Online shopping is slowly becoming the new norm for consumers. Practically everything from food to clothing can be purchased online, and doing so can mean huge savings! That is of course if you know the best practices when it comes to shopping on the internet.
Here are 7 tips and tricks on how to save money with online shopping.
1. Great Timing Usually Means Savings
Online merchants have mastered the art and science of determining consumers patterns of behavior, especially online. Just like there are deals on flights and hotels during off-peak seasons, prices of goods also drop significantly during certain months. Slow months usually means price reduction in order to attract more customers. So do take advantage of the savings when you can. Try to avoid large scale sales such as Cyber Monday and others like it. Not only will you be prone to impulse buying but you might actually lose out on the items you really want.
2. Sign up for Email Subscriptions From Online Stores
If you are brand loyal or if you are comfortable shopping at the same place, you might want to consider signing for newsletters. This way, you are updated when sales are coming up and how much savings you can potentially get on items you like to purchase. Many online stores do give special discounts to people who provide their email address. You might get quite a bit of “junk mail” but you can be sure to get first dibs on items that are on sale. While you are at it, you can also compare the prices of the same item across different online stores. Often, you can get the exact same product at a much lower price point because you shopped around a little before clicking buy.
3. Collect Online Coupons
While people are now migrating away from paper coupons which require hours of clipping and organizing, coupons are still very much in play in consumers’ buying practices. If you shop online quite often, try searching for digital or e-coupons and save them up util you go on a spree. Manufacturer coupons can sometimes be used in addition to in-store coupons so you can double the savings when you buy the goods. If you collect coupons, though, be sure to remember the expiration so you don’t sit on discounts for too long that you end up losing the savings.
4. Use Your Credit Card Strategically
Some credit cards are better to use for certain purchases because of the rewards they offer. Take time to check if you have a card that would either earn you points, credits, or cashback when you use it to buy certain products online. Some cards offer outright cashback, while others allow you to collect e-coupons that can be used on your next purchase.
5. Let Your Purchases Stew in Your Cart for a Little Bit
Merchants have a way of knowing if you’ve left something in your cart, especially if you subscribed or signed up with them. You can buy less expensive items and leave the high-value ones in your cart for a few days. In many cases, the merchant will remind you of the things you left in the cart and offer discounts to ensure that you get the items and complete the transaction.
6. Always Be a “First-Time Buyer” and Get in Touch With the Merchant
If you are looking to buy something that is a tad expensive, you can contact the store saying you are very interested in the product but you have yet to try it. Merchants often offer discounts to “first-time customers” in order to gain more business. You can also compliment this technique by leaving feedback on the product after you used it for the first time.
7. Consider Buying in Bulk
Certain goods are best bought in large quantities. You get a lower price point per unit and you might also get loyalty rewards if you have previously purchased the same item/s. Buying in bulk is also great if you have tons of coupons you can use on the products. Sellers usually waive the shipping fee for customers that reached a certain amount in one purchase.
Shopping online does not only offer convenience, but it also allows for massive savings. Being an expert shopper entails a bit of research as well as planning. It is always best to do your due diligence before buying anything online, especially for high-value products.