Shoes, raw honey, diapers, convenience, vacation, costumes, pictures and 90’s memorabilia are all available for purchase online.
Online shopping has really boomed in the past few years, with more big name stores incorporating the online experience to gain the attention of the new online shoppers. So how can you get the most of this shopping experience? I’ve been engaging in online shopping for about 10 years now; I started with Ebay and have graduated to many, many more stores now. Here are some tips my 10 years of online shopping have cultivated.
1.Sign up for newsletters
Your favourite stores may now allow you to shop online and with that they have online newsletters where they email you the latest deals. They also have a sign up bonus where you can usually save anywhere from 10-20% off your first purchase. Why not get a discount on your first online purchase? The other advantage with signing up with stores that you already shop at, you generally know how the sizing works and won’t have to worry too much about the fit. However, if you order something that does not fit, you can easily complete an in store return or exchange hassle free. I was going to buy some new spring shoes from “Aldo.com” and through signing up on their site I was able to save 15% off my purchase.
2. Read Product Reviews
If you’re purchasing from an unknown store or unknown brand, try to buy products that have been reviewed by previous purchasers. When I first came across Sammydress.com I only bought dresses that were reviewed by other customers because I was not going to go through any hassle to return my purchases. Most of the items I bought fit with a few exceptions. However I didn’t spend a lot so I didn’t mind the ones that did not fit so well, it also gave me some insight into the sizing and quality of dresses on Sammydress. The ability to read reviews is essential when dealing with an online retailer that is not located near you and would result in a difficult returns process. Online shopping takes away the ability to really feel and try out a product, so the reviews of those who have purchased the product is so beneficial. I found my favourite undereye cream, Emu Oil Well Moisturizing Eye Cream from “Feelunique.com” based on reviews I read. I use this under eye cream all the time now thanks to the reviews.
3. Use Coupon codes
A great way to save on your online purchases is to search for online coupon codes. It always amazes me how many coupon codes there are. I rarely make online purchases without being able to input a code that can save me some money. A quick way to find a relevant coupon code is to search the following (“name of online store” coupon code) and you’ll get a few results. I generally get results from “retailmenot.com/.ca” but there are other sources as well that’s why the search will be the most fruitful. Using this method, I was able to save money on purchasing tickets to summertime activities, clothing items and so much more.
4. Take time to search for a deal
Unless you’re in a rush, online shopping allows you to really take time to search for the best deal. In person shopping takes up a lot of time and energy to allow you to compare prices for a product you want to buy. With online shopping, you can have many tabs open while searching various retailers until you’ve come across the best deal. This also allows you time to research ratings and the best product for the best price. I wanted to buy a juicer and through research and looking around, I found a decent budget juicer that retails for $99 for $71 because “TheBay.com” had the price reduced as well as an additional 20% for their friends and family discount they were offering.
5. Take a chance
As long as it’s not an expensive item, take a chance on a new site that you’ve never purchased from before. Research the company beforehand to ensure they are not fraudulent. If everything checks out, try purchasing clothes or whatever else from that site to see if it’ll become one of your favourites. If you buy something small or inexpensive, if it doesn’t work out, you won’t be too disappointed. I recently tried out a store called “Zaful.com” and I was pleasantly surprised with the clothes I purchased. I learned that they charge some duties and some of their medium tops fit smaller than usual, but overall, I took a chance and will be returning for future purchases.
6. Take advantage of Free shipping
If you have a large purchase to make and are buying from a familiar store that offers online shopping, why not take advantage of their free shipping offer? “Walmart.ca” offers free shipping on purchases over $50. When I need to restock on diapers and wipes, I purchase them online a week or two before I need them so I can take advantage of free shipping, which saves me about an hour shopping trip to Walmart. This benefits my pockets as well because I rarely go to Walmart without buying some stuff I didn’t really need. If you have some regular items you need, and the store offers free online shipping, save some time and purchase it online, just do so a few days before you need it so it will ship on time.
7. Get Exclusive items
Online shopping gives you access to items you otherwise would not have been able to get your hands on. We know that the internet gives us a global reach like never before. Online shopping does the same with some purchases. There are some American companies us Canadians can purchase from. There are international sites that allow me to purchase items that are not available here in Canada. “Asos.com” is a site out of London that offers stylish clothing items for men and women with free shipping to Canada on orders over $45 or the low cost of $6.50 otherwise. Sometimes we’re deterred from online shopping because of the high shipping costs, but there are stores that offer reasonable costs to ship items to you.
8. Save money
Aside from regular sales that online retailers can offer, there are places where you can find items for a lot less than they’re sold for in stores. I bought a tempered glass screen protector for my Note 3 on “Ebay.ca” for $3 while a similar product was being sold for $24 at Bestbuy. I know some products are knock offs and do not work as well but this item I bought protected my phone when it fell on it’s face so it was well worth the $3. Again, with anything you buy at a cheaper cost online, you’ll want to do the research to ensure they’re effective and legal. Online shopping also makes it easier to price match items with online searches versus clipping through several physical coupons and ads.
Online shopping can save you time, money and energy if you follow the tips offered above. Don’t let one bad experience turn you off from a great resource. It may never phase out shopping in store but if you try it out, you’ll surely find out the many benefits to purchasing items online and saving money shopping online.