Online shopping is a convenient way to have everything you need delivered to your door without ever having to leave the house. Online shopping also means you don’t have to stand in line or deal with crowds. However, it can also be tempting to overspend because it’s all too easy to keep adding items to your cart. Luckily, there are a few ways to make it more affordable.
Get Your Personal Finances in Order
Online shopping is much more relaxing when you don’t have to worry about whether you can afford a certain item. Creating a budget and leaving room for online shopping can prevent you from overspending. However, another option is to get a personal loan to pay for your purchase. Personal loans are a versatile source of funding, and this is a great option for items you need to get immediately. You can look at a guide with more information on alternatives and where you can get a personal loan.
Shop on the Right Days
Just like with physical stores, one of the best online shopping tips is knowing that some days are better for finding deals than others. Bookmark your favorite stores and create an alert to keep an eye out for any discounts or sales coming up. There are browser extensions and apps that will automatically let you know when favorite shops are running sales or an item you are looking for has dropped in price.
It’s a good idea to shop around mid-week and near major holidays. Keep an eye out for sales near the end of the season too. While you may not have as large of a selection near the end of the season, the shops will be looking to clear out their remaining items, and you can often find some great deals.
Sign Up for Emails
You may be hesitant to sign up for emails from the online stores you shop at because they often send multiple emails each week, but they often contain discounts that are only available to subscribers. These discounts may range anywhere from 10 to 40 percent or more. If you are concerned about the temptation to buy too often with so many reminders, you can create a filter to move these emails to a separate folder and only check the folder when you are ready to purchase.
If you are concerned about spam, you could even set up a separate email account to use only for email subscriptions. Some brands also have social media campaigns, and bloggers and influencers may offer referral codes that you can use to get a discount. Influencers partner with brands and may receive a percentage of the money from sales but following them can help you keep an eye out for upcoming deals.
Keep an Eye Out for Cash Back Programs
If you have a credit card, your online shopping can come with extra benefits. Many credit cards offer rewards programs that will give you cash back on your purchases. Some credit cards change their rewards offerings each month, so it’s a good idea to read the fine print on what’s offered. Look at the card’s resource page. You might be able to use these rewards for travel, dining out, or even groceries.
Look for Refurbished Items
Refurbished items are often the same quality as non-refurbished ones. Electronics are often refurbished, which means when they are found to have defects, the buyer can send them back to the manufacturer to get a replacement or refund. Then the manufacturer will repair it and check it over several times to make sure it is working perfectly. Because the manufacturer has already lost money on the item, they check them more than other products, so they don’t have to worry about them again. You can save money on these items because the manufacturer can't sell them as brand-new ones.