Seven tips and tricks for your online shopping

Here are some ways to save money and make the most out of your ecommerce experience.

Shannon Kuan

Weird talents include playing the violin, but with a ukulele and a clothes hanger.

Published: 7 October 2020, 6:37 PM

If you have noticed your spendings on online shopping increase, especially since the start of circuit breaker, you’re not alone!

With the world on lockdown due to COVID-19, it’s no surprise that many have turned to online shopping. Although certain restrictions have been lifted and we are now allowed to leave the comfort of our homes, many still prefer the convenience of having everything at our fingertips.

Here are some useful tips you can incorporate into your future online purchases:

1. Keep an eye out for reviews

Have you heard the saying: ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’? Well, that may be especially applicable to reviews.

When ensuring the reliability of a source, always scroll down to find the product reviews first. If there are none, you might want to find another seller. However, if a product has quite a number of positive customer reviews along with images attached of what the product looks like upon delivery, you can use them to gauge if the product is worth the purchase.

Customer reviews help you see how similar the delivered product is as compared to the product advertised, according to past buyers’ experiences.

This buyer gave a four-star review and recommended others to order a size bigger as the product they received was a little too tight. PHOTO CREDIT: SCREENSHOT FROM SHEIN.COM

2. Compare across websites

If you’re searching for a pretty generic product, you could try checking across different online retail stores to cross compare prices and see which has the most purchases and positive reviews.

Different stores offer different prices and delivery fees for the same product. PHOTO CREDIT: SCREENSHOT FROM GOOGLE

This ensures that you get the best prices and the most reliable source. But that’s of course only if you’re not too lazy and willing to spend all that effort.

3. Buy in bulk

Shipping fees can be a burden sometimes.

Even if you managed to grab the best deals, the cost of shipping could sometimes make your overall fees shoot up, especially if you’re purchasing from overseas retailers.

Sometimes, shipping might even cost more than the products you want to buy!

That’s why you should buy in bulk to make shipping fees more worthwhile.

Some stores even offer free shipping for purchases above a certain amount. PHOTO CREDIT: SCREENSHOT FROM ASOS.COM

But if you don’t have much you want to purchase, try stacking orders with a friend. That way, both you and your friends will be able to save money on shipping costs together.

4. Use Honey

No, please don’t slather the stuff bees produce on your laptop.

Honey is a Chrome extension that provides coupon codes and automatically applies them to your online purchases.

Honey tests different available codes and chooses the one with the best value for you. PHOTO CREDIT: SCREENSHOT FROM JOINHONEY.COM

Additionally, Honey tracks prices of items you add to your Droplist, and notifies you if they detect a price drop.

Feel less guilty about bingeing on online purchases with this money saving browser extension. PHOTO CREDIT: SCREENSHOT FROM JOINHONEY.COM

Download Honey here.

5. Shopback

A Singapore based cashback reward program catered to the Asia-Pacific region, Shopback gives the latest discount coupons, promo codes and vouchers for your online shopping, as well as free cashback rewards.

This means that not only will you get cheaper prices, you will also receive money back from using Shopback!

Available as a phone application and a browser extension, Shopback helps you save money while on the go.

Add Shopback to your Chrome extensions here.

6. Wait for sales

Patience is a virtue. If a product manages to catch your eye, but you’re not in dire need of it immediately, add it to your cart and wait for seasonal sales.

Black Friday, Christmas and New Years sales tend to be the most popular, where almost every store will cut the prices on their products. If you can afford the time to wait, you’ll be able to afford the things you want.

Shein’s October sale with up to 70 per cent discount off their items. PHOTO CREDIT: SCREENSHOT FROM SHEIN.COM

7. Stay safe

Of course, this last tip should be a given.

Always ensure that the site you are purchasing from is reliable and trustworthy. One way to do so is by checking if there is a little lock symbol at the top left of the bar beside the website’s URL.

This lock symbolises that the website has an SSL encryption, meaning that your data is safe and protected. PHOTO CREDIT: SCREENSHOT FROM LAZADA.SG

Also do read the product warranty and description if there is, and go through the company’s cancellation, refund and return policies.

Lastly, try to online shop at home with your own personal Wi-Fi as you never know who might be in public trying to steal your information.

Hope these tips will be of good use to you. In the meantime, happy shopping!

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