The Ultimate Guide to Shopping Online: Here's How to Smartly Save your Money
June 07, 2021

The Ultimate Guide to Shopping Online: Here's How to Smartly Save your Money

The online shopping business has become predominant in our lives in recent years. Anyone can now buy clothes, products and jewellery online, as well as do their shopping and order school books. In other words, everything that can be found in a conventional shop can also be found on the web. The advantages of purchasing online are numerous, and certainly the convenience is one of the most important ones.

It feels really great to come home from work after a stressful day and not have to worry about going out to do the shopping, or even better to find it already behind your front door. In today's world, a click is all it takes to get what you want! Many shop owners, for this very reason, have decided to open an online shop, and not just keep a retail shop. It is a market demand, and the most successful sellers know how to use this new trend to their advantage in order to be able to sell to customers all over the world, and not only to those who are nearby. Online shops bring basically many advantages for both sellers and buyers.

In particular, one of the major possibilities offered by the web is to save money in a very uncomplicated way. In fact, there are many tricks for buying a product from an online shop and paying less than in a retail shop. These are little secrets that are accessible to everyone, but not many people are aware of them. In this article, you will discover the most important strategies for making smart savings on your online purchases.

Guide to Shopping Online

1. START BY SELECTING YOUR FAVOURITE SHOPS

If you already have a list of your favourite brands and are a loyal customer, don't miss the chance to save money by signing up for their newsletter. Normally, by registering online on a shop's website, you have the opportunity to become part of a real club and to be able to attend any events organised by the brand. But the most important thing is that once you have registered, you will be notified whenever there are sales or discounts. In fact, the brand's loyal customers are always the first to know about promotions, and they are the ones who can always find what they want and pay less than the others. Moreover, as they are the first to be notified, they have a wider choice. So, the first step to start saving money on online shopping is to sign up for the newsletter of your favourite shops as soon as possible and become an official member.

2. DISCOUNT CODES – A SMART WAY TO SAVE ONLINE

Few people know the world of discount codes, an ingenious way to save online. Discount codes are alphanumeric sequences that must be entered at the basket on ecommerce sites. An example of these are the Amazon promo codes that allow users to get discounts on the total amount of the cart, according to the available promotions. Because of the covid-19 pandemic, the use of voucher codes has literally skyrocketed in 2020, and the trend is set to remain stable for 2021, too. 

3. DON'T BUY, JUST PRETEND TO

It may sound crazy, but pretending to buy can actually help you save money. If there are some products that you are particularly interested in, but are too expensive when you are looking for them, try to add them to your cart anyway. Once they have been inserted, you will have to leave the site and not purchase them. Now, every time the price of your items changes, you will receive an email notifying you of the new cost. It sounds absurd, but it really works! So, the shop's customers can actually monitor the price of the articles they desire and simply buy them when the cost is lower than the current one. All you need, in order to apply this strategy, is a bit of patience, as you need to wait a while for the price to drop. Apart from that, the strategy is very simple and anyone can potentially use it to their advantage.

4. TRY SHOPPING WITH INCOGNITO MODE

The Internet has the ability to record your searches and to offer you in the following days exactly what you are interested in. This sounds good indeed, except for one small problem: you will be shown the highest price. In fact, if the Internet understands what kind of item you are looking for, why should it suggest a lower price? We've all probably seen an advertisement on Instagram, on Facebook, or been shocked when the price of a flight soars, after keeping an eye on it for a couple of days. It is a marketing strategy implemented by the Internet, which is becoming more and more attentive to its users. If you don't believe it, try searching for the same product for a week in a row and then comparing its price with the price displayed on another device from which you are searching for the first time. You can notice yourself that there is a gap. However, there is a solution to escape this algorithm. Users can conveniently switch to incognito mode when surfing the web and avoid having their browsing recorded. A further useful tip is to always clear your history after searching for a specific product. These are all small measures that will help you to better understand how prices vary online, and to use this knowledge to save your money.

5. DON'T STOP AT JUST ONE SITE

Many users tend to look for the product they are interested in on sites that allow them to compare several options, such as Amazon or Ebay. This is not a bad decision, in fact it is very wise, but unfortunately it is not enough to make real savings. It is important not to simply stick to the first website you consult, but rather to compare several ones with each other. Another interesting option you have, is to consider the possibility of checking the price on the website of the trading company, and also the one on the brand's official website. Indeed, it is not true that on these sites the cost is always lower, but on the contrary, especially for some fields, it happens just the opposite. One example is the aviation sector. So if you need to buy a flight, don’t forget to check the websites of the individual companies.

6. START TRACKING YOUR FAVOURITE WEBSITES

Not many people are aware of this, but there are particular websites that enable users to track the prices of other companies. They help users to check how the price of their desired goods has evolved over the previous months and years. Moreover, users can also receive notifications whenever the price goes down. Basically, with these sites one has the chance to gather a lot of information about the market cost of a product and the quantity in which it was sold. Checking and understanding how the cost has changed in the previous time frame can help customers make predictions for the future and understand how the item is positioned in the online business. This strategy is a little more complicated than the others, but definitely accessible to all those who want to find an effective way to prevent wasting money on shopping.

7. TRUST IN SITES THAT PERSONALISE YOUR SEARCH

When entering a website, it often happens to find a small chat asking "Do you need help?", or even a small quiz that promises to identify the perfect product for everyone's needs. Many users ignore these options, and start their search by scrolling through the catalogue. However, this is a waste of a powerful tool that could be of great help. In fact, the computer has the ability to select products on the website according to their characteristics. So, by specifically entering your requirements, the search becomes shorter and, above all, personalised. The important thing is not to waste money on an item that may seem interesting, but does not match the user's imagination and needs. This technique enables customers to save time, because the research is quicker, but also money, because the product purchased corresponds to specific requests. Furthermore, this search method helps users to avoid wasting money on all those products that they do not really need, but which may be interesting when viewed from the site. It is therefore also useful for skimming through products.

8. WHEN EXACTLY IS THE RIGHT TIME TO SHOP?

This is also a very important issue, because there are actually some optimal times to shop online. For example, around the holidays many companies offer discounts on specific lines, so it's best to wait until the festive season for some items. Another good time to shop, is during the annual sales, which makes it worth waiting a little while. But the absolute hottest time to buy products is surely Black Friday. On this day, prices drop dramatically and many shoppers are able to stock up on a wide range of articles and even gifts for friends and family. Some companies also extend this discount period until the following Monday, but for this it is necessary to stay informed about the news of each individual company.

9. BUY EVERYTHING AT ONCE

In this paragraph we will talk about every online shopper's nightmare: shipping costs. Unfortunately, some companies offer products at low prices, but with such high shipping costs that people end up spending an outrageous amount of money. The only real strategy to take advantage of online shopping sites with high shopping costs, is to not purchase a single item, but to add multiple ones in one shipment. This way, one can still be able to have some benefits, as the charges will only be applied once.