Online Shopping: 3 Dos and 3 Don’ts


Online shopping is the most perfect and purpose-built way to wreck your monthly finances ever devised. But only if you let it. If you know how to do it properly, online shopping is the most beautiful way to get stuff you’d have to spend days looking for downtown at prices you wouldn’t dare to dream.

How do we end up spending so much and getting so little, then? It’s because we don’t plan.

Have you ever gone out to buy a dress for an occasion and come back with two dresses for different occasions, a gorgeous little cardigan and so, so many shoes? And a necklace you saw later that goes with one of the dresses?

Online shopping multiplies this problem because you can be in all the shops at once. You need a plan to stop things from getting out of hand, but there’s no point trying to avoid it altogether. It’s just too much fun.

Here’s what to do and what not to do. Follow this guide, and you can avoid so much waste and still get what you want.

1) DO: Shop International

What’s the point of the internet if you have to stick to domestic options? There’s so much more range if you look at international sellers and deals like you wouldn’t believe.

A great way to manage your international shopping is to use a parcel forwarding service. These services specialize in looking after parcels until you need them delivered and then sent out promptly. It helps manage your international purchases if you get them sent out in batches rather than individually because international delivery fees can be steep.

2) DON’T: Shop International in Little Bits

If you’re in the habit of making a purchase and then getting online the next day and going back for that thing you hadn’t quite decided on, your shipping fees can rack up quickly.

The shipping fees are all the more reason to use a parcel forwarding service. Using a service that you can ship to in the country of sale, you can consolidate your international shipping into bulk deliveries and avoid paying a hefty charge every time.

Helpful merchants will consolidate your orders for you, but you can’t expect or rely on this. Some parcel forwarding services offer free storage for quite some time, and you should take advantage of this.

3) DO: Take Advantage of Huge Sales

Some online retailers use a model where almost everything is on discount, all the time. But on some days, there’s a crazy discount. It’s so clever. It keeps you watching and waiting.

It is all part of the good, clean fun of online shopping. Window shopping never hurt anyone, and taking advantage of a big sales day is something you should do.

But you have to make sure you’re the one gaining.

4) DON’T: Buy It Just Because

So you waited patiently. The day came around, and now you have hundreds of dollars’ worth of clothes in your cart. So. Many. Clothes.

And how many of those did you throw in because they were so cheap? If you spend $500 on three gorgeous items that you love and ten things that you’ll never actually wear, you’ve just spent $500 on three items of clothing.

5) DO: Treat Yourself

There’s nothing wrong with an impulse buy as a treat. You deserve it.

Without a plan, though, impulse buys begin to stack up. Are you impulsive? Then you need to be prepared to be impulsive.

6) DON’T: Put Impulse Over Essentials

If you know that you give in to temptation (and let’s face it: who doesn’t?), try to put aside some money in your budget to be impulsive.

You’d be surprised what you can afford when you have a plan — and what you can’t afford when you don’t.

Do It Right!

It’s a win-win situation: you can have the things you want and none of the things you didn’t want, and you can afford it! Make a plan and let online shopping work for you.

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