How Taking Shopping Online Will Save You Money!

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If the Black Friday sales are any indication, online shopping may very well dominate in-store affairs.

And for pretty much the same reasons – better deals, multi-brand shopping with multiple tabs alone, hassle-free experience, savings on time and transport, and yes, the sweet feeling of still having your hands free to do other stuff in an age when multi-tasking is pretty much the way of life. Figures from the National Retail Federation (NRF) already show that online spending now accounts for a good 40% of the shopping during the Thanksgiving weekend, up from less than 25% in 2006.

It has helped perhaps, the way big brick-and-mortar stores have aligned their online websites with in-store deals, and that they are still trying to tempt more people to take to online shopping - for their own gains of course, online shopping based distribution channels work out more profitably.

It is more likely that an internet giant Amazon or online/in-store retail-champion Walmart will run flash sales, lightning deals and daily hot picks with greater frequency online compared to on-ground retail – simply because it’s much easier to implement the logistics and retail changes online versus physical labelling etc. The online aggregator market-place model, easily applied by competitive small and medium businesses like Asos or 6PM, also regularly offer mark-downs and sale-like prices throughout the year - deals that are often made sweeter for the savvy shopper online with additional discount codes.

Of course, a sale-like scenario throughout the year does not quite bode well for shopaholics, but on the brighter side, it may very well help distribute the expenses of a no-holds-barred shopping binge to more rational levels! Particularly if the hype of BF-like specials somehow makes you end  up with a spanking new 60’’ smart TV you don’t even have space for, or worse still, get pathological enough to buy an engagement ring for the fiancé you don’t have yet! It’s pretty much win-win for everyone concerned to keep buying online in small and reasonable amounts all year round, which can also include grocery shopping.

So, here’s the top 10 ways you can save money online:

    •    Follow on Twitter: If you are one for the best deals at the earliest or special social media only discount codes, this works really well. This is also better than ‘liking’ the brand on Facebook, if only to avoid facilitating sponsored ads force-fed to friends.

    •    Subscribe to newsletters: Now this is simply the best way to learn about deals, receive promo codes, birthday discounts and coupons delivered straight to the inbox. If the concept puts you off, get a new email id to go spam-free on your personal one! Additionally, you can also get the latest news and updates of interest at your disposal, saving you a Google search or two, serving as reminder etc. Imagine winning the PowerBall and forgetting to collect your winnings because you never bothered to check the numbers in their online picks and prizes section! Or missing out on a bargain basement deal because you weren’t keeping track of what’s being offered.

    •    Get delivery pass or free-delivery membership: If you like a retailer well enough to order regularly from it, it’s better to go for a subsidized ‘member’s special’ delivery fee deal. In most cases, this gets clubbed with loyalty points, which you can redeem later in future purchases.

    •    Buy from aggregator sites and departmental stores for better deals: You may be surprised at some of the great deals you can get on brands with the specials and discounts the retailer may have to offer.

    •    Do a pre-checkout search for discount codes and coupons: Yep, that’s more savings. Retailers may not necessarily advertise these codes on their website or even send it to you via emailers.

    •    Check out the websites for brand outlets and specifically discount off-season items: If you are a shopping ninja, have a great idea about your measurements and priorities (and return policies!), you can save good money with this. Goodbye day-trip to the suburbs, hello sensible shopping. Hey, if you are skimping, you might as well go the whole way! Though, you may be disappointed with the variety you see, outlets after all want you to visit and shop more in-store.

    •    Stream videos online, ditch the cable: This is recommended if you live alone (or have room-mates fighting over the remote), and have at least a laptop, and couldn’t really care less about commercial breaks or fixed time programming or watching the latest episode the day it’s broadcast. With services charging a meagre 7-10 bucks a month, it sure beats cable bills!

    •    See if you can beat sales tax: Yes, you can wriggle out of sales tax if the online retailer does not have any physical presence in your state (with the exception of Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Vermont which impose online sales taxes irrespective). Some states may even have their own ‘sales tax holiday periods’ on certain product categories.

    •    Get cashback from partners: Take a look at the credentials of the third-party company offering cashbacks linked to your credit card. If it all appears fine, this can quite save you a few bucks. These charge monthly fees however, so if you only do the odd bit of online shopping, this may not be a smart move.

    •    Get sneaky with the shopping cart: This one’s for the pros, use it only if you can stalk well and with deliberation, and if you are ok if nothing actually comes off it. You can leave an item in your shopping cart for several days, and chances are, you might get a better deal from the retailer in tour inbox!



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