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Use our simple retail sales tips to save time and money finding the best deals.

Online Shopping Tricks To Save You A Small Fortune

Singaporeans love online shopping deals. In fact, they love bargain hunting so much that three in every five¹ prefer shopping online on their smartphones. They’re also quick to turn to the internet to compare prices and find the best deals.

We’ve put together this handy guide of tricks that will help keep your hard-earned cash in your pocket and save you a small fortune. If you’ve ever wondered how to find the best online deals faster and more effectively, we’re here to show you how.

Our simple sales tips will point you in the right direction to help you save more throughout the year.

1. Free coupons, vouchers and promo codes

One of the simplest and fastest ways to get an online bargain is to look for coupons, vouchers and promo codes. Singaporean websites like Cuponation, CouponzGuru and SingPromos are dedicated to ‘Money Off’, ‘Prelaunch’, ‘Exclusive Discount’ and ‘Free Shipping’ coupons. Stores often give you a coupon to use on your first order, which may be an easy way to get additional discounts on selected items. It pays to join the mailing list of your favourite retailers for daily, weekly and monthly promo codes and vouchers too.

2. Shopping apps are your best friend

Why waste your time constantly checking websites to see if your favourite items are on sale when technology can do it for you?

Shopping apps are the answer. Singapore has plenty of bargain deals to hunt for. Popular apps like Shopee, Lazada, Wish, ezbuy and others are like having a virtual assistant running all over Singapore searching for the best deals. They send you push notifications when the items you want are on sale so you can snap them up immediately.

3. Social media savings

A great way to save money while shopping online is through social media. Nearly all merchants have a big presence on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter so make a point of liking your favourite retailers and following them. Many retailers post special coupons or announce upcoming sales on their Facebook page too. This is another good tip that can save you money.

4. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are bargain days

It’s best to shop online during the week. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are the best days for discounts and the reason is simple. Fewer people are online so retailers are trying to entice them to make a purchase. But on the weekend more people flock online to hunt for bargains. Retailers know this so they may hike prices on busy days. This simple online sales tip can save you plenty.

5. Go incognito

No we don’t mean putting on dark sunglasses and a raincoat when you head out. We mean hide your web browsing habits when you’re online. Many retailers use a little-known tactic called dynamic pricing when it comes to how much you are willing to pay for items.

This means that they are constantly adjusting prices by collecting data from shoppers. So before you start shopping, clear your browsing history and cookies or use your browser’s incognito feature. You’ll be surprised how much cheaper items you’ve looked at before may become.

6. Do your homework

If you’re looking to really save when shopping online, it’s essential that you do a little homework. For example, every Singaporean knows that the Great Singapore Sale happens every June and July with a galore of online bargains.

Sites like Qoo10 roll out discount coupons nearly every single day during GSS.  You may actually enjoy more savings because these can typically be used together with discount coupons offered by merchants on their site.

Taobao also has a Singles Day Sale every year on 11/11 and a Mega Shopping Festival on 12/12 just before Christmas. Based on past years, not only are prices slashed by as much as 70%, but there are hourly sales on a daily basis too.

The savings are incredible. All it takes is a little research to know when they’re happening. This is one of our essential online retail sales tips when understanding how to buy online smarter.

7. Follow influencers and vloggers

If you’re looking for a daily dose of online shopping inspiration, it’s as easy as checking out your favourite influencer on Instagram or YouTube. Influencers and vloggers play a massive role in bringing brands and customers together.

The most followed influencers are renowned for their product reviews and nearly all of them offer exclusive discount coupons and codes that aren’t even on the merchant’s website. Influencers are your go-to people for contests and giveaways too.

8. Designer flash sales

Singaporeans love designer labels. So take advantage of high-end merchants who run membership clubs. You can register for free and receive alerts when they are running online flash sales. It’s the perfect way to save on high-end brands and your favourite designers. Sign-up to OnTheList too. The members-only Singapore website provides exclusive access to luxury brands at heavily discounted prices including up to 90% off brands. Registration is free and you’ll be emailed a barcode to a specific location for each 3 or 4 day sale. OnTheList works closely with designer brands and popular brands in Singapore.

9. Live Chat discounts

These days, more and more online retailers offer a live chat service. Usually it’s designed to help customers out if they have questions when shopping online. But live chat services can be your direct link to discounts and savings too. The next time it pops up on your screen, take full advantage and ask for a discount of a big-ticket item you’re interested in buying. Major retailers have been known to give discounts of 10% or more just because someone asked. Why not you?

10. Save with gift cards

You might think that gift cards are only good for family and friends. Wrong. Gift cards are good for you. This easy retail tip can save you plenty on a big shopping spree.

Here’s how it works. Fill up your cart with everything you want. Add everything up, then buy an online gift card that amounts to the full total of your purchases.

Because most retailers sell gift cards worth 5-15% more than their actual price, you can use it to pay for your purchases and enjoy a nice discount on those items.

11. Buy out of season

Singapore doesn’t really have seasons. But online merchants do and regularly change stock when it’s summer or winter in the rest of the world. Keep an eye on summer stock when new winter ranges arrive because when the demand for a product dips, so do prices. And vice versa. It’s a simple trick but buying out of season can really make a difference to your bank balance. This simple retail sales tip is definitely worth giving a go.

12. Add to your cart but don’t pay straight away

Shopping online is a double-edged sword. It’s easy, convenient and you can find great bargains if you shop smartly. On the flip side it’s easy to make impulse purchases or pay too much if you’re desperate to buy those shoes you found and love.

A simple trick is to add the item to your cart and click away from the site without completing your purchase. Then think about it for a day or two.Quite often retailers who are keen for a sale will send you an email offering you a discount to come back and complete the transaction. It’s a win, win for you.

13. Patience pays off

When you shop online, don’t rush around looking for bargains all the time. Let them come to you. Sounds counter-intuitive right? But there’s a good reason to be patient. Online retailers use FOMO or the fear of missing out to their advantage.

They advertise time-sensitive sales knowing that the more desperate you become, the less price sensitive you are. A good trick is to add items to your cart but not complete your purchase immediately. After a few days, retailers will often email you with a discount to complete your purchase.

14. Consolidate purchases

This is one of the easiest ways ever to save big bucks when you’re shopping online. Simply write out a list of everything that you want to buy, plug them into a search engine and let it go off and find  everything on your list for the lowest total price. Then, if you’re shopping on international websites, consolidate all your purchases through a single package service and save a small fortune on shipping fees.

15. Birthday gifts

Another retail tip that will save you money is birthday discounts.  Whenever you sign up with an online retailer, always fill in the day, month and year you were born. Retailers may send you a discount coupon code on your birthday or offer free shipping on any item that you purchase.

If you already have an account with an online merchant, click on your profile and make sure that you have indicated your birth date.

16. Use the right card

Using the right credit card when buying online will not only save you money, but reward you in plenty of other ways too. The Spree Credit Card from Standard Chartered Bank (Singapore) Limited is perfect if you love shopping online with overseas retailers. You earn cashback on eligible online spend in local/foreign currency transactions, vPost transactions, contactless transactions and your general spends. With up to $60 cashback monthly and no minimum spend, this credit card is perfect for your next online shopping spree.

This article is brought to you by Standard Chartered Bank (Singapore) Limited. All information provided is for informational purposes only.

¹Source: Singapore Business Review – Survey on online shopping

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