It’s that time of the year again when our pockets are pretty much drained as we shop for presents for our loved ones, business partners and clients. Shopping for gifts can be pleasant but maybe stressful for some especially for individuals who have a tight budget. That said, here are some ways that one can shop smart and save some cash in the process while at the same time enjoy their shopping spree without the guilt.
Shopping online is a great way to save; not only does it save you gas money, it also saves you money from other activities such as dining out or buying unwanted things. Another benefit with buying online is that you are able to compare different prices of the same item. This can be difficult if you have to go to one store after another looking for the cheapest possible price. Some stores also offer limited edition or exclusive online items which can be an advantage as you can buy a smaller ml of your favorite perfume in contrast to store retailers. Because shipping and stocking can be tricky, some retailers do not carry small bottles or limited edition products as the expense of keeping these are not at par with the retail price.
If you want to save more, another hidden gem for shoppers is online factory outlets. The prices here are cheaper as most items are usually last season’s collection, clearance and defective items. Defects can be as small as a crooked seam but can be as big as dirt; however, if the person you are giving presents to is not finicky, then this is the best way to shop especially for designer items. Coach Outlet is popular as you can save up to 70 to 80% but you have to receive an invitation for some of its private events.
Even if coupons were introduced decades ago, only few shoppers really make use of coupons. Some people reason out that coupons are often frowned upon by society as a “poor man’s something” making one seem poorer, but this is not the case when it comes to smart shopping. Print coupons are fast becoming popular; however there are other coupon types that one can use in the instance one is too embarrassed to use printed ones. Online or mobile coupons are also now available. Online coupons can be redeemed online so one can just paste the code while doing some online shopping and get the discount instantly. Mobile coupons on the other hand are codes that one can download to their smartphones. Present them to the cashier at the checkout and you will get a discount on the item instantly. Alibaba and Amazon are just some of the popular e-stores that offer coupons that you can use for discounts.
More shops are now offering cashbacks and it is a great way to shop and earn extra credits or store cash to use in the future. Cashbacks can be store credits or gift cards that you can give away also. Some stores offer double discounts so you can buy regular items at a cheaper price while still earning credits. Do note however that these credits have expiry dates or limits so remember to check the terms and conditions to see that they are still valid and use them as soon as possible. Companies such as GAP, Banana Republic and Old Navy are popular stores that offer cashbacks or store credits.
Redeem Your Points
Using your credit card points or rewards card points is another great way to shop without spending your cash. Converting your points to dollars will help you buy more items or prevent you from touching your savings or going over your budget. Another advantage is that some credit cards have their own e-stores where you can use your rewards points and shop for items that you want. Some items might require additional cash or top ups. If that is the case, contact your service provider for more information.