Online shopping 20 years ago was a distant fantasy only dreamt of by tech enthusiast geeks. To be able to buy something without even seeing it or trying on, in most women’s minds, seemed farfetched at the time. Now however, 20 years later and online shopping has taken the world by storm with every industry under the sun planting their flag in the digital land of the Internet.
2015 is no different to the last three years in that it's not showing any signs of online purchases slowing down. In 2014 Australian online shoppers spent a collective $16.7 billion on the Internet, primarily due to more people becoming familiar with the online shopping trend. Yet, unlike other westernised countries that have more favourable shipping rates, we still get plundered by high delivery and return fees. So, as a true money-saving patriot I give you seven clever online shopping tips to fight against such gripes.
1) Newsletter Sign up
Most big brands have daily, weekly or monthly electronic newsletters that you can sign up to receive information on their promotional offers. Generally they will give you exclusive ‘member’ discounts or promotions for signing up, such as the 10% off you receive when you sign up to Get Wines Direct’s newsletter.
2) Social Media
Brands all over the world are realising the potential of what social media can bring to their business and it can benefit you the customer as well. When you ‘Like’ your favourite brands Facebook page or follow their Instagram or Twitter accounts you have the advantage of hearing about their discounts or upcoming sales first. Often, these discounts aren't advertised anywhere else, particularly flash sales.
3) Enter Competitions
Brands all over the world host online competitions whether it be through social media or simply on their website. The old saying “You’ve got to be in it to win it” rings true in this instance. The motivation is to reward dedicated fans and followers and also attract new customers by giving away free items. Generally speaking though your likelihood of winning is slim, so on Buckscoop we try to restrict these types of offers and instead prefer to list our discoveries of deals / bargains where everyone can instantly take advantage of them to save money. However, there will be competitions online that are too good to miss. So if it only takes you a very short period of time to enter your name and email, well then it's worth a shot.
4) Coupon King
Never shop without a voucher or coupon code because every little helps to either reduce the price of the item or receive free shipping. Most stores within their checkout section have a coupon field where you can enter these codes. Before buying, check sites like Buckscoop for coupon codes at whichever store you plan on purchasing from. If you're not a regular coupon user, then you'll probably be surprised at how often you're likely to find an active code giving you an instant discount. If you're not using coupons/vouchers, then you're leaving money on the table.
5) Google Chrome Plug In
Google now have an interesting selection of plug-ins that can be downloaded and connected to your Google extensions tab and will do the hard work of price hunting for you. Simply search for a plug-in that you like on the Google Chrome store and let the extension suggest prices at other stores that may be better priced.
6) International Sales
Although the traditional sales come post Christmas and half yearly, other countries may have other sales outside of these e.g. Black Friday in the USA (which last year Australia did it's own version of). Taking advantage of these sales really can save you money including shipping fees when comparing it to the expensive equivalents here in Oz. Make your cash go further by considering overseas options, as our deal hunters sometimes find more affordable offers abroad - like this offer on console games in the UK for example.
7) Returns Policy
To be 100% clear on your purchase you need to check the returns policy before you buy something. Shopping online is easy but when you receive something you don’t really want is when things start to become costly. To return an item in-store only costs the fuel to drive there, whereas doing it online means you'll have to pay for return postage in most cases. If its an item you want no matter what, you can afford the risk, but if you are unsure, please read the returns policy of each individual retailer so you do not get caught out.