Online Shopping: Tips to Save Time & Money

Now that online shopping surpassed in-store shopping, it’s time to shop smart, perceptive, and frugal. In other words, treat the shopping experience like in-person shopping. Bring that in-person intelligent shopping mindset to the online stores using different techniques. You’ll never view online shopping the same way.

Budget
Never go online shopping without a budget. Determine the amount and don’t go over the budget. A reasonable budget is payable in full instead of minimum payments plus interest.

Eliminate Impulse Buying 
Spend a day to browse favorite stores and create a shopping list. Compare shopping list prices the next day. Most shopping comparison websites include shipping and sales tax in the total. Research discounts and coupons on the third day. Skip the fourth day and buy on the fifth day. The methodical process is a better buying experience than an impulse buyer.

Clothing Measurements
With clothes and shoes, it’s difficult to try on the outfit before purchase, so know your measurements in advance. Bra measurements, pants measurements, shoe size, underwear size, sock size, and shirt size eliminates contemplation on fitting. In some cases, the site informs shoppers about the model’s measurements so you can plan accordingly.

Delivery and Returns 
It’s scarce to discover an online store without free shipping. Free shipping stores must meet a spending limit (or not) to qualify, and it varies by store. If the store doesn’t have free shipping, the store must offer free ship-to-store. Ship-to-store trades shipping costs for item pickup at the nearest store. Never shop at a store without free shipping or ship-to-store. From the stores qualifying, eliminate stores with no free return options.

Splurge on Coupons and Discounts
Store cards, coupon codes, email subscriptions, and cash back websites offer ideas. Sign up for a store card or store credit card and get a discount off the current or next purchase. Coupon codes are a computer-generated mix of letters and numbers translating into discounts or free shipping when typed in a promotional box at checkout or shopping cart. Subscribe to store email newsletters for discounts, sales, and coupons throughout the year, including birthdays. Cashback websites reimburse online shoppers a percentage back for shopping at their favorite stores through the cashback website.

Abandon Your Shopping Cart 
Place desired shopping items in the shopping cart. Review the shopping cart. Then, leave the site. This strategy is abandoning the shopping cart. By coming back to the cart in 24 to 48 hours, it will eliminate impulse buying. It may offer savings too. Some retailers will offer a discount for abandoned shopping carts to tempt you to hit the checkout button.

Stop using convenience to splurge online. Smart shoppers get more by paying less. Let these tips change the way you spend and browse online.

Evan Shaner