Online Shopping Hacks: Save Money with These Thrifty Tactics
Online shopping has become wildly popular in recent years, allowing people to buy nearly anything from the comforts of their homes. Like shopping at a physical store, you want to get great deals at affordable prices when buying online. However, the differences between in-store and online shopping go beyond the physical—smart shopping tips for physical stores may not work for online shoppers.
To make sure you get the most out of your money, here are fifteen online shopping hacks that are guaranteed to help you save on your next purchase.
15 Online Shopping Hacks to Save Money
- Use credit cards for safer transactions
While many may debate the merits of transacting with debit cards versus credit cards, credit cards offer some level of protection for consumers. Credit cards make it easier and faster to reverse transactions or receive refunds than debit cards.
As credit card bills are paid on a fixed date, you’re also given a buffer between card payments and balance settlements. Just make sure to keep a copy of your order invoice in case your bank needs it. You also minimize the risk of contamination or transmission of germs from handling common items like cash or coins.
- Stalk the social media accounts of your favorite brands
Nowadays, nearly every brand uses social media to interact with their existing and potential customers. Given this, it’s no surprise that sales, promos, and other relevant news are almost instantly announced on these platforms.
Keep your eyes on your favorite brands’ social media accounts to make sure you never miss a good deal. Whenever possible, customize your notifications for their pages, so you get instantly alerted for any new posts.
- Follow influencers, bloggers, and endorsers for codes and discounts
You’ve seen it before: an influencer makes an Instagram post on a product they’re currently using, followed by a custom sale link or promo code for their followers.
Following these online personalities for their product picks can lead to great discounts and promo codes. The best part? Each influencer may have more than one brand partnership. Depending on the influencer, you may end up with a wide variety of products to choose from.
- Wait for site sales
Online shopping platforms have gone above and beyond for providing customers with sitewide sales: from holiday-related promos to newer trends like 10.10, 11.11, and 12.12 one-day events. Unless you have an urgent need, keep your chosen items in your cart and check out once the site sale is up. Getting something you want at a much lower price is worth waiting a little longer.
- Read reviews before making a purchase
One of the oldest online shopping hacks in the book is reading reviews. Whether on the shopping site itself or third-party reviewing platforms and blogs, knowing how a product works and performs can save you from potentially bad purchases.
When reading reviews, take note of the overall product rating and both positive and negative reviews. A product can be highly-rated but negative reviews may tip you off on details that higher reviews may have missed.
- Shop around for the best deal
You’ve probably had this happen to you: you check out on an item you found on Lazada because it was at a lower price than expected. The next time you scroll through the site, you find a similar listing for half the price.
When looking for an item, reading reviews should go hand in hand with canvassing prices. It would be best to scroll down the product page to read them and use the RewardsMart feature on the Robinsons Rewards app to browse through accurate prices since it’s powered by iPrice. You could end up paying much less for the same product or find a cheaper alternative to what you originally had in mind.
- Take advantage of sign-up promos
Many online shopping platforms often ask new customers to register as members of their site or subscribe to their mailing list. These platforms claim several benefits to make shopping with them more enjoyable, including sign-up promos and exclusive discount codes. Even if you plan to purchase only once, registering your email may bring the price down significantly.
- Join a smart rewards program
There are plenty of rewards programs, but not all are created equal. A good loyalty program should provide you with discounts when shopping on certain platforms or offer other creative ways to save money. Make sure to read and understand the terms and conditions for your chosen rewards program to see if you can get the most value out of it.
- Maximize shipping costs
One concern unique to online shopping is dealing with shipping costs. There’s nothing more annoying than wanting to buy one item on sale, only to find out that shipping will cost more than your purchase.
To avoid this, try to buy items from the same seller to ensure that your shipping cost is less than your purchase total. If shipping is free for purchases at a specific amount, look for cheap “filler” items that can help you qualify.
- Use cashback apps
Cashback apps let you earn back a percentage of your shopping total with their partner merchants. This total can either be cashed out or used as a digital balance for future purchases.
Look around for a cashback app that covers all your go-to brands or preferred online shopping platform to get the most out of the program. Make sure to follow the app’s instructions for getting your cashback, which usually involves purchasing through a tracked link. Otherwise, you may end up forfeiting your cashback.
- Make offers through live chat
Haggling and negotiating prices were once exclusive to in-person shopping. Nowadays, even online shopping platforms like Shopee have live chat features that allow you to make your own offer to the seller. Aside from getting items at lower prices, you may even be able to negotiate for freebies or other inclusions.
Tread carefully, though, as some sellers may not allow haggling at all or offer below a certain price. To be sure, take the time to read the shop’s terms and conditions before attempting to haggle.
- Try buying preloved items
Buying products brand-new, especially for electronics and designer goods, can be hard on the budget. Purchasing secondhand can get you the same item in good condition but at a fraction of the cost.
Look around sites like Facebook Marketplace, Shopee, or Carousell for preloved items. Pay close attention to the product details, ask questions if you’re unsure, and stay vigilant of deals that sound too good to be true.
- Look for third-party coupons
Promos and discounts are available even outside of a brand store or shopping platform. Through third-party websites, you can easily buy discount coupons to use for your future purchases. Consider availing these for your own shopping needs or as a gift to a loved one who will appreciate the discount.
- Rely on the power of your network
Having a vast social network can come in handy, especially during the holiday season. Some online shops offer special sales or promos for users who can invite others to sign-up for a newsletter or become members of their site. Tap the online shoppers in your social circles so you can all enjoy the benefits of these programs.
- Get items directly from the source
With the sheer amount of shops and sellers online, it can be challenging to sift through product listings for fair prices. What’s worse, some shops turn out to be resellers who keep a large stock of generic items with ridiculous markups.
Another online shopping hack is to take your business to the source directly —either the manufacturer or store. Not only do you get a product for a cheaper price, but you also put your support behind hardworking brands instead of people trying to profit off of consumers who don’t know better.
Shop Smart for the Holidays
With the Christmas season fast approaching, it’s all the more essential to buy the right gifts without breaking the bank. Online shopping has made it so much easier for people to find what they’re looking for. With the right online shopping hacks, shopping doesn’t need to be hard on your wallet.
Looking for a loyalty program that pays off? Download the Robinsons Rewards app and sign up now to save on cash, earn points, and shop smart with our merchant partners. Take advantage of the offers from BeautyMnl, Aerophone, and Toys"R" Us, among other big brands to help you save money from vouchers or exclusive offers to members.
The Robinsons Rewards app is available via Apple App Store, Google Play Store, and Huawei App Gallery. Registration is FREE!