#cyberfraud | #cybercriminals | 8 clever tips for online shopaholics

Look for promotions and discounts to save money.

The Internet provides you with a lot of convenience, for with just a few clicks you can do your regular shopping.

But what you may not know is that there are ways to make the most of your time and money when you shop online. Here are eight clever hacks for cyber shopaholics:

1. Stick to sites with free shipping

Not sure what size will fit you? This is not too much of a problem if you opt for free-shipping sites.

This way, you can buy a product in more than one size, try it on, and return those that don’t fit well. Just don’t forget to check the site’s return and exchange policies.

More than that, the shipping fee can be used to buy another item instead, and if you do a lot of online shopping, these shipping fees combined can actually amount to quite a bit of savings.

If there are sites that you follow that do not offer free shipping, then make sure you maximise every shipping fee you pay.

It is a better idea to buy in bulk once every few months, depending on the kind of item.

2. Use coupons and discount codes

Discount and other promotion codes can also deduct a couple of Ringgit or even halve your total bill.

It is a good idea to track your favourite sites for news, updates and their social media pages to take note of their latest promotions and discount codes.

3. Benefit from the filter feature of shopping sites

There is no need to go through items beyond your shopping list or torture yourself looking at designs you love but that are not in your size.

Save time in finding what you are looking for with filters. It means you are less likely to put items on your shopping list that you did not intend to buy in the first place.

4. Put items in the shopping cart first without purchasing

This provides leeway for you to rethink whether you really want or need these items and avoid binge shopping and overspending.

You might also get discount offers for the items you left in your shopping cart. However, also consider the possibility that these items may sell out, especially if they are already on sale.

Buying from sites that offer free shipping saves you money.

5. Don’t be fooled by the sales hype

Some shopping sites actually have a way of cheating you into binge buying their products under the illusion of “sales”.

They inflate the price of items so that when they do their “big sale”, they don’t really lose; the “discounted” price is actually just the original price. Don’t be a victim of this scam.

6. Do your research

Trying out a new shopping app or site? To make sure they are authorized and to avoid scams, it is a good idea to research first and check other shoppers’ reviews.

Researching is also a good way to avoid being a victim of fake sales or discounts and to see which shop offers products at the lowest prices.

Google can do the job, but you may also want to try out using apps which will come in handy when shopping online.

7. Buy discounted gift cards

No promotion or discount codes available? No problem! Another option is to purchase discounted gift cards that can save you a couple of ringgit. Try visiting e-commerce sites for these gift cards.

8. Consider using your debit card instead

There is evidence and studies on why people who mainly use a credit card when shopping tend to spend more than those who use cash.

For one, it is much less painful to swipe your credit card than to pick the bills from your wallet and pass it to the cashier.

But when it comes to shopping online, you don’t always have the option to pay with cash when your products are delivered.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t any other choice; as you can use your debit card so that your actual money is used rather than your credit.

You might also want to consider setting up a Paypal account. This way, you can simply transfer a certain amount of money to this account and avoid spending more than you intend to.

Not only will this step save you from your shopaholic self, it can also aid you in avoiding scams and continuous unwanted charges on your credit

This article first appeared in The New Savvy.

The New Savvy is Asia’s leading financial, investment and career platform for women. Their bold vision is to empower 100 million women to achieve financial happiness. They deliver high-quality content through conferences, e-learning platforms, personal finance apps and e-commerce stores.

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