Shopping online? Here’s how to be savvy with your online sales shopping.
- Stick to what you want. One good thing about shopping online is that it’s much harder to make impulse buys! If you’re planning on purchasing a specific item such as a set of new cups or some bedding, you can just search on those items so that you don’t get distracted. If you just love a bargain, though, you can normally filter by ‘amount of discount’ to see what the best buys are.
- Check out the return policy before you commit. While most stores are allowing extended returns for online purchases, this may not cover items bought in the sale.
- Shop around. Whether you’re planning to purchase online or in person, it’s best to do your research from the comfort of your home before heading out. For a large purchase such as white goods, check out price comparison websites and see which retailer is offering the best deal. Some offer ‘online only’ deals, while others make the best offers available to customers who come into the shop, so it may be worth making a few phone calls too!
- Does it measure up? One of the main problems with shopping online is obviously not being able to see the goods before you buy! This may not be a problem, depending on what your purchases are, but with big pieces of furniture it can be difficult not seeing them in context. There’s nothing worse than having something delivered only to find it won’t fit through the door, or it’s half the size you expected. Measure your space carefully, then compare with the details given on retailers’ websites. If the item is an unusual shape, measurements will normally say where they’re from and to (for example, ‘measures 50cm from ground to highest point of back’) so that you can get a good idea of sizing. For expensive purchases, if you possibly can then make a trip to the store so you can see the actual item before purchasing. Fabrics and colours can look different ‘in the flesh’ and it’s hard to get a good idea from a photograph.
- Get it now! If you buy online and are too impatient to wait for delivery, don’t want to pay the charge or just need your item urgently, many stores now offer Click and Collect options. This may involve you going into the nearest branch of the store, but you do sometimes have the option to go to a local collection point, normally getting your item much faster than if you’d had it delivered.
- Be prepared! Don’t leave it until the last minute to sign up for online accounts – in fact, the quicker you sign up the better as retailers will often send out advance notification of sale dates and prices. Websites can get very busy around sales time, so make sure you can log in before you start shopping. Some retailers’ websites let you build a wish list, so that you can collect all your ‘must buys’ in one place and easily see if any of them are included in the discounts once the sale starts. Also, online sales often start earlier than in store so check beforehand to see whether you’re likely to be the first in the virtual queue.
All images: Pixabay (c) 20210