Online shopping has become increasingly popular over the past 3-5 years, especially in the Middle East. But it isn’t as cost-effective as it used to be. As more people are shopping online, retailers are trying to benefit from increasing prices.
But you don’t necessarily need to pay more. Follow these online shopping tips to get the best value for your money when shopping online.
1. Wait for the Right Day to Shop
Many shoppers wait till the weekend to shop online. They often shop on Friday evening or a Sunday afternoon. But guess what. Brands know it. They know more people shop at the weekend, and the prices are, therefore, higher.
While Sundays are ideal for shopping for cheap airline tickets, it’s better to avoid weekends if you want to shop online.
Besides, several brands roll out amazing online shopping deals and discounts on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
One of the major online shopping tips to save money is to shop on Tuesdays. They are ideal for shopping electronics, like laptops and mobile phones.
To find the best deals, be sure to follow your favorite brands on social media. This way, you’ll get to know if there’s a sale coming up.
2. Don’t Fall Victim to Dynamic Pricing
Many eCommerce companies use dynamic pricing, a sneaky strategy to show different prices to customers based on their location and browsing history. Dynamic pricing is prevalent in airline ticket booking. How many times have you found an air ticket price increasing by 25% the next day?
This strategy works well in ticket shopping because the seats are limited and people need to travel urgently. Therefore, one of the biggest tips to save money on online shopping is to not fall into this trap.
You can get a less biased price by eliminating ways through which eCommerce stores track your activity. This includes clearing your browsing history and cookies, using a VPN, and browsing in incognito mode.
3. Request Price Drop Refunds
Let’s say you purchased a Dell Laptop for AED 2,500, and the item went on sale after a couple of days. So frustrating, isn’t it? Well, some online marketplaces are willing to refund you the price difference if the price has increased within a certain amount of days after your purchase.
For example, Amazon will compensate you for the price difference if you contact them within seven days after the delivery date. Credit card companies like MasterCard and Citi also offer price protection regardless of where you shop from. This way, you can get the best value for money on online shopping.
4. Use Multiple Coupon Codes Wisely
Some websites allow you to combine two or more coupon codes on one order. If so, make sure you use the codes wisely. Let’s say you have two coupon codes: one with a 20% discount and one with an AED 30 cashback. And let’s say your total order amount is AED 100.
If you apply the 20% code first, the amount will reduce to AED 80. After using the AED 30 cashback coupon, the final amount will be AED 50.
But if you apply the AED 30 cashback coupon first, the amount will reduce to AED 70. Then after using the 20% discount coupon, the final amount will be AED 56. See the difference?
Therefore, make sure you apply multiple coupons in the right order to get the best value for money.
5. Bargain with Customer Support
Who said you couldn’t bargain when shopping online? Say there’s a juicy “Flat 15% discount” coupon that has expired a day ago. Don’t worry. Give a call to customer support and request them to extend the coupon validity. Be sure to convince them that you’re about to make a purchase right now.
Sales reps and support agents want to close deals, even if it requires extending coupon validity. Though it may not work every time, giving it a try is one of the most effective online shopping tips.
If a store doesn’t offer live call support, try reaching out to the support agents via live chat. But don’t be hostile and bombard the chat demanding discounts. Be polite. Ask a few questions about the product, and then ask if any discounts are available.
Many times, customer agents can provide you with special discounts that aren’t otherwise available to the public.
6. Leverage Reward Programs
Several apps and websites offer gift cards and discount coupons for completing certain actions. For example, ShopKick is a website that provides “Kicks” in exchange for browsing product catalogs and completing online surveys. You can convert these Kicks into gift cards for various online stores.
Some eCommerce sites have their own loyalty programs. Amazon, for example, offers Amazon Rewards Visa. It provides a $50 sign-up bonus, along with 3 points for every $1 spent.
7. Compare Prices
How many times have you found the same product selling at different prices on different websites? It often happens, if not every time. So, one of the biggest online shopping tips to save money is to compare prices before making a purchase.
You can reduce the hassle by installing a browser add-on like PriceBlink. It automatically pulls out the prices of a product from various sellers. If you shop on a mobile device, you can install the Pricegrabber app.
8. Leave Items in Cart
You could’ve probably heard of this trick before, but leaving your items in the cart can help you grab discounts. Abandoned carts are a huge issue for eCommerce companies.
While there’s no sustainable solution to this problem, many vendors encourage shoppers to complete the purchase by offering them discounts.
So, one of the tips to save money on online shopping is to add items to your cart and leave them for a couple of days. Keep an eye on your email, as you might receive a discount. When you shop online for beauty and grooming items, you are most likely to get a huge discount via this method as they are very active at promotion.
There are several ways to get the best value for money when shopping online. But make sure not to fall victim to fraud in the pursuit of low prices. Many scam websites offer cheap deals that are too good to be true. It’s better to pay the original price and get a legit product instead of spending less money and not getting anything at all.