Is it that time of year again? Do we need to do some holiday shopping for our loved ones? Oh, not really, huh? But we do it anyway because it has been so convenient to purchase items online that we rarely go to the malls and stores anymore. Why would we? It has been perfectly acceptable to purchase all kinds of items online—from clothing, home accents, kitchen supplies, to construction materials. The possibilities are endless online.
Manufacturers and retailers use handy tools, such as MAP policy monitoring software, which allow them to monitor if there are online retailers that are selling their items for less than the minimum suggested value. These tools also keep them up to date about how other resellers are handling, evaluating, and marketing their items. This is the same practice that you should employ when finding good deals online. You should monitor, evaluate, market, and compare before you click on that check-out button.
Use a Search Engine or an App
Google Shopping is a great place where you can search for items and compare their prices from different online merchants. It will show you which merchant is offering the same item for the lowest price, as well as some other money-saving options such as free shipping and discount coupons.
Look for the Taxes, Surcharge, Handling, and Shipping Fees
Don’t be fooled by the low price as advertised. Before adding it to your cart, check the other fees that could be charged on top of the product’s price. Some merchants will charge you a handling fee and tax. Some will advertise the price inclusive of all these fees. You might also need to check the shipping fee. Most online sellers will ship the item for free if it’s more than a certain amount of money. But for small and cheaper items that are below the $10 mark, you might need to pay more for the shipping than the product. If that’s the case, find another merchant, or buy more to be eligible to free shipping.
Scan the Page for All Offers
On Amazon, for example, you can get the same new or old item or brand less than the price some merchants offer. There’s a variety of reasons for this. Some merchants overstock the items so that they can sell them cheaper. Some have last pieces lying around, and they want to get rid of them to pave the way for newer stock. You might also opt for secondhand items as they are being sold for way lower than the original price.
Use Discount Coupons
Is there anything embarrassing about using coupons? Look, even billionaires like Warren Buffet use discount coupons. Why? It is practical. If you can save money, why won’t you use it? It doesn’t matter if it’s a dollar or $50. The point is to save money. If you haven’t gotten around the “embarrassment” of using coupons, you are missing out on a lot of saved dollars. Besides, this is online. You don’t have to show your face to the cashier as you scrimmage in your bag for coupon clippings. Just enter the code and watch your savings go up.
The only way to save money through online shopping is not to shop at all. But given the varied promotions and marketing campaigns being used against consumers, it’s hard to judge people who constantly check out items and wait for the delivery guy to drop off the packages. Here’s the thing: If you are going to do online shopping regularly, do it smartly. Research. Compare. Monitor.