I've been thinking about writing this post for quite a while now. In a nutshell, this post will list my tips and tricks to online shopping and how to get the most out of your money. I rarely pay full price for things I buy in Australia, mostly because I feel like we're getting so ripped off. And don't even get me started on the stupid argument of cost of importing and how much more we're getting paid here than in other countries. I think they're all excuses for the extreme inflation of the prices Australian retailers expect us to pay for their products.
Having said that, I should really thank the extreme inflated prices because without it, I wouldn't have the incentive to figure out how to get the biggest bang for my buck. These are some of the things I do, and most of which would most likely benefit only Australians (although some points would benefit others too)...
1. Always shop around
This may seem like an obvious point, but I thought I'd throw it out there. Regardless of whether an item is on special, please for the love of all that's mighty, shop around! It's super easy thanks to Google. Although one retailer may have an item you've been wanting to get for months for 30% off, another retailer may have it for 40% off AND offer free shipping or click and collect.
2. Community-based websites for bargains
There are quite a number of community-based websites where users around the nation post deals that they have found. My favourite is ozbargain.com.au, as it's so easy to use and the community is amazing. I probably visit the website once a day to keep tabs on specials. Ozbargain also has a list of similar websites in other countries (click here), which is fantastic if you're not in Australia or if you're travelling soon and would like to know the best buys at the moment.
This is possibly the best invention ever. Basically, websites/networks are offered money from merchants or retailers for directing traffic to their online shop (sort of like a commission). These websites/networks then offer the consumer a portion of their commission. There are also websites/networks that offer points instead of money, such as Velocity Frequent Flyer (by Virgin) and Flybuys. I don't tend to use those websites/networks because I personally prefer cold hard cash over points. My favourite cashback websites are Ebates, Cash Rewards, and Pricepal.
Ebates is an American cashback company, and is fantastic for those who like purchasing from American websites, such as Sephora, Macy's, Amazon and even eBay. Fear not if you're not from America, and are worried about how you'd cash out your cashback amount, as they can transfer the money to you via paypal.
Cash Rewards is an Australian cashback company. The majority of my cashback is from my purchases through eBay, as I found that Cash Rewards offer the biggest cashback than other websites (it's important to shop around for the best cashback too). The other cashbacks I get from Cash Rewards are from The Iconic, Strawberrynet, Forever New and ASOS.
Pricepal is another Australian company. I use this the least out of the three, but it's still a good one to have on hand when shopping around for the best cashback deals. I have ordered through Forever New via Pricepal.
In order to get your cashback, please ensure that you pay for your items in the window that was opened through the cashback company. For more information, please read the instructions and how it all works in either one of the three websites. They mostly work the same way.
I always do a quick check on each of the 3 websites everytime I want to purchase from a retailer online to see if I can get a cashback. I am constantly amazed at the amount of retailers that you can get money back from.
I like doing a quick search for coupons or vouchers before I hit the "confirm order" button. I normally just search for one on google, but my favourite website to visit is retailmenot.com.
5. Get a credit card that offers a great exchange rate
I absolutely HATE the exchange rate that Paypal offers. It's normally about 3 cents (per dollar) lower than what it states on xe.com. Although this may not be a lot, it soon adds up especially if you do a lot of overseas online shopping. The best credit card I've found is the 28 degrees mastercard, as the exchange rate I get is almost the same as what it is on xe. When travelling overseas, there are no international fees, so it's perfect for travelling. Furthermore, there are no annual fees! However, I don't know how the interest rate compares to other cards, as it always gets paid up on time. I know that not everyone may be able to get a credit card, but if you can, I'd definitely recommend this one.
I hope these tips will help you get the biggest bang for your buck. If you have any tips, I'd love to know what they are!