Is online shopping the ideal way to save money for the middle class?
The Internet has become the modern-day genie. Anything you wish for can be fulfilled with just a few clicks. Wish to be entertained? Use the internet. Want to gather information related to your subject? Use search engines. Wish to trade in the stock market? Download an app and start working. What’s more, if you want to shop for anything, you can make use of the internet to get things done. The best part is that you do not have to take time out from your busy schedule to drive to the mall offering an amazing discount or stand in line for hours to check your stuff out. Shopping online has brought immense relief to people. You can easily shop from the comforts of your home or office without having to find a suitable time to do so. Moreover, given the current scenario, online shopping has come in handy for everyone across the globe.
Why has the online shopping bug bitten everyone?
Competition in any market, whether online or offline is good for the consumer. This is primarily because competition offers to bring amazing deals for the benefit of the end-user. In the case of online shopping, competitive websites roll out amazingly unbelievable offers that are too good to be true.
Moreover, the advent of mobile wallets and online payment options makes things easier for users. Not only is it easy to pay for your shopping, but you also get a chance to earn cashback. This is akin to a double bonanza as you get to use discounts and coupons which lowers the price of the item in question too.
Additionally, you get amazing quality branded products at prices lower than retail outlet rates. This is possible because compared to warehouses, there are additional expenditures in mall outlets such as rent, salaries, electricity, and water consumption, etc. As a result, the same product which is available in a mall outlet for INR 2500 can be available after a discount on an online platform for less than INR 500. Thus, you can shop for more things using the same amount of money.
What is the smartest way to shop online?
Considering that for every product and genre of category, there are several websites available, it is often confusing for online shoppers regarding which site they should shop from. Here are some ways in which you can select the best option available:
- Always make sure you compare the prices. Whether it is a used car or groceries, electronic items, or books, you should compare the prices on competitive websites. Just like Trivago, which is a site that provides you with comparative rates of hotels in one place, there are similar sites where you can compare insurance, electronic goods, etc. In this manner, you can end up saving more.
- Do not forget to get extra cashback. Many websites offer you a chance to avail of instant discounts and additional cashback. Sometimes, the offer is on apps and specific for a certain product or customers. Moreover, several sites such as Nearbuy provide you coupons that dole out discounts and cashback offers for various websites.
- Ensure that you use online payment methods. The competition in online payment wallets provides you additional chances of getting extra discounts while you shop. Online transactions are beneficial for not just the user but also the portal as they get instant cash transferred to their accounts.
- Try to find out about free shipping. Shipping charges can add to your shopping amount considerably. Thus, it is important to look for sites that offer free shipping without any hidden clauses. Sometimes, free shipping is available only on bulk orders, while some sites offer free delivery over shopping over a specified amount. Try to know the terms and conditions of free delivery of different sites before placing your order.
- Beware of offer deals. It may seem contradictory, but it is true. Despite the lure of offer deals, these are actually not good for your budget. Ideal for compulsive buyers, these end up raising your shopping cart amount. Usually, buy 3 get 2 type deals are available on items that are either too expensive or are generally not purchased in bulk. You would not require five high-end watches or purchase 3 embroidered or sequinned jeans, irrespective of how much they are in vogue.
- Bulk buying is recommended for frequently used items. This is especially true for grocery or stationary shopping. If you know what your monthly requirements for household goods are, buying items in bulk might save you a considerable amount of money. This works well as many times rates of several items fluctuate. You can always stock on non-perishables like pulses, rice, oil, toiletries, etc. when you get any offered deal. In this case, you should grab the buy 2 get 1 free offer with both hands.
- Avoid hoarding clothes. New parents should especially note that despite how cute your child is going to look in that adorable dress, buying them in bulk, particularly if they are just fitting the child is a waste of money. This is primarily because children grow fast, and the clothes get out of size before they get a chance to wear them a couple of times. The same holds for compulsive shopaholics. Instead of buying items in bulk, invest in quality items that can be utilized in different ways, and add value to your wardrobe.
Additional ways to save money
Apart from the several tips mentioned above, another way that being online can save you money is if you opt for digital content for your entertainment. Since a lot of variety of content is available across various OTT platforms, you can save a significant amount of money spent on your cable and entertainment charges. The annual packages of many digital service providers come cheaper. You can even look for internet service providers that offer you combo deals with several OTT platforms. This will help you save money that can be used for a rainy day.