The progress of technology has bought us far into the world of the unknown. The internet, as its most used form of technology has even got us to the point of internet shopping. We don’t need to go outside, get a transport and carry our heavy groceries or daily needs. All we have to do is register, click and voila! It will arrive at our doorstep. However, we also have to be careful as with any new technology there are also risks related to it.
Here are ways to become a smart shopper online:
- Stick to your budget
This is the first and most important step of being a smart shopper. Going over your budget will only result in trouble for the next month, so sticking to your budget is the most important thing of all. Don’t just create one category but rather divide your budget into different categories such as gifts, clothing, groceries and many more. When going online shopping, make sure that you are only going to buy the things you need and not get distracted on other items.
2. Always have a list
Another tip for smart shopping is to stick to your shopping list. While browsing for the things you need online, try to ignore every other item that the shop offers. Which is why before even opening the store online, make sure you have a list of what you need to buy as a way to avoid temptation. If you do decide to buy something that isn’t in the list, ask yourself if you really need the item. Put it off your cart and continue shopping for other things if the answer is ‘no’.
3. The 4 Ws
Choosing items for your budget may be difficult as you have a lot to buy. How can you differentiate between want or need? You need to plan ahead for the things you really need. If needed, draw up some pro and cons of buying the item. Ask these questions to yourself:
- Why do you need it?
- Where will you put it?
- What will you use it for?
- Who will use it?
Give strong and relevant answers to these questions, then you can put it in your list. Otherwise, it’s categorized as a ‘want’ rather than a ‘need’. It’s also important not to go online immediately after wrapping up the list, as it can lead to impulse buying. Wait a week and plan which day to go shopping.
4. Choose the best prices
In order to order items at its best prices, you will need to compare the prices from one store to another. Keep an eye on the prices of the items on each store, as prices can fluctuate a bit depending on promotions. Even better, give the local stores a call so you know exactly the promotions they are having. Write down the prices in a notepad so you can compare. It’s also important to remember that after choosing the items, consider the extra charges such as delivery.
- Be Careful at Too-Good-To-Believe Promotions
As much as you want to get the items with the lowest price and biggest promotions, it’s better not to purchase something with such as big cut on pricing especially when its too good to believe. This is because discounts are given on slightly dated products. Not to say that you can’t score great deals during discount season, but beware that you might not be scoring a steal. It would be better to opt for the 30 per cent discount on the latest products rather than a 50 per cent discount from last season.
There may be offers from other sites that provides a huge discount on that bag that you have been waiting to buy. But again, large discounts can be a dangerous trap for buyers. This is even the case when the item you want is online, where you can’t guarantee at times that it looks like the picture shown online. Just to be on the safe side, it would be better to go to a reputed website for your online shopping expeditions so you will be less at risk.
Which tip is the most beneficial for you? Do you have any other tips for shopping online? Share your experience with us in the comment section below!