How to Avoid 3 Online Shopping Pitfalls

by Miranda Marquit · 0 comments

One of the best ways to get a good deal on just about anything is to shop online. Online shopping provides you with the opportunity to compare prices from multiple retailers, as well as save over buying in town (in some cases).

However, just because online shopping can be a great resource and tool doesn’t mean that there aren’t pitfalls. In fact, there are tricks that online retailers use in an attempt to separate you from your hard-earned cash. Here are 3 online shopping pitfalls to watch out for:

1. Daily Deals

Do you get daily deals and coupons delivered to your inbox? If so, you might be at risk for spending on things you had no intention of buying. While you can get great deals from sites like Groupon and Living Social, there are also concerns that you might spend more than you planned.

First of all, these daily deals are designed to convince you to buy something that you might not have purchased ordinarily. You’re not truly saving money if you spend it on something that you didn’t particularly want or need. Next, you have to consider that these deals are designed to push you into a snap decision by creating a sense of urgency. Most of these deals are only available for a short period of time, and you feel like you might “lose out.”

Instead of falling prey to the daily deals, step back. Would you need this item even if it weren’t being offered for such a deal? If the answer is no, just delete the email and move on with your day. And try not to make decisions when you feel pressured for time.

2. Online Cookies

I don’t know about you, but after I visit a web site, or look at something interest, I notice that it tends to follow me around the Internet. This is due to the cookies that many sites leave on your computer. They keep track of where you’ve been, and deals keep being offered to you. Eventually, you see it enough from site to site that you cave in and buy the item.

If you want to avoid the way this type of cookie crumbles, clear your cache. You can clear cookies from your cache, and the interesting things you thought about, but weren’t really intending to buy, will stop stalking you. You will be able to put up a better fight. Plus, clearing your cache can mark you as a “first time” shopper to some sites. Without the cookie, you might get offered a special deal. In fact, if you are looking for something specific, it can make sense to clear your cache first, and then try to find the item. You might see a better price on something you had already planned to buy.

3. Dynamic Pricing

Interestingly, online pricing can vary based on demand and time of day, and a number of factors. My husband has seen certain items priced one way, and then seen them drop during off-peak shopping hours. My husband loves a good deal, so he uses dynamic pricing to his advantage. Don’t shop at peak times of the day, week, or year. (My husband does all of the Christmas shopping for our son well before the Christmas shopping season starts.)

You can also make use of price comparison web sites. My husband’s favorite is a site that watches the history of Blu-ray prices. He watches for patterns, and only buys when the movie hits his preferred price. You can do this with numerous web sites to avoid falling victim to dynamic pricing.

Bonus Tip:

Another way to save on your monthly Internet and TV costs is to find a current ATT U-Verse coupon code or at least a promotion to knock down your home service bill.

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