One of the best things to come out of the internet for me has to be online shopping. It has made my life so much easier, saved me tonnes of time and lots of money compared to shopping on the highstreet.
However the one thing that I will say about online shopping is that I do have a tendency to overspend or buy things that I don't need because it does feel a little like a fantasy world where I'm spending Monopoly money and can add things to my basket willy nilly. Because of that, I've really had to hone in my online shopping skills, in just the same way that you might have your own tactics for navigating the Black Friday or Boxing Days sales at your local shopping centre. Today, I'm going to share with you some of my top tips for shopping online, specifically looking at how you can buy exactly what you need and save money.
Tip 1: Look through your wardrobe first
If you're buying clothes, its a good idea to have a look through your wardrobe and any stored clothes first to make sure that you don't already own something similar to what you're looking for. If you're anything like me, you'll have plenty have clothes that you might have forgotten about... case in point; this poncho.
Tip 2: Make a list
When you're looking to buy something new, write a list of what you really want to buy and be as specific as you can be (i.e. Skinny fit, ripped jeans, in black with rips above knee or cream coffee machine). That way, you'll be looking for specific pieces and will be less likely to be distracted by clever marketing or advertising tactics that result in you spending far more than you first intended to on things that you don't really need.
Tip 3: Do your research
Shopping online, particularly for clothes, is different to buying things in a shop as you can't feel the quality of the pieces or experience the fit before you order. While you can always return items that aren't satisfactory, it can be a bit of a hassle. I like to have a look online to see what other bloggers and reviewers have said about the garments so that I can get a good idea whether or not it will be right for me before I order. Often sites will enable buyers to rate their purchases out of 5 stars and comment which can be really helpful when choosing what to buy.
Tip 4: Look for the best deals using a deal finder
Everyone loves to make a saving where they can and while you may know some of the best places to go online to find items for less money than you would pay on the highstreet, it would be impossible to know every single deal out there. Thats where deal finder websites like Every Day Is Black Friday come in.
Every Day Is Black Friday scourers the internet to find you the best deals and price drops across over 150 of the UK's major retailers websites. When I say deals, I really mean it; up to 90% off in some cases and thats on everything from luxury fashion and beauty to homeware and electronics. Its literally like having the Black Friday sales every single day!
My favourite thing about this particular discount deal finder website is that they aren't affiliated with any of the websites. By working independently, you can be reassured that you're getting the best deal and that no bias has swayed which products are shown first. Its really easy to use, simply type the name or style of item you want to find and hit search.
When your matches appear, the site will also give you a 30 days price history chart which is so important. Some websites are sneaky and will inflate the price of an item a few days before they put it on sale or drop the price to make you think that you're getting a better deal than you actually are. The great thing about this feature is that you can look at the deals that are available and make your own informed decision as to whether the item is right for you to buy.
Tip 5: Save browsing for later
While you're looking for the items you actually need rather than want, you're bound to come across some beautiful pieces that catch your eye. Try not to get distracted by these as they can often lead to impulse purchases. My advice would be to save the item (for example, ASOS has a great save for later button on all its items) or copy and past the link into a word document to look at later and keep focusing on the things that you actually need to buy.
You can go to your list later and look again to decide if you really want the items, that way you're not making an impulse purchase. Particularly for more expensive pieces, I usually leave it a good couple of weeks and if they're still on my mind and I can comfortable afford them, then I'll buy.
At the end of the day, if you're shopping from the comfort of your own home then the benefits can be endless and they're there for you to make the most of. Take your time to find the right item at the best price, don't rush and stay focused as there's no pressure from any sales assistants or shop opening hours.
I hope my tips have helped you... I'm a bit of a pro at online shopping these days!