If you ask a number of shopaholics about the latest trend on shopping, I’m sure a lot of them will answer “online shopping”. A lot of stores are taking it online to sell their stuff, because why not? It’s a lot more convenient for both the buyer and the seller - the seller doesn’t have to pay for rent or buy a store to sell their stuff, and the buyers do not have to go out of their house to shop. It’s actually a win-win situation.
Just like any other physical store, online stores use techniques that can help them earn money. Your credit card bill is piling up, and it might be time to learn how to control yourself while online shopping. We spill the beans on how online shopping secretly lures you into their website and shopping carts, and ways on how to stop yourself from buying every time.
1. Free shipping for a certain amount of money spent. This one is by far, the most popular of them all. Online stores usually give out free shipping if you spend a certain amount of money, which makes you think that you’re saving some bucks. Well actually, not really. You might find yourself buying things that you actually do not need just for the sake of free shipping.
How you can avoid it: Plan ahead and buy stuff in bulk. This way, you get the things that you really need plus free shipping. You can also try looking for discount coupons online that will help you reduce your spendings or remove your shipping costs altogether.
2. Signing yourself up for regular newsletters. If it’s for the things that you really need (i.e. basic needs such as food and clothing), then go ahead and sign up for emails and newsletters. However, if it’s for things that you only want and do not need at all, then think twice about signing up. If you decide to actually do so, you tend to get easily tempted and end up buying stuff that you do not need in the long run.
How you can avoid it: Do not give your email address to physical or online stores. If you already did, then it’s best to unsubscribe and keep yourself out from the mailing list.
3. Seeing advertisements of products you have recently searched for. These are the ones that usually pop up on your browser. If it’s not the same product, it’s usually similar to the ones you've recently searched for.
How you can avoid it: Always clear your web browser’s cache of cookies. You can do this by opening your browser history settings, and then tick off “clear browsing data”. Do this regularly to prevent ads from popping up. Alternatively, you can also browse in incognito mode.
4. Offering free returns. Online shops that are offering free returns are actually trying to hook you on their bait. You might think that there’s actually no harm in spending if you can give the item back, but spending is spending.
How you can avoid it: Avoid impulsive purchases by understanding the return process and how much of a hassle it can be. Buy from stores that you trust and have brought from before to avoid returning items.
5. Sale banners all over the page. We all know everyone loves sale and promos. However, sale banners can make people go gaga, which can make them impulsive buyers.
How you can avoid it: List what you really need from that website and go straight to the page where you can buy it. Put it on your cart and check out right away. Also, ask yourself if you really need what’s in sale, and if the answer is no, then go ahead and remove the item/s from your cart.
6. Alerts about stuff that are almost out of stock. Online shops usually alert their patrons about items that are almost sold out. This can put you in panic mode and make you feel like you can never get them again, leading you to hoard a lot of it.
How you can avoid it: Remind yourself that the stocks will most probably be back in a week or so. Also, if they have a physical store, you can check if they have stocks, so you can get it there instead of online.
We get it: online shopping can be dangerously addicting. However, as adults, we should all be responsible, especially with our money. Heed our advice and you’re sure to put more money into your savings account!