Online Shopping – 7 Tips & Tricks
Online shopping is a relatively recent phenomenon and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. A recent report estimated Irish consumers will spend €5.9bn online this year and this is expected to rise to €12.7bn by 2020.
The Internet has proved to be a great tool for consumers seeking out competitive prices on products and services. An Irish Times article has reported there are more than half a billion different products for sale on eBay and Amazon alone.
While it’s true we have a great range of products and services, it’s often difficult to ensure you’re getting the best deal possible. Many of us have unfortunately purchased something on one website only to find it at a better price on another shortly after. That’s why we’ve put together a list of tips and tricks to help you become a savvier online shopper.
1. Promo Codes and Discounts
The Internet is your friend when it comes to discounts, coupons and promo codes. From sheets, towels, clothes, shoes and accessories discounts are available all over the Internet. When shopping online a simple trick before purchasing is to Google the brand along with ‘discounts’ or ‘free delivery’ – you’ll be amazed at what discounts you’ll find. It’s reported that nearly two thirds of Irish adults now use online coupon services such as Groupon and Living Social.
2. Multiple Discounts
Don’t stop at one discount. While many sites limit you to one coupon per shop this doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t use gift cards and coupons for the same purchase. Where possible use the % discount first so it comes off the full price, then apply the cash discount.
3. Keep your eye on the prize
Sign up to your favourite retailers’ emails and keep your eye out for any specials and discounts they send you. Similarly, follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to find out about sales, promo codes, and special deals. In some cases, they only use social media to let people know about special offers.
4. Shopping Cart
If you’re not too worried about a particular item going out of stock. Put it in your shopping cart and wait a few days. Sometimes the store will offer you a further discount to try and incentivise you to buy.
5. Online Versus In-store purchases
Before purchasing online compare the retailer’s in-store price. They are not always the same and sometimes the online price isn’t the best deal.
6. Comparison Sites
Comparison sites aren’t just for energy and insurance, it’s so much easier to compare online than in-store. Before purchasing make sure you compare the price online. You can use shopping search engines like Google Shopping. Chances are you can find the same product for a lower price through a different online store.
Supermarkets are getting very competitive and shopping online can be a great way to save money, time and effort. Most of the big grocery chains in Ireland offer delivery, which can save you on a trip to and time wandering around a store. Simply take half an hour out of your day, fill up your basket and order online. The delivery cost may not appeal to everyone but I always find the €5 – €15 I don’t spend on things I just ‘pick up’ in store make up for this cost.
Special mention to Tesco who run a comparison with Aldi and Lidl on purchased products after they’ve been bought and delivered, if the basket would have been cheaper in either Aldi or Lidl, Tesco will refund the difference.