We do shopping every day using different methods: from tablets, phones, laptops, social channels, and physical store locations. According to statistics, 48% of millennial’s have shopped on marketplaces, 76% at large retailer sites, 46% on web stores or independent boutiques, and 29% at category-specific online stores. Every retailer tries to stand out greater than ever to get you as a customer.
Before jumping at the offer, smart consumers analyze the budget, compare prices within a service field, and weigh the choices of spending money on particular items. They know how to save money or to spend it more reasonably on something else.
What helps to be “smart”? A smart buyer does not purchase anything “what is the cheapest, but searches for some valuable items which have a good price and, at the same time, questions the ethics of products and brands”. In other words, a smart shopper makes research, checks social media, and reads online reviews on websites like PissedConsumer.com or BBB.org before making a purchase.
The best tips and ideas for being a “smart consumer”
Being a “smart consumer” is critical nowadays. It’s a fashion trend that everyone wants to follow. You should also be well-informed and become a “prosumer” – a person who bases purchasing decisions on knowledge of a product’s lifecycle and true value. It’s not an easy task. Thus, the following smart consumer tips and ideas should help you:
Limit impulse shopping
Try to ignore “for sales” signs. If you didn’t plan to visit this shop, just pass it by. Companies spend lots of money studying customers. When you understand the main marketing tricks, you become a wiser shopper who can easily avoid impulse shopping. The examples of common marketing tricks are:
- Products that retailers want to sell first are always at an eye level.
- The price tag with the phrase “maximum 8 cans per customer” doesn’t mean a true discount; it gives the illusion of it. As a result, you buy more.
- Free candy or chocolate leads to the desire to buy expensive and nonfood luxury goods.
- Shoppers’ disorientation leads to impulsive buying. Thus, when you enter a mall or a shopping center, you become confused by the layout and forget why you are there.
- Imitating your gestures and sales people’s touch to your shoulders leads to more selling.
- The smell and specific music lead to the sales increase.
- Rude salespeople in luxury stores. They provoke the desire to belong to a special crowd that doesn’t want you as a member, and then you buy expensive products.
Check, compare prices, and seek the cheapest items
Make up a shopping list according to this data. Check for the goods that were banned, recalled, or pulled from the shelves. Visit websites (ConsumerReports.org) that announce such goods. Don’t forget to check such warnings in the email, online (check online reviews), or media.
Avoid pirated goods. Examine the product carefully
An unusually low price is always suspicious. Pay attention to packaging. It is the indicator of a fake. Read the information on it: a manufacturer’s name, official address, an importer, holograms, control numbers. Be wary of misspelling: logos and trademark should be displayed correctly.
Learn about the biggest sale days
There are some discount days you should know. They are as follows:
- New Year’s Day (January 1st). Retailers sell leftover pre-holiday stock such as winter clothing, New Year’s resolution items, like exercise equipment, etc.
- President’s Day (3rd Monday of February). This day is perfect if you want to buy winter clothing.
- Memorial Day (Last Monday in May). This day is good for buying spring clothing and mattresses.
- Independence Day (July 4th). This day is good for buying office supplies, laptops, and air conditioners.
- Labor Day (1st Monday in September). It is the best time for buying back-to-school items and summer items (grills, outdoor equipment).
- Columbus Day (1st Monday in October). It is a good time for buying jeans, patio furniture.
- Black Friday (The day after the 4th Thursday in November). It is the best time for every shopper. You can find great discounts practically on anything.
- Cyber Monday (Monday following Black Friday). It is the day for online shopping.
Take advantage of wise shopping online and follow the next tips
- Look carefully at the website itself. The one that doesn’t use “https” or “SSL” is mostly of questionable origin.
- Check the contact information that should be legitimate with more than one way of contact: an email address or P.O. Box, one or several telephone numbers.
- Be careful when you see pop-up advertisements on the sides of your screen. Most phony sites use them.
- Learn all details about the supply chain (it should be a legal source). Another smart online shopping tip is to read the website policies (delivery terms, return and refund options, shipping policies, exchange facility, and warranty deals).
- Read online reviews. A lot of consumers share their experiences only now. It would be a good idea to check the online reviews before the purchase. E.g. Yelp.com, BBB.org, PissedConsumer.com.
- Don’t share sensitive information over the Internet like Social Security Number, bank account details, etc.
- Don’t pay in advance. It is safer to choose for cash on delivery option (COD). Don’t give any details concerning your debit or credit card information over the net.
- Compare products, prices, and warranty deals for the same product with other competitor shops. Another wise shopping tip is to find out about discounts for the first purchase, loyalty points, etc.
- Make a shopping plan for the biggest online sales. Among the best shopping days are Easter, Father’s Day, Back-to-school period, Labor Day, Super Saturday, and others.
- Add to your calendar Free Shipping Day (December 11) which is a good opportunity to avoid expensive shipping fees.
Being a smart shopper is now a trend. To be one, you should adopt new consumer behavior, a considerate shopping attitude, and constantly learn tips for smart shopping. Pay attention to the details, read consumers’ reviews, and enjoy your smart shopping.
Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a "sponsored post." The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."