Tips to be a Savvy Online Shopper
How to take advantage of good deals, avoid overpaying, avoid overbuying, and stay focused.
We live in a world where goods arrive at your door between hours and days after you press that magic “purchase” button. It’s so easy, you’ll rack up a credit card bill in no time. Everyone is spending more money online these days. Since the pandemic, online purchases hit a record $1 trillion in 2022. You can get pretty much everything and the kitchen sink on the internet — but eCommerce advertisers wouldn’t want you to be aware of this. Retailers have all sorts of tricks to get you to spend more and spend now. But it’s no secret, and there are ways to see behind the curtain and arm yourself with the knowledge that will help you be a savvy online shopper. This blog will help you stay focused, time your purchases for optimal discounts, and consider the hidden costs that only appear in the fine print.
1. Put your actual needs first
E-commerce is designed to move so quickly that you don’t get a chance to think anything over before the package is on the way. It’s a cleverly crafted, seamless experience. See an ad on social media, link to a shopping cart in your browser, and BOOM - the deed is done. On top of that, there are flashy graphics and click-to-buy features that play on your brain's weaknesses. We recommend making an actual list of things you need to purchase BEFORE you open your browser. Don’t shop when you’re hungry or bored, or tired to avoid impulse purchases.
2. Don’t need it now? Pump the brakes.
Online retail is ALL about urgency messaging. It’s the marketers' job to make you feel like you need this now and if you don’t make moves, it will be gone. This is never the case. Timed carts, sale countdown clocks, and limited availability warnings are all tools made to incentivize purchases. Chances are, that Flash Sale for 40% off will be offered again next month (although likely repackaged as a BOGO or something else. If you don’t need it today, write it on that physical list and take a look again next month. A new or better offer might be there when you decide you really need it.
3. Compare prices
Online shopping has the advantage of being able to change the prices of goods with a touch of a button. As the consumer, you have no idea what the item cost last year, last week, or even yesterday. Many eCommerce brands source the EXACT SAME products from factories abroad and put them in front of you with a simple logo added. Do your research and ensure you’re purchasing the right item at the lowest possible price.
4. Unsubscribe ALL DAY
You may have given a site your email to get a 15% off coupon when you first ordered. That was a great deal… for the vendor. They now have access to your email where they will constantly send you ads to get you back on their site. Hit unsubscribe. You see enough ads every day! Eliminate those you have control over.
5. Check your credit card balance regularly
Shopping is fun. Admit it. You love it. And because you never have to pull out your wallet when you shop online, you may have the sense that you’re not actually spending real money. Check your credit balance weekly to stay in touch with how real that money really is. Also, check it right before making any online purchase. We’re willing to bet it will change your mind about more than one purchase.
With these tricks in your pocket, you won’t be susceptible to the worst of online marketing. If you are concerned about money due to a considerable amount of debt, there is help available. Here at Madison Monroe & Associates, we act as a partner to help you eliminate debt and get back on the path to financial freedom. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Madison Monroe & Associates at email@example.com or call us at (877) 346-2797.