Even before the global health crisis forced people indoors, many consumers had depended on e-commerce platforms and online shops to buy what they need because it’s more convenient. All their packages can be paid digitally and delivered right to their doorsteps within a few days with online shopping.
Shopping online also made it easier to buy international products from different countries, although the availability of these products is still dependent on the e-commerce platform being used. That said, it’s now possible to order a product from another country, and you’ll only have to pay the shipping fee.
However, online shopping isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. If you’re not careful about how you shop online, you can be scammed out of your money or receive products that aren’t even close to what you ordered. Even if shopping online is easier and more convenient than shopping in a retail store, it’s not free of challenges.
That’s why it’s important to be a smart shopper. Just like how meticulous and thrifty you can be when shopping in real life, you need to be as vigilant when shopping online, if not more. This way, you can always get your money’s worth and enjoy every dime of your spending. Here are three hacks that always work:
Check out the Product Reviews
Product reviews left by other customers on the e-commerce platforms are gold mines. There may be useless comments and reviews from time to time, but there are consumers who provide reliable feedback about the products on these pages. You just have to sift through all the others beforehand.
By reading the reviews left by other customers, you’ll know if that product is worth buying or if the seller can be trusted with your money. Most shops allow product returns for damaged goods, albeit only within a limited time, but that can be a hassle for both parties. That’s why you must eliminate all potential loopholes from the start.
Another thing that you must remember is to look at the number of reviews. For instance, you can’t decide which store to buy from because they’re offering similar products. In this case, the product offered by Shop A has a 5-star rating from 15 people, while the product from Shop B has a 4-star rating from 100 people.
Even if you don’t crunch the numbers, you can gather that the product from Shop B is more reliable because it has more product reviews from satisfied customers. It may have one star less than Shop A, but the sample size of Shop B is much bigger. That’s considered a little-known fact in online shopping.
Wait for Promos and Events in Shops
In Singapore and everywhere else, shopping online is convenient because you’ll only need to open the e-commerce platform or app to place your orders. If they offered same- or next-day delivery, you can enjoy your product immediately. But if you’re not strapped for time, you can save more money by waiting for promos.
Most e-commerce shops will hold promotional events at least once a month to attract more customers. You can take advantage of these offerings if you schedule your check-outs during the events because you might score free shipping deals or cash vouchers in the process.
It may even be possible to use these promos alongside your credit card offers to get more bang for your buck. Even if you’re spending money while shopping online, that doesn’t mean you can’t be wise about how you’re spending it. A little discount here and there never hurt anyone, plus it gives you more budget to spend on other things.
Let Nice-to-have Products in Your Cart
Online shopping makes it so easy to add items to your cart. All you have to do is to click a few buttons or tap on your screen, and the products will be added to your cart. And if your preferred payment option is connected to the app, checking out your orders will be a piece of cake.
But that can be a slippery slope to be on because you might not notice just how much you’ve already accumulated until it’s too late. It’s easy to go overspend when shopping online if you’re not careful, and soon enough, you’ll be buried in more debt than you can repay.
But don’t think that you have to check out all the items in your cart every single time. You can let the nice-to-have items “simmer” in your cart for a few days or weeks and only check out the must-haves. This way, you can still give yourself time to think it over without putting pressure on yourself to spend.
Shopping online is a fun way to relieve your stress after a long day at work. It can even be your go-to method to reward yourself for working hard. But it can also be the cause of your headaches if you don’t spend your money wisely, so always be on the lookout for money-saving tips and tricks.