With a few clicks or taps, consumers can purchase just about anything from the comfort of their home. From restocking toilet paper to purchasing trendy sneakers, online shopping can be an extremely convenient way to get what you need without having to leave the house or run around town. While online shopping has many benefits, it’s important to know how to shop smart to ensure you’re not paying more than necessary.
There are a few tricks to scoring the best deals online. First, be sure to check the seller’s terms of service and buyer protections before making a purchase. Additionally, consider using a third-party website or app that can locate coupons, track prices and more to save you money. Popular options include Honey and Rakuten, but there are many others.
The first thing to keep in mind when shopping online is that stores can track your purchasing habits and personal information. For example, if you regularly buy certain products or make a specific type of transaction (like airline tickets), they may be able to identify this information by your IP address or other personal details. This can lead to dynamic pricing, whereby vendors change their product and services’ prices depending on your location or past buying history. To avoid this, it’s a good idea to clear your browser and cookie data before you start shopping.
Another tip is to sign in as a new customer or create a new email account before you start shopping. According to Mark Ellwood, author of Bargain Fever: How to Shop in a Discounted World, doing so can help you score deals you wouldn’t have otherwise gotten. This is because vendors know you’re interested in a particular item, and will send you a coupon or promo code to entice you to follow through with your purchase.
It’s also worth checking your local retailer’s price-matching policies before buying an item from a competitor. Many retailers will match the lowest price you can find, and some will even give you a partial refund if the item’s price drops after you’ve purchased it.
Finally, if you’re looking to purchase something that is not available in a physical store, try searching for it on an auction site or specialty online marketplaces. These sites can connect you with sellers from all over the world who are willing to ship rare or specialized items to your doorstep.
As COVID-19 continues to impact the lives of Americans, it’s more important than ever to take advantage of online shopping. From restocking on toilet paper to grabbing the latest trendy sneakers, shopping online can be an incredibly convenient and cost-effective way to get what you need. By following these simple tips, you can shop smart and save big while getting your essentials delivered to your door. Happy shopping!