If you’re anything like us, shopping is one of your favourite pastimes. However, with all the temptation that exists on the sales floor and online, it’s easy to fall into the trap of spending a lot more money than you need to. Read on to find out 11 shopping mistakes that could be costing you big bucks in the long run, and how to avoid making them.
- Not reading return policies
Seeing as many stores only offer store credit or a limited window to return an unused item for a refund (with the receipt), it’s extremely important to read retailer return policies beforehand. This rule is especially important when you haven’t tried the item on in-store (long change room lineups be damned) or when making an online purchase – the item may not even fit!
- Not Shopping Around online
You should always compare different prices for the same item while shopping online. One of the best resources to do this is Google Shopping, which allows you to compare an item’s price at a number of online retailers. Also, keep your eyes open for sites that have limited-time coupon codes at the top, which could get you an extra discount or free shipping.
- Not checking price matching policies
Believe it or not, a lot of big retailers (such as Hudson’s Bay and Nordstrom) have policies that will match their in-store/online prices with lower-selling prices from a competitor. You just have to make sure that the cheaper competitor item you’ve found is in the same size/colour as the one you want to purchase.
- Buying More to Get Free Shipping
By offering free shipping when you spend a certain dollar amount online, retailers are actually encouraging you to spend more money than you otherwise may have spent. For e-retailers that also have brick-and-mortar locations, you should see if you can ship the item(s) to one of their stores for free, or if it’s currently available to shop in-store.
- Not Getting Cash Back
Did you know that there are plenty of sites/apps that will actually pay you back for a portion of your online shopping purchases? Case in point: Ebates, which can give you up to 25% cash back at more than 750 online stores (including Joe Fresh, Sephora and Banana Republic).
- Shopping at the wrong times
If you know the store you’re shopping at has a sale coming up, you may want to hold off on making your purchase for now (unless you’re extremely worried it’s going to sell out). For example, you may want to wait to buy that coat from the Bay until BayDays is in full-swing, or during their famous one-day sales.
- Not getting price adjustments
It can be extremely frustrating to purchase something only to see the price drop when it goes on sale a short time later. Thankfully, many retailers allow for price adjustments within a certain time frame (i.e. Hudson’s Bay allows price adjustments within 7 days of purchase, as long as the original receipt is provided).
- Buying designer basics
Why spend $200 on a plain white t-shirt from Holts, when you can get basically the same thing for $10 from Forever 21? When it comes to basic items, save your hard-earned money for more special and unique purchases.
- Focusing too much on trends
The same mentality discussed above for basics should apply to trendy items as well. Those of-the-moment designer sandals you need for summer? Go for the Zara dupe and save your money for smart investment pieces (such as a classic handbag, which you can wear for years to come).
- Buying Something Just Because It’s on Sale
Sure, those pair of shoes are 50% off, but do you really need them? This may seem obvious, but it’s important to really assess whether or not you need (or even like) an item you’re tempted to buy just because it’s on sale.
- Shopping as a Hobby
Treating shopping as a hobby is something we’re probably all guilty of (at least I know I am). While it’s always fun to treat yourself to something shiny and new, limiting the amount of time and money you spend shopping will make whatever you do purchase feel much more special.
Do you have any tips on how to save money while shopping? Let us know in the comments!
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