Online festive season sales seem like a great reason to shop, owing to the product range, customer convenience (depends on the site and other factors), and numerous deals as well as discounts.
As a shopper, it is easy to get carried away by all the noise and barrage of offers. Follow these simple tips to shop online smartly this festive season to ensure you don’t spend more than what is appropriate or necessary.
#1. Quality and Credibility
Shop from a website which has a good reputation in the market. Purchase products of reputed brands, instead of purchasing solely on the basis of offers, discounts and deals.
If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Get a detailed understanding of the deal to avoid loopholes in it.
#2. Use plastic money instead of Cash on Delivery
For new shoppers, cash on delivery seems like a safe option as they have to dispense with cash only when they have the ordered product in their hands. However, shopping online during sale season using your credit card or debit card will reap you a number of benefits.
First and foremost, using plastic money when making purchases online helps accumulate points on your card, as well as on your registered account on the merchant website. These points can be redeemed for future purchases.
A lot of websites also have a number of different cash back offers and tie ups with various banks. These benefits can be availed using your card.
Warning: Do not go overboard just because it is plastic money. Falling into the credit card debt trap will ruin your future Diwalis.
#3. Informed and comparative shopping
Before you buy a product, find information and product reviews. To get the best possible deal, do a price comparison on different websites.
If you are looking for a particular category of product, list down all the brands of that product with a positive feedback, and compare all the offers available on the listed brands, on various retail websites.
This will help you get the best price and deal on that product without compromising on quality. This option is valid only if you have the time or the inclination as it is quite tedious to compare across websites.
#4. Shop with patience
Don’t make impulsive purchases just because of offers and discounts. Always look to get value for your money, and refrain from buying products you don’t need.
#5. Shipping and other charges
When placing an order online, consider the shipping and other incidental costs being charged on that product. Most websites provide free shipping beyond a certain purchase value.
#6. Promotional and coupon codes
One of the most convenient ways to get promotional and discount codes is by registering on retail websites and subscribing to promotional updates. Go to a search engine and enter the website name along with the phrase “promotional code” or “coupon code”. This could get you codes of various deals and discounts on different products on that website.
All reputed retailers have a page on social media network. Subscribe to or like these pages to get regular information regarding discount codes, special sales and other promotions.
Having access to discount codes and coupons is not enough. Use these coupons strategically and smartly for maximum benefit and savings. This is vital when availing multiple coupons on the same order. When using more than one code, the target must be to get the maximum possible discount on that particular purchase.
#7. Avoid the trap of dynamic pricing
Dynamic pricing is pricing of products done by the retailers based on your location, browsing habits, spending pattern, demand of the product and so on. To avoid falling prey to this pricing system, ensure you clear your browsing history and cookies and log out of your email and social media accounts, before you shop online.
Note: The most important thing you should remember is your spending this festive season should not come at the cost of your retirement or other financial goals Spend only what you can afford to after you have saved. You can actually save for “festive spending” by investing in liquid funds.