Remember shopping networks? If you manage to catch a glimpse of those relics on a Monday, consider yourself lucky: all the other museums of ancient art are probably closed.
Luckily, online shopping has occupied this niche — still, you should be aware of your spending, because making purchases on the Internet can be tricky, too. You have all kinds of stuff to choose from, and only so many bank accounts to take from. We gathered some of the most essential tips to prevent you from spending a pound too many:
- Plan your purchases. A good rule of thumb would be to restrict yourself from shopping compulsively, as opposed to bulk shopping in advance. It makes for a good discount or free shipping at the very least. If your shopping cart stays the same every week, the website will usually notice and you will be able to shop with a couple of clicks. And don’t forget to browse for additional discounts: sometimes you can get the price down to a half or even less!
- Get exactly what you came for. Banners and “You may also like” sections are your enemies if you don’t want to spend any more than you can afford. Try sticking to what you came for in the first place, and proceed straight to checkout.
- Clear your cache and cookies. At this point in the world’s history, you should realize that you don’t see ads on the Internet by chance: they’re made specifically so you could see them based on your history of preferences. Or in other words, so you would buy something related to what you already like. Seeing a pattern already? Clearing your web browser’s cache will make you see unrelated ads for a while, which is a win in our case.
- Don’t subscribe for newsletters. That is if you don’t really need the stuff they offer, like the only brand of dog food your pup can tolerate. We can all understand that, say hello to the little doggo. In the opposite case, regular letters will only tempt you into buying compulsively, and that’s what we’re trying to avoid here, remember?
- Don’t fall for “almost sold out”. Sure, items get out of stock, but (surprise!) the stock gets replenished. Messages like this can make you panic and think you’ll never ever get the chance to buy what you never even knew you needed until now. That’s marketing at its best! Try waiting for a couple weeks until the item is back or look for other stores (including physical) that have it in stock. This will give you more time to figure out if you really need it.
- Don’t fall for the free return policy. It might look like a great feature to have, but in reality, it makes spending seem less consequential: there’s no harm if you can get your money back, right? Wrong. The return process is not that easy, and spending is still spending. In the end, you’re likely to just settle for what you get.
Don’t curb your enthusiasm: online shopping is really a blessing in the world we live in. Following some simple rules is — well — simple, and if you use a Dzing Refresh card for one-time purchases, consider yourself fully armed: no user data will end up in the wrong hands. Trust us, you won’t even have to think about it.