Online shopping can be a busy person's lifesaver - allowing you to save money and time. This is a guide for anyone looking to pick up some tricks of the (online) trade.
Real-world shopping is an expensive reality
Recent Galaxy Research conducted on behalf of eBay shows that the average Australian shopper spends about $32 per shopping expedition on expenses alone, including car parking/public transport, lunch and refreshments.
In contrast, online shopping has the benefit of the convenience of not needing to leave home to book a flight or buy a dress and to have the luxury of researching and comparing products thoroughly before deciding to buy.
Plus online shops don’t have to pay for the floor space or retail staff that a physical shop requires and these savings are often passed onto customers.
The art to a successful online shopping trip is knowing where to go both to make sure you get a deal and that you’re safe sharing your credit card details. Here are our tips for making the most of online shopping.
Firstly, take a few simple precautions to make sure your online shopping experience is a pleasant one.
Always make sure the site you are using has a secure checkout you can check this by making sure the start of the website address is https:// the ‘s’ stands for secure, and means no one else will be able to sneak a look at your credit card details.
For a full list of your rights as an online shopper check out the ACCC’s Online Shopper's Checklist and Choice’s online buying guide.
The great thing about online shopping is that you can do a lot of window shopping without leaving your couch. If you’re on a comparison site always double check directly with the retailer to make sure they haven’t got any exclusive deals they are offering only on their website.
Lookout for websites offering sales and discounts and try to buy in bulk if you want more than one item to minimise credit card transaction fees and delivery fees, some sites offer free delivery over a certain amount spent.
Also favourable currency exchange rates mean that your Aussie dollar will go further in online stores in the UK and USA. Use a currency converter to double check the cost.
Where to shop online?
Here’s our pick of the best online shopping websites to get you started:
Comparison sites are the fastidious shoppers dream allowing you to check the cost of multiple brands in one fell swoop.
Auction sites allow individuals to sell their products direct to customers from their living rooms and in turn customers can enjoy the buzz and savings from bidding on products.
Direct from retailers
Australian retailers are extending their shopping experiences online, with recently a sweep of fashion retailers setting up shop at the Fashion Gallery
Fashion: Browse the latest styles from the comfort of your couch.
Electrical: Lookout for online sales to maximise your savings.
Groceries: Get your weekly shop delivered to your door.
These sites provide listings for anything from houses to surfboards and are a great way to research average prices and can be a great way to buy direct from individual sellers in your area.
Online shopping was made for researching and purchasing gifts, especially if the receiver lives interstate or overseas.
The difficulty is, you’ll only save money if you buy less and with so much choice and freedom online, this might be hard! Happy shopping!
Your say: Do you have an online shopping tip or favourite site? Share your finds in the comments sec tion below.
Online shopping: Once upon a time the best bargains had to be dug up in crowded clearance stores, but now some of the most popular Australian fashion outlets are offering those incredible savings online. A Current Affair takes a look at the favourite Aussie brands that are serving up bargains to web-savvy shoppers.