The peak retail season is fast approaching with end of year holidays just around the corner. Get your gift shopping out of the way early and avoid the rush by snagging bargains online.
Online shopping – you either know someone who does it regularly or you yourself are an online shopping veteran, I confess I am the latter. As a veteran with extensive online shopping experience I have amassed a few handy tips to help you snag a bargain and at the same time avoid the retail crowds.
Most sites have a regular email newsletter; it’s in these emails that upcoming sales, special offers and discount codes are often mentioned. If you don’t want to clog your regular inbox with newsletters you can always adjust your email settings to filter newsletters to a separate folder or if that’s not an option you might want to consider creating a free email account just for your newsletter subscriptions.
Most retail sites also have a Facebook fanpage and sometimes a Twitter account. Just like email newsletters upcoming deals and offers are often posted on these accounts so it’s worthwhile checking social media for any current offers. Be sure to also check discussion forums as you’d be surprised just how many times fans share discount codes with the community.
– Seek and ye shall find
Several sites do price comparisons and if you know how to search and where, you can often find some really good bargains. Google is an obvious choice but before you end your search there be sure to try a few different price search sites like GetPrice, ShopBot and MyShopping just to name a few.
– Do you have a voucher?
If you have searched through social media and your emails but still haven’t found a discount voucher don’t give up – there’s another online avenue you can try. If you didn’t already know there are some sites dedicated to supplying online shoppers with the latest discount codes. You can find discount codes for anything from shoes to pizza – if you can order it online, chances are there’s a voucher code for it. A few of my favourite sites to find discount vouchers and promo codes are RetailMeNot, OzSavings and TheBargainAvenue.
– The more the merrier
If postage is pricey check with friends and family to see if they want anything from the site (this is especially good when ordering from overseas). Combining orders to save on postage sounds pretty obvious but often it’s overlooked until after you’ve pressed the submit button and then it’s too late!
– I think we should break up
If you’re buying several items from an overseas site it might be worth breaking up your order into 2 or more smaller orders. If your combined overseas order totals more than AU $1000 you could be liable to pay GST when it arrives in the country. A way you could avoid this is if you turn that single order into multiple smaller orders. Doing this may end up saving you money (which means more to spend later!).
And remember – if you’re buying from overseas it’s important to consider international transaction and currency conversion fees as factors that affect the overall price of your purchase. If you plan to use a credit card you could face international transaction fees that can add an extra 3.5% to the cost of purchases. Only a handful of cards like Aussie’s Platinum Low Rate Card have done away with this type of fee on purchases altogether. So if you plan on buying anything it’s worth shopping around first as the payment method you choose can make a big difference to how much you end up spending.