I'm sure everyone has a bit of a guilty pleasure for online shopping, but remembering when and where to save money in every way you can is a great way to only spend as much as you need to and not a penny more!
Make your next online purchase both easier and cheaper by applying a few of these guidelines, if not all of them!
1. Sign up for Exclusive Deals, Discounts and Offers
Most online shopping websites direct you to a 'sign up' box as soon as you enter their site, allowing you to stay informed of any great deals and sales that come along! It definitely pays to take notice of this and enter your email address, just to see what kind of special deals you might come across later!
Worst scenario is that you receive emails that you're not interested in - in which case you can easily unsubscribe!
If you're not directed to this box when you enter the website, they are usually at the bottom of the page with a space provided for your email address.
2. Check Social Media Pages
This may sound surprising, but many online shopping websites announce exclusive deals and discounts on their social media pages, (and are announced on the website later on, although sometimes never!) so it's imperative to check these pages before you start adding items to your online bag.
If you're a big shopper like I am then chances are something you're planning on buying could actually be discounted and therefore cheaper if you check the social media pages first and make use of the codes available!
3. Compare with Similar Websites
Nothing is worse than buying something you really like online and then checking out another website the next day - only to see the same item but for less! I have definitely been there and ended up kicking myself for not thinking to check first.
It's always a good idea to have a look on other similar websites and select the same categories as your favourite items on the previous website. It's very common for websites to sell the exact same stock but for different prices, if you can believe that! It may take a little bit longer but it's always worth checking in case you were right all along.
If only a couple of your items are selling on both websites, the great thing you can do is grab the cheaper deal and use the other website to buy the item that are only sold on one - so you buy from two different websites while knowing you paid the cheapest price for your items.
4. Sleep on It
This one can be worrying because as we all know, saving items to your bag doesn't guarantee that you've secured it, but it's definitely worth doing in the long run! Hold off your
impulse buy for a few days to make sure it's something you actually want and will get wear out of! It really does help to check in the next few day with a pair of fresh eyes.
If there was something in your bag that you have a change of heart on and decide you aren't so keen, you're saving yourself a lot of extra money that you would have spent otherwise!
5. Do You Really Need This?
I hope we've all asked ourselves this when shopping online! It might be a bit naughty if you haven't. Be completely honest with yourself and ask yourself if you really need this particular piece. This is a great way of practising self-discipline which will help you lots in the future to only buy what you really need more of.
Sometimes it's almost painful removing them from your bag but you will feel so much better you find something better that you do need more of!
Always be sensible because at the end of the day it's your own money that you're spending. Money doesn't come easily to all of us so spend it wisely and do everything you can to save every cent!
6. Don't Aim to Reach the 'free Shipping over $$$$'
Many websites have a big banner at the top of the page announcing "free shipping over...(enter certain amount)". This amount varies from website to website but generally the cost is quite high as they want as much money from you as possible if they're going to be shipping it to you for free!
This is a pretty cunning trap in some ways so I try to avoid it when I can (unless the free shipping amount is quite reasonable and you're going to be spending that much anyway - in that case go ahead by all means!)
Sometimes the idea of free shipping is tempting and appealing to us as buyers because you think "Well I'm going to be giving them money anyway, so why not?" But this is a terrible habit to get into and will most definitely cost you in the long run.
Is it really worth spending (enter certain amount) just to get free shipping, even if it means spending more pointless money?
It might help to check out the 'shipping and delivery' page (usually down the bottom of the main page) to see how much regular shipping is to your country if you don't opt for free shipping over the certain amount.
It's a good idea to think of it as a trap since it could lead you to spend way over what you originally intended to - even going as far as doubling your total in some cases! It really does add so much to the overall amount of your purchases so it's important to be aware of this!
7. Patience is Key
Another great way of saving money is to simply wait. No matter how much you love the items in your bag, put them out of your head for a bit and focus on something else for a couple of weeks - anything from studying, work or hobbies! Whatever usually keeps you occupied.
But before you do this, it might be a good idea to add your items individually as 'favourites' on your laptop because often online websites don't keep your bag contents after a certain period of time.
When you do this, make a note/write down the price and check back in a couple of weeks to see if they're any cheaper.
If the price has somewhat dropped, this would be a good time to swoop in and grab them before they go out of stock. If not, decide whether or not you really want the items and are happy spending (enter certain amount) since the price isn't dropping.
The risk is that the item you're after may run out of stock in the meantime. It's very annoying when this happens but it's okay - chances are if it's run out of stock it's because it's in high demand and therefore there's a very high chance it will be returning soon!
If you're really keen, you can always contact customer service and ask them specifically about that item and when you can expect it to be selling again.
8. Check Coupon & Discount Code Websites
There's so many of these websites around at our disposal but it's a shame that a lot of people don't know they exist - think of all the money that could've been saving if they had looked on those websites!
There's usually a whole page full of discount codes on each website, some date back into the past but the recent coupons are always near the top.
Some offer the exact number of people who have used the codes (if it's 100+ or a significantly large number you should definitely try it for yourself!) and others have a rating system of thumbs up (it worked for them) or thumbs down (it didn't work for them).
Both these features are very helpful for giving an idea about how successful each code and offer an indication about whether you should try it yourself!