Have you ever bought a top online and never worn it? You are not alone. We are all guilty of impulse buying as virtual shopping is both convenient and fun. But it is also super addictive. And now when cash is quickly losing value, online shopping is the only way out. So what do you do to avoid ‘thoughtless buying’? Just follow these tips to shop smartly and never overspend again.
1. DECIDE A LIMIT
Always set boundaries on the amount of time and money that you are comfortable in spending before you begin your online search. Make a mental note of what you need specifically, rather than letting yourself be swayed by what looks good. Use search filters to cut through the clutter and temptation further.
2. READ CUSTOMER REVIEWS
In order to be sure about the quality of the product, read what other users have to say before you make up our mind. You can also Google for your product reviews. In your impulsiveness, you might end up shopping unnecessary and over-priced products.
3. CARRY OUT EXTENSIVE RESEARCH
Before you settle in on buying a pricey item, compare its price across other e-commerce sites that might be selling it cheaper. You can use price comparison websites like mysmartprice. It might be even wise to compare a retailer’s online price to its in-store price for an item – sometimes they are not the same and the online price isn’t the best deal.
4. DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF COUPONS AND DISCOUNTS
Online shopping gives great returns in terms of coupons and discounts. You can choose a coupon aggregating site like coupondunia or nearbuy because these sites have a huge database of coupons and deals for hundreds of products and brands. Also, be on a lookout for promotional codes and special deals, which might significantly reduce the price. Beware: Coupons too are addictive. They prompt you to actually spend more. Ask yourself whether the discount is worth the buy before hitting the ‘pay’ button.
5. WAIT FOR THE FESTIVE SEASON
Join the email lists of your favorite retailers so you can get coupons and other special offers delivered straight to your inbox. Many websites offer a promotional discount just for signing up with them. But the best discounts come on the festive season. Wait for it and use the time to evaluate the things you really need.
6. DON’T DO IDLE BROWSING
Most impulse buys are done when we are bored and browsing sites to pass our time. Set specific days or time to look up your favourite items. Don’t click on shopping ads and never open these website while you are at work. They can be a serious distraction.
7. ALWAYS CHECK RETURN AND REFUND POLICY
It may look good in the photos but when you try it, the dress looks unflattering. What do you do now? Make sure you shop from well known retailers that accept return and refund. Many offer store credits but some also transfer money back in your account. This way you actually have the freedom to try the clothes and decide which ones you want to keep.
8. LEAVE ITEMS IN YOUR CART
Leave the products in your cart for a day or two. Retailers hate unclosed deals. They will try to retain you by sending coupons or offering a better price the next day. Remember, the trick works only when you have an account on the merchant’s website and you are logged in when you leave your cart. This gap will also give you time to think if you really want that product.
9. AVOID SHIPPING COST, DYNAMIC PRICING
Many stores offer free shipping if you spend a certain amount. If you’re falling short of that minimum, think about other items you may need that you can purchase ahead of time. Also, steer clear of sites that have dynamic prices. This is a sneaky strategy to show different prices to different customers based on their location, browsing history, spending patterns and current demand of the product. If you notice that suddenly the price of an item went up from the last time, you have been trapped in the dynamic pricing web. Make sure you clear your browsing history and cookies, log out of your social media accounts and switch to incognito mode.
An interesting tid-bit: Buying something gives your body a small high. So if you can’t keep your hands off the online deals, then watch a funny video or get up and have some tea. These small pleasures will help you overcome weak moments.