Sale Shopping Tips
There's nothing quite as convenient as shopping from the comfort of your home. With a few simple clicks, you can stock your cart with nearly any item you want or need, then have it delivered right to your doorstep. It's even better when you can score some deals along the way!
Becoming a smart online shopper requires some strategy — you don't want to pay higher prices for items than necessary. Thankfully, we have a few handy methods to help you avoid doing so. This article will cover some essential sale shopping tips to keep in mind before you make a beeline for the clearance section.
6 Online Shopping Tips for Getting the Best Deals
If you're looking to shop wisely online and get the best deals whenever possible, practicing the six tips below may help you out.
1. Create a Plan
Just as you would budget for major expenses like weddings, college tuition and vacations, it's just as essential to plan out your everyday purchases. Before you start shopping, make a comprehensive budget that accounts for clothing, groceries, gifts and similar expenses. This budget can help you determine how much you can comfortably spend and help you avoid debt.
The 50/30/20 method is a helpful way to split your monthly income into essentials and nonessentials — 50% for your needs, 30% for things you want and 20% for savings. Once you've planned your budget, you can be more intentional about the things you buy. Jot down a list of everything you plan to purchase before shopping. This makes it easier to follow your budget and prevent impulse buying.
2. Shop at the Right Time
There's a prime time of year to buy anything, such as clothing, appliances, furniture, bedding and school supplies. You'll want to look for steep discounts during major shopping holidays and end-of-year sales. Here are some examples:
- Black Friday: Some businesses release Black Friday ads and discounts as early as October, so you don't have to rush off after Thanksgiving dinner to score a stellar deal. Additionally, many offer the same deals online as they do in the store. Cyber Monday also falls on the Monday after Thanksgiving and is a great opportunity to find discounted electronics.
- Labor Day: You can typically find discounts on home furnishings, summer inventory, appliances and mattresses during Labor Day events in September.
- Back-to-school: In late summer, you'll often find deals on office and classroom supplies, computers, clothing and more. In addition, many states participate in sales-tax holidays in or near August, waiving sales taxes on select back-to-school merchandise.
Even shopping on the right day of the week can make a difference. Watch out for sales that drop on certain days of the week — for instance, many stores roll out special deals and discounts on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Businesses know that many people shop during weekends, so they start preparations a couple of days early to mark down current merchandise and bring new products into the store.
It also helps to avoid shopping too early or during the wrong month. For example, you probably wouldn't want to purchase jewelry around Christmas when it's the most expensive. Additionally, some items don't go on sale at all. Products like high-end accessories and designer shoes tend to be consistent in price, especially if the product doesn't have a “season.”
3. Compare Prices
It's not uncommon for different retailers to sell identical or similar products at varying prices. Therefore, doing a little research can help you scope out the best deals.
If there's a specific item you have your eye on, browse a few websites and compare their prices for that product. Additionally, remember that the sticker price alone can be deceiving — be sure to factor in details like coupons and shipping costs in your comparisons.
4. Take Advantage of Coupons
When it comes to saving money when shopping, coupons are your best friend. Knowing the basics of couponing can help you save on purchases from clothing stores, grocery stores and other retailers.
Look for a free coupon app or try to build the habit of searching for coupon codes anytime you shop. Even just a few minutes of effort can result in finding some of the best deals online, whether it's 25% off your order or even free shipping.
Many retailers also have rewards systems or VIP Text Club promotions where you can enter a phone number or email address to receive a certain percentage off your next order. You can also receive exclusive discounts and regular updates about sales and restocks.
5. Go Incognito
Many retailers implement a marketing strategy called dynamic pricing, meaning they adjust prices on online items based on search history, zip code and even the type of device you're using. It's essentially a form of geographic segmentation where prices are affected by the buyer's location. As you can imagine, this results in many online shoppers paying more for an item than they realize.
If you want to keep dynamic pricing at bay, try out these three steps before making your next online purchase:
- Clear your browsing history and cookies.
- Log out of all social media sites.
- Switch to private browsing or incognito mode.
When you use incognito mode, websites can't access your browsing history and cookies. This can secure your past online transactions and potentially save you some cash.
6. Know the Return Policy
Clearance purchases are generally a steal, but it's also important to read the fine print. For instance, finding a $5 shirt is a great deal — however, this likely won't be the case if it doesn't fit and you can't return it.
Make sure you always read or ask about the store's clearance return policy. In most cases, clearance sales are either final or have short return policies. This is mainly because businesses want to prevent out-of-season merchandise from returning to the store so they can make space for new products. However, some stores offer store credit in lieu of a refund.
Shop Smart at Perfectly Priscilla
At Perfectly Priscilla, we make it possible to shop both stylishly and affordably. If you're looking to save on quality tops, outerwear, shoes, dresses and other items, you can find a variety of sales and clearance items from our online plus-sized women's boutique — ensuring you always have a trendy outfit while saving a few bucks along the way.
Additionally, you can subscribe to our VIP Text Club or join our rewards program to receive updates about sales and save money on your orders. With many ways to get great deals on clothing and accessories, you know you're shopping wisely at Perfectly Priscilla. Visit our online boutique today!