For the month of January there are three kinds of recurring complaints; I’m broke, I’m far too sober (thank you, dry January) and I’m bored of absolutely everything in my wardrobe. The answer – online shopping. Actually, revert to point one above on that one.
And so we enter the vicious cycle of the far too long, dull and dreary, January blues. Unless…
Unless we get smart about it. Cheat the system. Embrace the weird and wonderful hacks the world of the internet brings to us and channel the financial savviness we’ve been building over the years.
At The Style Edit we love shopping but what we love even more is getting the most bang for you buck. Over the last few months we’ve dedicated various pieces of content to doing just that, hoping to save our fashionable readers a few pennies to help build the wardrobe of their dreams. We decided to take the best of our saving tips and bring them to you in one place, along with a few new money-saving gems to add to your roster.
So fellow shopping addicts, introduce these shopping hacks to your online shopping routine, sit back and relax as the savings pile on and shopping addiction is satisfied.
While not necessarily a shopping destination, this e-commerce tool is worth its weight in gold when trying to save money shopping online. The chrome extension founded in 2013 provides an online personal shopping assistant for users through artificial intelligence. With connections to over 1,000 online retail stores, the tool allows users to save items while browsing stores online. Upon saving the desired item, Shoptagr then allows you to set up an alert system, notifying you when items are back in stock or when it goes on sale. From your overall saved items wishlist on Shoptagr, you can then separate items into further sub-lists. The overall wishlist in itself can be revolutionary for those that shop online regularly as it allows users to create one unified wishlist, combining items from various retailers in one place that they can then access anytime through the app. Using a sales alert tool like Shoptagr will totally change the game of online shopping when payday is still too far away.
Keep a list
This tip first appeared in our Black Friday shopping tips post and although previous references to Santa’s list no longer apply, the basis of the tip does.
Start by going through your wardrobe and figuring out what’s missing. With the switch into colder temperatures in the last few weeks, what are the things you’ve been noticeably lacking while putting outfits together?
Start with the high priority items and go from there. It’s fine to have a wish list of items that aren’t all necessarily practical fashion choices but remember, the bargain loses its value if you didn’t actually want it beforehand. I tend to refer back to wish lists I already have in existence both within a brand’s website or through tools like Shoptagr and items I’ve saved on my LIKEtoKNOW.it account. That way I know that I’m buying items I’ve already planned to purchase and had my eye on for a while rather than just caving to the discount on something I don’t need.
Do your homework
If you’re serious about saving money while shopping online, you’ve got to look beyond the means of your usual suspects. Mark-ups in pricing can differ significantly from shop to shop, particularly with e-tailer giants with a department store style set up in comparison to the brand’s own pricing for the same product. If there’s a particular product you’re looking for, shop around for the best deals and with a little research, you’ll soon become a bargaining pro. Learning the difference between what’s a good deal and what isn’t for different products can be incredibly helpful in the long term.
Set your budget
When your favourite brand is offering otherwise unheard of discounts, it’s easy to let your love of shopping run away with you. However, here to be your resident Debbie Downer on such notions, you’ve got to remember that on the flip side of Christmas and with a 5-week pay period, purse strings are significantly tighter for most. If you go crazy on the spending front at this stage in the month and spend beyond your means, not only is it stressful in the long run but it’s counterproductive to the whole idea of sales shopping in the first place.
This idea is especially helpful when building your new season wardrobe. To avoid overspending for such a big spree, while making your wish list, make a note of how much you’re willing to spend on each item with a rough budget of the spending you’re comfortable with overall. If it makes you feel more comfortable, add some cushion money into the budget but try to commit to that as your final spend and commit to the budgeting boundaries you’ve set for yourself.
Accept your love of shopping but keep it in check
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying shopping and spending your hard earned cash in however way you see fit. The issue arises when your spending habits on the shopping front start taking priority over what you actually need. Online shopping is an extra, a bit like a hobby as opposed to a necessity and while you might love that little (or large) extra, it’s important to keep that perspective in check. Remember, good things come to those who wait (like amazing last minute sales bargains).