If you can't kick your online shopping habit, you might as well save money by using these tricks.
Make A Wish List
Have you ever bought something on impulse thinking, “OMG, I have to have it. I have to have it!” — despite the ridiculousness of said object-of-desire’s price tag (think S$200 for an embellished designer iPhone case), only to realise five weeks later that it’s on sale? And we’re talking about 70 per cent off! Yes, that happened to me — #truestory. Life! C’est comme ça, right?
So here’s what we’ve learned: In life and in shopping, good things do sometimes come to those who wait — and take a little risk. The next time you see something you absolutely “must have” on Net-A-Porter or Shopbop, add it to your wish list.
Let it sit there for a bit, and see if you miss it a week later, or if it’s already forgotten the next day. Either way, chances are you will get an email notification from the e-tailer to (1) tell you the item is low on stock, so hurry!; (2) drop you a friendly reminder: “Did you forget something?”; or in the best case scenario, (3) informs you that the item is now on sale!
According to some insider intel, if you leave some stuff in your cart and close the window without checking out, you could even be offered a promo code like an enabling friend telling you to buy, buy, buy, or you’ll regret it. So, you buy — and save 10 per cent! Win.
Live Chat Your Way To A Discount
You know those “Live Chat” windows that pop up when you’re in the midst of some blissful shopping to ask if you need help? Pfft, help? Your first instinct is to close it and continue looking for a new pair of ankle boots for fall.
Well, you shouldn’t. The customer service team is there to help, so use it. Ask if there are any on-going sales or promo codes that you might otherwise not be aware of. Never hurts to ask (they can’t see you, right?) But it will when you discover later that you’d missed out on a 20 per cent deal on those boots.
The Best Days To Shop Are…
According to a retailer reporting service, SumAll, which is supported by data collected from more than 3,000 merchants and about half a billion transactions over four years, the best days to shop are Tuesdays and Thursdays — these are reportedly the days with the best chances of snagging a good deal.
November is the time of year that you’re likely to glean the biggest discounts online (start saving!). Oh, and you can hit the snooze button on shopping on Sundays and in March.
There’s something about these two words that drive Singaporean girls crazy. While delivery is free on sites like ASOS and Shopbop, many still require a minimum spend before the shipping cost is waived.
Net-A-Porter, for example, charges US$15 to ship unless you spend upwards of US$300 (the upside is that they make returns* and refunds such a breeze.) A few times a year, though, NAP do make us very excited with the offer of free shipping.
Over at NastyGal, delivery will set you back S$20 unless you spend S$300 and above. One of the oldest trick in the shopaholic book is to organise a “shop pool” — you know, like car-pooling — with your friends. That way, you accumulate your purchases into one order — no pressure to spend more than you want to just to qualify for complimentary shipping.
*To avoid the disappointment of having to make a return, it might be wise to make a trip to multi-label boutiques like On Pedder and La Prendo to have a look at the actual item, try it on before you add to cart.
Spend To Earn
The idea of saving or earning money as you spend is such a delicious thought, isn’t it? And it’s no BS.
Think about it: All you have to do is make all payments using the right credit card for online shopping, like the Standard Chartered SingPost Platinum Card. That way, you can earn cashback, which is like having a discount on your purchases. Cashback is usually credited to your account during the next payment cycle, so don't be surprised if your bill ends up lower than you expected!
Have your eye on a big-ticket item? Some credit cards even offer an interest-free instalment plan for online buys. Plastic is indeed fantastic.
Be Friends with Your Favourite Brands
Finally, if you want to be up to speed with all the latest deals or be among the first to get to a sale, the no-brainer would be to follow your favourite brands and e-commerce sites on social media.
Registering to be on their mailing list is another way to stay informed. A spammed inbox is a small price to pay, and there’s a simple solution: A friend taught us to set up an email account solely for the purpose of shopping. Yes, online shopping is serious business.
Go forth and shop… and save!
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By Alexa Fang
Alexa is a pop-culture vulture. She lives to read, write and travel, and decided long ago that life is stranger than fiction. When she's having croissant, she thinks in French. "31 Rue Cambon" is her favourite address, and she believes that money one enjoyed spending is never money wasted.
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