It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that shopping malls are one of the layers of HELL on December 26th, which is why we are so thankful for ONLINE SHOPPING!
Makers of the internet have become aware that shopping malls suck, but people still need to shop. So they’ve created an incredibly smooth and manageable user experience for online shoppers. These days, we keep seeing more and more companies that exclusively sell their products online (take Frank and Oak for example) (I’d like to add, their products are amazing) (I’d also like to add that they’re one of our MoolaPerks partners.)
Here are five tips on totally acing your online shopping experience this year, on Boxing day.
1. Get a head start!
Know where you’re most likely going to be buying your items, and get on their email list before Boxing Day. This way, you’ll know what the sales will be and you’ll be able to get what you need before it’s sold out. It will also help to avoid getting distracted by online “browsing” which is ultimately just a waste of time and (potentially) money.
Depending on the site, memberships may also offer free shipping or other discounts on a member’s first purchase.
2. Social media is your friend!
More and more designers, consignment stores and individual retailers use social media to advertise their products and sales. On Instagram, you can search for brands and companies by using hashtags. Once you start following accounts you can stay up to date on sales and limited time offers from companies that you would not otherwise hear about.
Also, there are groups on Facebook that you can follow that might be for specific store locations. You can get a link to their website, order products in and then make a quick trip to the location closest to you, pay for your product and BAM! You can run out of there like the place is on fire.
3. Know the seller.
If you’re looking to buy an item sold by an individual or a small store, email them directly. It’s possible that they will offer the item at a lower price if they’re contacting you directly. If they don’t offer you a discounted price, and if you don’t feel like wasting time negotiating, ask them directly what their lowest price is, this won’t be the first time someone’s asked them that — so don’t feel bad.
4. Check the shipping policy.
Many online retailers are based in the U.S. It’s a good idea to check if they ship to Canada, and to be sure that the cost of shipping doesn’t cancel out the discount. Have a look at freeshipping.ca to see a list of companies with daily deals for shipping to Canada.
If there’s an item that you just cannot live without, that doesn’t ship to Canada, there are websites such as Shipito or MyUSaddress.ca that can provide you with the addresses for their U.S. warehouse, and then forward your items to your doorstep (for a fee.)
5. Don’t get duped!
If you see a designer item on Facebook (for example) at an unbelievably low price, make sure it isn’t a knock-off. For under $10, Authenticate First will examine photos of your item and let you know whether or not your item is a fake. Sometimes, just asking for additional photos to send to Authenticate First might be enough to scare away scammers. If you never hear from that seller again, chances are it was a fake and you avoided wasting your money.
Also, keep an eye out for reviews of websites and products. In 2013, Dotcom Distribution analyzed at more than 2, 700 Facebook comments from consumers to flash sale websites. It found that 44% of comments were negative, and that 1 in 5 was a complaint about shipping. Also, if you have a positive shopping experience, be sure to let the public know about it! Write a review on their Facebook page, or send positive feedback directly to the company for them to add to their “customer reviews” section, if they have one. A good review goes a long way!