5 Rules Every Smart Shopper Lives By

by Connie Mei · 4 comments

being smart
Being a smart shopper is not always the easiest thing to do. With all the sales and promotions being thrown at you, especially with the holiday season just around the corner, it’s easy to cave in and make an impulsive buy. Retailers have tons of tricks up their sleeves to make you spend more money, so it’s important to stay alert in order to make the most of your money.

Not so long ago, I was the complete opposite of a smart shopper. I was impulsive and bought anything that was on sale or looked like a good deal. Needless to say, I wasted a lot of money. However, I’m now a reformed shopper and I’m much more careful about how I spend. Here are five rules I live by when it comes to shopping:

Don’t Be Fooled by Sales Pitches

Especially when you’re buying big ticket items, you’ll probably comes across a sales associate trying to convince you why their product is the best. While the product might actually be great, keep in mind that they might work off of commission. The more you buy, the more money they make. Don’t be fooled by sales pitches. Do your own research and look for unbiased reviews before making your purchasing decision.

Always Do Competitive Shopping

Do some competitive shopping first before making a purchase. Where can you get the best deal? Quickly searching for a product, finding where it’s sold, and for how much can be done in under 30 seconds using the internet. The exercise can save you quite a bit. Find out if price match is an option if you’re loyal to a specific retailer. Many retailers do if you bring in proof of a promotional price from a competitor, such as an email or circular.

Use a Cash Back Site

This one is dead simple if you shop online. Next time you are about to buy a product, go to a site that offers cash back for the purchase you were already going to make. All you have to do before you click on submit payment is to log your visit on the cash back site first. It’s easy, doesn’t cost you a dime, and you’ll be swimming in free cash in no time. Last time I bought running shoes from Adidas, I got 12.6% back in cash back. Once you rack up some money, you can exchange the cash back into a Visa gift card or a gift card from other retailers. You have to try it if you’ve never done this. It really is the simplest way to save.

Keep Your Receipts

Don’t throw out your receipts no matter how much you love something you bought. Keep them stored away for at least a month, as you never know if you might change your mind later on. Also, an item you purchased might be defective and having a receipt will make it much easier for you to exchange the product.

Sleep on It

If you’re mulling over a purchase, sleep on it before you whip out the credit card. Spending some time to think the purchase over, even for a day, can help you think more clearly. You might think you need something in the moment but later on, you may realize you have no need for it at all.

While these are all important rules to shop by, you should always ask yourself this: do I need it? Deciphering between your needs and wants will help your budget in the long run.

Do you consider yourself a savvy shopper? What is one rules you always shop by?

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Gary says:

    Another good reason to save your receipts is if the item price is further reduced, you might be able to get it adjusted or price-matched.

    • David @ MoneyNing.com says:

      Good point Gary.

      And a receipt will also come in handy if the item breaks I expectantly as soon as you use it and you need an update exchange.

  • Dewald Burger says:

    I always look for the best deal. Ill walk from shop to shop to where I can get what I want for cheaper.

    • David @ MoneyNing.com says:

      I do that too, but sometimes I wonder if it’s a good idea for small items where the savings could be at most $1. Where do you draw the line?

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