5 Tips For Online Shopaholics…

Are you a compulsive online shopper? If yes, then we are on the same page already!

So how about finding out ways to enhance your online shopping experience and help you save your time and money, as you shop till you drop with ease? Let’s begin…

Tip 1: Make use of your Wishlist

You know how you’re given a shopping bag/basket to add items you wish to purchase when you visit a store… Similarly, when you shop online, you have an e-basket often mentioned as ‘Wishlist’ on the given website/application you’re on. While in the store you end up purchasing the items in your basket at once, you can work things differently online. Here, you can easily add your favorite items, keep track and buy whenever you feel like.

Now if you’re an impulsive shopper, a Wishlist is great to help you slow down. Start by adding items to your Wishlist first. Now that you have all the items listed, see which ones are on discount and those on actual MRP. Moving ahead, don’t add these items to your cart at once. When you have all the items listed, prioritize what you want immediately, club items of similar nature together, calculate total price and go through your list again. While shopping is therapeutic to many, there is no point hoarding items just because you can buy them. Or sometimes you just buy in a rush and regret later. So a Wishlist adds that minute of thought to your shopping process and you can buy things you actually need and wait for prices to fall for products that you desire but can wait longer.

Advantage: I see this as a mental exercise which helps you delete items, that you added impulsively, after giving it a thought. You will further wait for rates to fall for some items (most websites notify you when there is a discount on Wishlist products) instead of buying in haste.

Tip 2: Try out the samples

This tip is especially for those who indulge in shopping for cosmetics and tons of beauty products online. Now what happens is that you cannot see or test these products entirely. You stick to the reviews but each skin and hair type is different so there is risk involved. The best you can do here is first try out a sample. Samples are handed out for free (promotional) and include products likes face mask, shampoo, serum, moisturizer, sleeping mask and so on while some are available in miniature, travel-sized packaging at nominal rates.

Advantage: Rather than wasting thousands of rupees on a product that didn’t even suit your skin type, it’s better to buy a mini sample and test it out first. This helps you save your money big time and allows you to purchase products that are actually meant for you.

Tip 3: Don’t swear by online reviews

Online platforms are flooded with reviews for electronics, books, beauty products and online services. There are plenty of reviewers who either use the video format or add their views on the e-commerce sites they purchase from. I personally don’t swear by these reviews because products vary in usage, type, preference and so on. A gadget reviewed by someone after a use of one month is purely based on a single person’s feedback. I, on the other hand, go through reviews for product comparisons, understanding the products and matching them with my requirements.  I don’t base my purchase entirely on a review as there may be some factors that I am okay with but the reviewer isn’t. So take a look at reviews but don’t go too deep and miss out on some good buys.

Advantage: You get a general idea about the product, other similar products, price range and product acceptance. While going through too many reviews can be confusing, I advise you to stick to the top ones (based on views and following) and then make a decision as per your requirements.

Tip 4: Visit the store first

Now this may seem like a task, but trust me it helps. When you visit a store, what you see is what you get. While the prices and product range can be tempting online, you can still make a wrong purchase by getting something that isn’t your size, color or type. You can obviously return the product but why go into that at all. All you need to do is visit a store (if available) for the product you wish to buy. Try out the product in the store and get to know your style, size and so on. You can always head back online and then make your purchase.

Advantage: Helps you save time, make use of an ongoing discount and keeps you away from the trouble of exchanging and re-ordering.

Tip 5: Track the discount patterns

Why do you shop online? To run away from the long billing queues, shop at ease and at your free time, right? And what about those crazy discounts? I’m sure that tops your list! To make the most of such discounts, here is a tip that will be extremely helpful. Take note of periods when your favorite e-commerce website announces offers. This could be during the holiday season, on a special occasion, announcement, event etc. If you are able to keep track of the same, you are sure to make the most of online discounts. Another way is by keeping in mind the actual MRP. What happens at times is that websites increase the price and then list the products on discount. So you may think you are paying less but you’re actually paying the same or maybe even more. Be aware of such gimmicks and keep track for a worthwhile shopping experience.

Advantage: Shopping is fun but even better when you save money!

If you have any tips or online shopping experiences to share please add them to the comment box below.

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