Online shopping in the Philippines is fast gaining acceptance. It’s the best way to avoid the traffic, the big crowds and the hassle of parking when going to the mall.
With the increasing number of online stores, coupled with widespread internet, more Filipinos have discovered that online shopping is faster and a lot more convenient. Most of all, if you know what to do, you can even realize tremendous savings when you shop online.
Here are eight tips to help you score good deals when shopping online.
1. Maximize Rebates – Many online shopping sites give e-bates, the online equivalent of rebates, which you get from buying repeatedly from the same site. Each peso spent could correspond to a certain number of points, which you can use against future purchases. Offline and online, rebates are always a simple and quick way to save. Make sure to track your rebates and use them before their expiration dates.
2. Check various merchants – The beauty of online shopping is that you can easily and quickly compare prices and offerings across different stores. Just do a quick search among all the merchants and find who offers the best price. When booking a hotel through a third-party site, make sure to check the price on the hotel site itself, to make sure you get the best deal. This way, you can make sure that you don’t unnecessarily overpay for the same item.
3. Use aggregators – There are sites that specialize in certain offerings, such as vacation packages, airline packages, fashion finds, beauty products, pet products, and the like. Most of the time, these aggregators or e-malls are able to offer some freebies or discounts which they are able to get from the sellers, that can translate into huge savings for you. They are also able to partner with credit card firms for some deals, including installment payments which are useful if you want to manage your cash flow.
4. Look for free shipping offers – Shipping can raise your shopping costs, so look for those sellers that offer free shipping. Alternatively, before you finalize your purchases from different stores, look into the possibility of buying from one store so that you can save on your shipping costs. Also ask the retailer for their shipping options, as there could be price differences among service providers, usually depending on how quickly you want to get your purchase.
5. Choose when to buy online – E-retailers also hold sales which they announce in advance, so make sure to wait for these if there is something that you are buying. Some online stores even offer flash sales, wherein the prices of certain items are dropped only for a certain hour. Timing your purchases is key to finding the best bargains, both in the online and in the brick-and-mortar world. It’s knowing when to make that purchase that can spell a big difference for you.
6. Use Coupons – Many sites offer e-coupons that can spell freebies or big savings for you. Some of these are offered when you visit a website for the first time, while some can be had when you make certain purchases. It’s easy to overlook these coupons when you’re shopping online, but do take a mental note of what’s available out there. Better yet, list down your e-coupons in your smartphone’s notes app or in your PC’s stickies so you don’t forget what you have.
7. Avail of credit card promos – Check out your credit card for any promos they might be running for online shopping. Some credit cards, for instance, team up with airlines or stores to hold online sales. Others offer an outright discount, or offer more rebate points. Make it a point to check out the sites of your credit card provider to check out what promos or offerings they may have. Also check out the announcements of your favorite shopping sites to find out what credit cards may be running promos at the time of your purchase.
8. Shop safely – This cannot be overemphasized. Just as you can run into fraudsters in malls, so can you meet them online. Make sure that you buy only from legitimate sites that offer buyer protection. Exercise caution when using your credit card, and make sure to use anti-virus software that can protect your computer. Be wary of sellers that ask you to use remittance centers to make payments. Check out reviews and use your better judgment when anything strikes you as suspicious. A deal that is too good to be true may turn out to be a scam.
Shopping online is not only convenient and can be done at the comfort of your own home but if you follow these simple tips you may even see a lot of savings from your shopping experience.
Grow Your Money is an editorial partnership between News.abs-cbn.com and Citi