Internet shopping is already a great time and money saver for most of us, but with e-commerce constantly evolving, there are some things a shopper can do to stay ahead of the game. Not only will you be able to shop cheaper, but overall have a more comfortable experience.
So exactly how much time, money and effort can a smart shopper save? Just follow these 10 simple tips for best experience.
1. Shop post-season
Of course you need this skirt for the summer and that jacket for the winter, but you will probably need the same things next season as well. At the end of each season you can find incredible deals on most seasonal clothes and other items. This also applies to electronics post new model announcements – prices drop almost immediately after a newer line is released.
2. Try to avoid the sponsored/recommended sections and “also bought” strips in online shops
Those usually feature the more expensive items and promote impulse purchasing. Try to take advantage of being online with no distractions you would have at a mall: shop exactly what you came for and never get things “just because they are cheap and cute”. There is a good chance you will be disappointed later and never use these things.
3. Search for sales
When struggling to find a bargain, try to search for the same item adding “sale” to your search query. This will bring up cheaper versions of the same product marked down by the seller. Beware of Chinese replicas though!
4. Everyone, everywhere has something for sale! Harness the power of social media
Join your local “for sale” or “buy, sell, trade” groups on Facebook – you’re guaranteed to find bargains on everything! Any given month or season people are getting rid of impulse purchases or things that no longer fit, most of them in new or really good condition. Look through them and compare prices – you will be pleasantly surprised.
5. Don’t be too set on brand-new
Browse through open-box, like-new, and pre-owned products. Most of those items are actually new or refurbished, but may have damaged packaging or no tags. At the same time, they can be discounted by quite a bit so you get the same quality for so much less!
6. Shop in bulk
Getting more items saves money. That might sound weird, but the higher the volume of one package, the cheaper is the delivery of every item included. Not to mention that most E-bay sellers and merchants elsewhere provide special deals on products bought and delivered together. You can check this in the “payment and shipping” options on E-bay.
7. Let technology help
You may usually look for the item you want on one or a couple different retail websites. That’s good, but may not be enough. Your browser can actually help you check prices on your item at almost all online stores that carry it! Use a browser extension like Shopping Assistant or PriceBlink to find out if there’s a better deal for you out there.
8. Mark your calendar
Online shopping brings us a whole new range of discount opportunities including the famous Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals. Our favorite: Free Shipping Day held on December 18th in 2015. Put together your wish list and take advantage of 1000+ retailers providing free shipping on that day. It can be a real money-saver, especially if you’re not rushing to get holiday items.
9. Free shipping does not always equal a better deal
Whenever you are offered free shipping, check the price at another retailer/marketplace. A lot of the time, delivery prices are just embedded into item prices. Sometimes it may be cheaper to get it somewhere else AND pay for delivery.
10. Keep your price tag unchanged
You would not believe how many online retailers use dynamic pricing techniques: based on your searches, previous data and number of visits the prices go up when you are ready to buy. Ever had an instant airfare increase? That’s right – a prime example. So is separating prices for different users – you can be paying a lot more than someone else. To prevent that from happening:
- Clear your browsing history
- Log out of all your accounts
- Use incognito mode when looking for a bargain
Whatever the reason behind looking for low prices, being smart about your shopping always pays off. The benefits are obvious, and maybe you’ll even be able to grab that thing that keeps you up at night and which you thought you couldn’t afford!