Online shopping is quick, easy and shrewd. It’s true; there’s something convenient about not having to go anywhere and being able to cover more products than you ever could on your feet. In fact, Black Friday, the largest shopping day of the year, birthed its online cousin, “Cyber Monday,” because of the frenzy. The online shopping extravaganza was hugely successful in 2010 and looks promising for 2011.
Budget perks of online shopping
Online shopping is popular, because patrons can slip from kitchen appliances to fine jewelry and back in just a few clicks. However, having so much merchandise so readily accessible can be dangerous for a person’s wallet. Here are some tips to keep shopping strong with-out going wrong:
Name Your Price
A lot of websites like Google, and eBay give you the option to search by price. The convenience of online shopping can also be a negative, as it’s easy to lose control and get click happy. Using this tool eliminates items out of your budget range from view. It’s a great way to avoid the temptation of spending too much money.
Shipping costs are the hidden fees of the online shopping world. Once you find an item you want to purchase, plug its exact name into a search engine. Even an item number can help, although, those may vary from retailer to retailer. Very few websites only sell their brand, so you should be able to find the same product in several different locations. Check the prices AND the shipping costs of each. An item may be a few dollars more on site 1 than site 2, but if a closer look reveals that shipping is free for site 1 then it may be the better deal. Try purchasing items online well in advance from when you need them. Paying for rushed shipping can be an expensive and unnecessary addition.
Go to the Deals
Naturally, events like Cyber Monday, pre-season and post-season sales are pretty predictable. But there are a lot of other deals out there. Keep checking up on sites. If you monitor them closely you may pick up on the patterns they follow for when items will switch from the “women’s” section to the “sales” tab. From all sides of the matter, it’s generally best to not buy something at first pass; you never know what deals could arrive in a few days.
Make Deals Come to You
Email marketing is a fantastic tool. Companies like Groupon and Living Social make it their prerogative to learn what you like and send it to you at a discounted price. While Groupon and Living Social offer more “experience based” deals like wine nights, massages and tickets, many online stores have a mailing list that funnels coupon deals. Online stores will go through great lengths to make you a customer. Some stores even send coupons to customers who have added something to their cart and then moved on without purchasing. Sending this coupon to your inbox encourages most customers to check out the products again.