The other day, I sat down with a good friend of mine to discuss ways to do cheap online shopping. He is an experienced eCommerce seller for over 10 years. Our talk about this topic ended after almost 3 hours. I was surprised by how little I knew when I do online shopping at Amazon or other online shopping sites. Without a doubt, I am overpaying for the same product on average by 10-20% because I do not know to find the best deals. The most, which perplex me was one of his answers of why he is so successful in what he is doing:
Selling is all about luring the shopper to buy at the highest price possible, for the pure benefit of the seller.
There are indeed many tricks to be aware of when it comes to searching for a cheaper price of a product that I wish to have. I will show you the most powerful tips and ways to save some extra money for your pocket.
1) DO NOT TRUST COMPARISON WEBSITES 100%
No doubt, many comparison websites are quite helpful to point in the right direction. Please keep in mind, that all these sites make their living from “Paid Clicks”. To explain this technique a little bit more simply, when you see a good deal and click on it, you get redirected to the shopping site. Hence, the comparison site is getting paid for this action. Yes, it is just pure advertising from the online shops to have their products listed. On average only 0.5 – 1% of redirected clicks lead to sales on the final destination shopping site. If we do the math, the shopper pays these advertising costs via a higher purchase price.
As online sellers are in business to make a profit, this cost is being included in the final sales price. Therefore, you will not find the best online shopping deals here.
In Summary, it is a great way to start your online search for cheap deals, but do not rely 100% on it as you might pay more than necessary.
Here are some of the most famous comparison sites:
- Google Shopping
2) ALWAYS CHECK WEBSITE’S DEAL SECTION
Every online shopping site has a deal’s sections. It is worth to take a look as many times the shops/sites are offering coupon codes or special promotions that run only for a short period of time. Amazon for example has a “Today’s Deal” page which is worth a visit to check out what the deals are.
Equally important, please remember or lookout for a specific sales drop of special event days like “Black Friday” or Cyber Monday” where deep discounts are a sure thing.
3) BE PATIENT – DO NOT RUSH!
Avoid impulse buying and be patient when doing cheap online shopping, It takes some time in order to find the best cheap deals, so do not rush to buy right away. It is human behavior, once we set our mind about something, it needs to be accomplished right away. In like manner, this also includes shopping behavior once the mind is set to buy a certain product.
In case you are not successful to find a good deal, stop for the day and continue the next day. Remember, to bookmark the pages you have already visited in case you need to refer back to them.
4) DO NOT GET DISTRACTED
Many shoppers will at some given point be distracted by the immense choices we see in front of the screen. The initial product we intend to buy becomes a second choice. In fact, our focus drifts away into unnecessary things that were not on the agenda in the first place.
You are reading it correctly, half of all buying activities are done on impulse. Do not fall into this trap. In case your brain tempts to drift away, stop it right in action. Refocus on why you are on the shopping sites in the first place and stick to the plan until the end. It is easy to distract yourself with the flood of information the sites are offering.
5) SEARCH SMART – SAVE BIG
It is a jungle out there with hundreds of companies competing to get your final approval in the form of a purchase. Many shoppers start to type in the keyword of what they are looking for. Following, a long list of products does appear and scroll down all the listing one by one until something sticks out. This is the normal behavior of most shoppers, but you are smart and you need to do this:
Go Beyond Search Page 2
Here comes the Problem: Many, including me, stop on the first, maybe after the second search page. As a matter of fact, I do never go beyond these first pages to make my final online buying decisions. THIS CAN COST SERIOUS MONEY! Why, because by default only the most popular products are shown on the first pages. Rather than stopping, it is very worth the time to go to search pages number 3 and beyond.
Many times on these lower-ranking pages, hidden treasure deals from medium or smaller sellers pop on the screen.
5.1) Use the Sorting Feature “SORT BY”
By default, all shopping sites will display the most featured (popular) products first. Mostly, this feature is located on the upper right side but can vary from site to site. Surprisingly, these are not the cheapest. There is a very easy way to get around this little problem. On the right-hand side (see photo) a small pull-down window called “Sort by” opens up. Choose the selection:
PRICE: LOW TO HIGH
Now, all the lowest prices are displayed first and more value will come to light for the shopper.
5.2) Do Google Search to find Shopping Sites
Many smaller eCommerce stores or “mom & pops stores” have great online deals. To find them is actually quite easy. Simply use some of the popular searches on google (Substitute “product name with your item you are looking for” :
- Buy “product name” cheap online
- Online coupons “product name”
- Best deals “product name”
In like fashion investigate the search results pages 1-10 for the hidden treasure deals
6) CHECKOUT COUPON DEAL SITES
Coupon sites are a great way to save instant money during check out. The coupon code is directly applied on the check-out page which will display instant saving.
- Amazon Coupon
- Rakuten (offers Cash Back)
In case a coupon page does not give you some useful deals or you like to order from a specific shopping site (eCommerce store), simple google search (substitute “shop website” with the actual website name you like to buy
“shop website” COUPON DEALS
Google will display all available webpages where this online shop offers coupons. Each country offers its unique sites, so it would be smart to a google search which Coupon Sites are famous in your region/country.
7) GO BEYOND YOUR FAVORITE ONLINE SHOPPING SITE
We humans have the habit to stick to our regular routine. This also includes our shopping habits and influences our decision making. However a lot of times, the favorite shopping site might not be the cheapest. It is worth to look beyond it and search other competitor online shopping websites for the same product.
8) Amazon Product Page – Little Know Secret: Check other seller’s prices (not only Buy Box)
This tip can only be applied to the Amazon product pages (worldwide). As you can nicely see the big “Buy Box” on the right-hand side. 98% of shoppers click on this box to add the product to the cart. Being that the common practice by many, it is worth to check out the other sellers for this product.
How? Well, as you can see on the screenshot above, there is a small area with a blue hyperlink that says “New” or “New & used” followed by the number of sellers. In short, click on this hyperlink for a new page to open up. Here, all the different sellers are listed with pricing, item location, and shipping conditions.
9) A WORD ABOUT FREE SHIPPING
Doesn’t it sound great: Free shipping. Yes, I do not need to pay for the shipping fee, it is all free. It is really? Think about it a little bit longer. Does the seller spends the shipping charges out of his own pocket and in the end loses money on the sale. Oh, no this is not how it works. There are two ways to show you the real deal. Let’s have a product price of 10 Euro:
- The Seller advertises free shipping and sells it for 10 €.
- The same seller can also advertise the product for 7.88 € and charges 2.22 €
In the end, it is you, the shopper you will pay the tap. In fact, free shipping does not exist as it is a marketing gimmick. Always, always the buyer pays for the shipping charges regardless. To conclude, compare the product prices both ways as illustrated above to find the best deal online shopping deal.
To conclude, compare the product prices both ways as illustrated above to find the best deal online shopping deal.