How To Save Money While Shopping Online
Shopping is our favourite pastime here at Hauterfly: It’s the first thing we think about every morning before discussing story ideas. Browsing new items across different websites is our version of a satisfying spectator sport, and our #HauteSquad lives for the latest product drops, sales and retail therapy. However, our compulsive shopping habits get a rude reality check every time our monthly credit card bills arrive, and our bank accounts start to look sadder than a puppy in a pet store. Shopping online is a serious high, and chasing that fix can often be an expensive addiction. So what’s a girl to do?
Through our extensive experience navigating the world of online shopping, we’ve learned a lesson (or three!) about the secrets of being a smart shopper. We’re firm believers that online shopping is a delicate alchemy of perseverance and astute choices, so without further ado here are some of our tried and tested hacks to help you go on an impulsive spree without breaking the bank.
1. Don’t Pay For Shipping. Ever.
Shopping online is super convenient (Sunday morning sessions in our pajamas are our favourite), but sometimes you have to deal with that annoying thing called “shipping charges”. Seriously, why would you pay for that? Always keep a list of sites that have free shipping handy. Still want to shop from a site that doesn’t have that facility? Shop till a certain amount and you most likely will hit the free shipping mark. If the high price of the shopping basket is making you rethink, bundle your order with a friend or family member to reach the free shipping threshold.
2. Research It!
Spend some time making a list of things you want, then research on where to get them. Hit up your good friend Google to find sites that sell the same product (just type the exact product name in the search bar), or use price comparison sites to make your search easier. Junglee.com is a great place to compare prices for clothes, beauty products, footwear, and electronics across various websites (however, Amazon owns Junglee so the results may be skewed).
3. Use Technology.
Get technology to work harder for you by downloading some cool apps that help you save moolah. For Indian sites, download Makkhichoose, a free browser extension for Chrome and Firefox that immediately shows you competitive prices from other Indian websites when you visit a product page. For international sites, install Honey in your browser. This nifty tool automatically finds and applies discount codes to your shopping cart. Amazing, isn’t it?
4. Subscribe To Newsletters.
A great way to always stay informed about new product drops or sales is to sign up for your favourite e-store’s newsletters. What’s more, lots of e-commerce sites include discount coupons that’ll come in handy when you’re shopping mid-month and funds are running low. Another smart trick is to follow your favourite brands on social media. Sometimes these pages alert you to special/one-off discounts first.
5. Add To Cart. Then Exit.
You’ve searched high and low, found the best deal, added products to your shopping cart and hit checkout. But hold your horses and don’t pay just yet. While you’re still on the Checkout page, close the tab. Chances are the website will send across a reminder email along with a discount code to complete your shopping – either within hours, or sometimes a day or two. This won’t work if you’re a guest shopper though, so be sure to log in/create an account before exiting.
6. Use Coupons.
Lots of e-stores offer discount coupons. If you don’t find them coming to you via email, try finding them on websites that consolidate this information. Sites like Coupondunia and Flipit allow you to you select your favourite online stores and alert you on the latest deals there. You can also become a member and get members-only codes, which give you higher discounts. Coupondekho works pretty much like Coupondunia, but has an additional feature of letting you share coupons via mail and social networks.
7. Cash(back) Is King.
Sites like Cashkaro offer cashbacks on purchases from over 350 online retailers. Create an account with Cashkaro and shop from any e-store by clicking on their website links from here. E-stores pay a commission to Cashkaro for every successful transaction, which the sites then give to you (up to a certain amount). When you have earned over Rs 250 in your account, Cashkaro will transfer the money to your bank account via NEFT or cheque. Payback is another site that works on similar lines. You can get between 5-10 per cent cashback on products, which might not seem like much right now, but will pay rich dividends in the future if you’re shopping online a lot.