The Internet has provided us with a lot of conveniences; with just a flew clicks or taps, you can communicate with your friend living on the other side of the world, meet new people, get a job and do your work, and of course, do your regular shopping.

But what many do not know is that there are ways to make the most of your time and money whenever you shop online. Here are some smart hacks for cyber shopaholics:

  1. Stick to sites with free shipping.

Not sure what size would actually fit you? This would not be too much of a problem if you opt for free-shipping online shopping sites. This way, you can buy a certain product in more than just one size, try them on, and return those that don’t fit well. Just don’t forget to check out the website’s return and exchange policies.

More than that, that $10-20 shipping fee can be used to buy another item or two instead, and if you do a lot of online shopping, these shopping fees combined could actually amount to a lot more.

If there are specialised online shopping sites that you religiously follow but do not give out free shipping, then make sure that you make the most of every shipping fee you pay for. Instead of purchasing from these websites in ones or twos, it would be a better idea to buy in bulk once every after few months, depending on the kind of items.

  1. Use coupons or promo/discount codes.

Just like Grab promo codes can lower the fare you pay for significantly, discount codes and other promo codes (such as free shipping code) can also deduct a couple of dollars to even half of your total bill. This is why it might be a good idea to track your favourite online shopping sites’ news, updates, and social media pages and take not of their the newest promo and discount codes.

If the website provides an option to talk to or chat with a representative of the company, don’t just ignore that; rather, use this opportunity to ask for new codes that you might not have known from anywhere else.

  1. Benefit from the filter features of the shopping websites.

No need to go through those items beyond your shopping list or torture yourself seeing those designs you love but don’t have your size. Other than saving time because you can find what you are looking for more easily with filters, it also means you are less likely to put items on your shopping lists that you did not really intend to buy in the first place.

  1. If you are unsure about buying certain items, like/put on the shopping cart or wish list without purchasing.

This provides leeway for you to rethink whether or not you really want or need these items and therefore, avoid binge shopping and overspending.

On top of that, you might also get discount offers for these specific items you left on your shopping cart. Consider as well, however, the possibility that these items may sell out, especially if they are already on sale.

Smart Hacks For Cyber Shopaholics

  1. Don’t be fooled by the ‘sale’ hype.

Some shopping websites, like other actual shops, actually have a way of cheating you into binge buying their products under the illusion of “sale”. How do they do it? They inflate the prices of the items so that when they do their “big sales”, they don’t really lose; the “discounted” price is actually just the original price. Don’t be a victim of this and follow up with the next step…

  1. Do your research.

Trying out a new online shopping app or site? To make sure they are authorized to sell or ‘legit’ and to avoid scams, it might be a good idea to research first and check other shoppers’ experience of these shops.

Researching is also a good way to avoid being a victim of fake sales/discounts and to see which shop offers certain products at the lowest prices. Google can do the job, but you may also want to try out using apps like Price Grabber which will come in handy when online shopping.

  1. Buy discounted gift cards.

No promo or discount codes available? No problem! Another option is to purchase discounted gift cards (e.g. $20-worth gift card sold for $17 or less) can save you a couple of bucks! Try visiting websites like Cardpool and GiftCardGranny for these gift cards.

  1. Consider using your debit card instead.

There are actual evidences and studies on why people who mainly use credit card when shopping tend to spend more than those who use cash; for one, it is much less painful to swipe our credit cards than to pick the bills from our wallets and pass it to the cashier. But when it comes to shopping online, we don’t always have the option to pay with cash when our products are delivered to our doorstep. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t any other choice; for one, you can use your debit card so that your actual money is used rather than credited debts. You might also want to consider setting up a Paymaya or Paypal accounts; this way, you can simply transfer certain amount of money to these accounts and avoid spending more than you plan or intend to.

Not only will this step help save you from yourself – particularly, your shopaholic self, – but it can also aid you in avoiding scams and continuous unwanted charges on your credit.

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Abigail Wong is the Writer of The New Savvy.

She is a Singapore Management University 2nd year undergraduate specialising in Strategic Management. From Tampa, Florida, she possesses an International Baccalaureate diploma from C. Leon King High School, and previously held the position of Treasurer of the King High School Division of the French National Honour Society and the Science National Honour Society. Abigail is currently acting as President of the French Cultural Club for SMU International Connections, and as a Resident Advisor and Fire Warden for the SMU Residences at Prinsep.

Abigail is a Former Florida Science Olympiad Champion in chemical forensics and protein modelling, and former Health Occupation Student’s Association District Champion in clinical nursing.

In her free time, Abigail enjoys interacting and caring for animals. She has previously volunteered for the Humane Society of Tampa Bay as an Adoption Assistant.

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