Shopping can be great fun. Whether you are looking for something for a special occasion, for gifts for loved ones or to treat yourself, the process can be both rewarding and therapeutic. (Image Credit: Mike Petrucci/Unsplash)
Of course, it is even better if you can manage to find a bargain; but, retailers can use lots of different techniques which make you feel as if you are getting a great deal, when in reality, you could be doing better elsewhere. If you are someone who likes to shop, but likes getting a good deal even more, here are 7 tips to help you shop a little smarter this year.
- Do your research and shop around
Retailers will often promote a ‘sale’ price to entice shoppers, but this does not mean that their price is the best you will find on the market. It is always worth taking time to look at other retailers as they may offer a lower price on an everyday basis. Searching the internet for the item will quickly return shopping results from hundreds of retailers.
- Check stock levels
If you are planning to go to the store to buy an item which has been marked as ‘limited edition’, ‘low stock’ or ‘not available at all outlets’, it is always worth calling the store before you leave home. They may be able to reserve an item for you so you can avoid a wasted trip and disappointment.
- Consider travel time and expenses
You may find an item for a lower price in a store which is not local to you. Before you travel there, consider the extra costs involved in terms of paying for public transport or fuel for your vehicle and parking, not to mention the time spent getting there and back. When you factor in those costs, you may end up spending more than you would on a higher priced item just around the corner.
- Check for price matching policies
Some retailers will match or beat a competitor’s price if you find it cheaper elsewhere, so it is worth checking their policy before committing to buy elsewhere.
- Do more online shopping
If you see an item in a store and you have your smartphone with you and do not need the item straight away, do a quick online search to see if you could get the item cheaper there. Remember to include the cost of shipping in your calculations as well as estimated delivery dates.
- Open a cashback account
By signing up for cashback account at Kickback.com.au you can earn cashback on purchases at lots of online retailers. Each time you shop you earn up to 40% cashback which can be transferred to a PayPal account.
- Look closer at special promotions
If a promotion is offering a discount for buying more than one item such as ‘buy one get one free’ or a free gift when you spend a certain amount, work out if you really need or want the additional products. You might be tempted to spend more because you believe are getting better value, but you are actually spending money you do not need to.