your Coupons
You know how in Uno when you stack the cards of similar color- the same little trick helps you save a buck or two when shopping online. Stack applicable coupons to get the best and the lowest price. Some retailers let you combine free shipping plus 10% off coupons to save you a premium. Vouchers are also a great option when shopping online. Learn more here.
Why do stores do this when they know they’re technically losing money? Well, because they’re not. Retailers know that once you see that price go down, you’ll load up your cart with another item to justify the price. Instead of getting one item at a lower price, you’re getting two or more for the price you would have originally paid. This system increases something far more valuable than money in the business world: brand awareness. If you use two or more of their products, you’re more likely to purchase again or recommend it to a friend. It’s an awesome cycle of, “scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.” Only, this time you get to leave with cool stuff.
Sign-Up For Rewards Programs
Some retailers like to show their customers appreciation by providing loyalty points or reward programs as a means to keep customers shopping. Some, don’t even require that you pay upfront or purchase anything. Retailers know that if you have an incentive, you’ll keep shopping to reach that goal. Whether it’s free delivery or a secret gift, they know you want it. Don’t be afraid to sign up for these programs as their designed to nurture you as a customer and develop the customer, brand relationship.
As mentioned in the beginning, online shopping can be a dangerous activity. Mindlessly clicking away until you can’t click anymore drains your battery and bank account. Next time you go shopping online, make sure you’re aware of two things: your budget and what you came for. It’s easy to get sucked down the rabbit hole of different things to purchase. That’s why it’s best to develop a strategic plan before you embark on this journey and be mindful of how you proceed. Write out how much you plan to spend and really stick to it. Only look at the items you need and block out the ones you don’t. Finally, set a timer for yourself that lets you know when shopping time is over. This removes the temptation to keep shopping and lets you know your time is up. Remember, if you don’t need it, don’t click it.
Pay Attention to Your Mood
Online shopping has been known to be a coping strategy for some people. Almost like warm macaroni and cheese or a chocolate cake, shopping online is comforting. It’s also a means to pass the time when you’re bored. Avoid online shopping when you’re feelings are overwhelming. You’ll just keep shopping to overcompensate and make yourself feel better. Instead, shop when you’re at a good, mental balance. This will help you to make the best financial decisions possible.
You have the power to conquer online shopping. Simply apply these tips and you’ve been well on your way to saving money.
Kelly Allen Writer has some great tips on things to consider when planning your family budget.
Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you’ve found these tips useful,
Check out my other money-saving tips here.
*This is a guest post