This year more than 2.14 billion people are expected to buy goods and services online. That means that 27% of the world’s population has access to making online purchases of many types of products and services.
The pandemic, of course, increased online buying as people were restricted in the amount of in-person shopping that they could do. But online shopping was growing well before the pandemic with year-over-year increases of hundreds of millions of people every year.
Many people enjoy the convenience of online shopping as well as the wide selection of choices and the savings over in-person shops. But consumer advocates remind online shoppers that, just as they need to stay aware about the most cost-efficient way to shop when they shop in person, they have options that allow them to save money when shopping online as well.
Save money on your shopping so that you can use it for the leisure activities that you enjoy such as travel, online casino real money gaming entertainment, recreational hobbies and other fun. Some of the most useful shopping online tips and tricks that will save you time and money include:
Timing is everything. In general, it’s a good idea to place orders on Sundays and Mondays – studies show that the beginning of the week is when it’s possible to find the most bargains.
Beyond that, it’s worth your while to get a chart that shows when the best time is to buy different products. If you can plan ahead you’ll save mountains of money by taking advantage of the sales. For instance, in January, February and March you’ll find great bargains on summer-related items such as air conditioners, bicycles, gardening tools and digital cameras. Other items that often go on sale during those winter months include wedding supplies, furniture, frozen foods and office furniture.
Springtime sees sales in electronics, dishware, refrigerators and laptops. In the summer you can often find bargains on computers, linens and school supplies. Fall sale items include toys and games, cookware and jeans.
If you’re a good planner you should keep a list of items that you want to buy and “go shopping” during the days directly after Xmas when merchants are trying to reduce their inventories.
Read the reviews and comments about an ecommerce site BEFORE you place an order. This is the best indicator of whether a company gives the service that it says that it will give.
It’s safer to use a credit card as opposed to a debit card. That’s because if there’s a defect in the product, a delay in delivery or if the product isn’t what you ordered, it’s easier to get a refund through a credit card than through a debit card. When you make a transaction with a debit card, the funds are deducted from your bank account so you have no recourse if the purchase doesn’t go as planned.
Remember to keep a screenshot of your order invoice in case proof is needed for the bank. Also, make sure that the website that you’re using to make the purchase is secure – the URL bar should have a security lock icon to indicate that it’s a secure site.
Clothes shopping is tricky online. Not only do clothing items not necessarily fit you like they fit the model that you see on the website, one company’s sizing differs from the next, and that from the next, etc. You can try to look at the model stats and the size that they model is wearing to determine whether the item of clothing will be a good fit. You can also look at online fit assistants and size guides to help you find the right size.
The most effective method is to identify an item that fits well that you own or find one at a local retail shop. Then, use that company to buy other items as you base the sizing on the original item.
The advice to shop around is a no-brainer. But when you’re shopping around online, you can take it to the next step. In addition to looking for the best price on a product, you can register for the site and receive first time purchase coupons. Many sites give special offers to new customers with discount codes for first-time purchases. Subscribe to a newsletter or register for a “membership” at the site and then find out to which coupons you are entitled (you can always filter out the newsletters or unsubscribe later).
Don’t assume that just because you’re online, you can’t ask for a discount. Most ecommerce sites have a live chat tool that you can use to communicate with a real person. This is especially applicable if you’re a past customer which shows the company that you mean business.
Open up a chat and ask what kinds of discounts and other deals the company is willing to give you. See if you can mix and match options, get a better deal if you buy two (you can always sell the second one yourself through a buy-and-sell site) or otherwise wrangle yourself a deal. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
If you find a brand that you like, follow the brand updates on social media or on their website to stay on top of upcoming offers and discounts. Bloggers and influencers also often have codes and discounts to give to their followers as a way of directing traffic to their sponsors.
Many brands market through these influencers and to help the influencers build credibility and gain followers, they share discount codes with the influencers which, in turn, the influencers share with their audiences. Find the influencer who promotes the brand that you like and follow him/her to get those codes.
Factor in the cost of delivery when you calculate the cost of a product. You may be eligible for free delivery if you make a big-enough order or you are a regular customer. Regardless, the cost of delivery should be calculated as part of the purchase price if you want to get the best deal.
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