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5 Financial Traps Of Online Shopping: How You’re Being Made To Spend More And How You Can Avoid It

You might not be “saving” all that money you think you are.

We can’t really say online shopping is becoming more prevalent anymore. That’s because it’s already become a way of life in today’s world. Any time anyone needs a product or service almost anywhere in the world, the first thing they would do is go online to check prices, read reviews and find better or cheaper alternatives.

Today, there are close to 3.9 billion people with access to the internet, which also means all of them have access to online shopping. The online shopping market itself is estimated to rake in close to $2.4 trillion in 2017, and it is only expected to rise in the coming years.

With so much time and money being spent online, it’s no surprise that online retailers are going to “science out” the whole process so that consumers, like you and me, spend even more. In our list below, we look at five ways you’re being made to spend more online than you really need or want to.

Read Also: 4 Reasons Shopping Malls In Singapore Will Continue To Thrive, And Why You Should Invest In Them

#1 You’ll Spend The Money You Thought You Were Going To Save By Buying Online

What this means is that when we go online to find a good deal or participate in a discount, we won’t actually end up spending less.

The main reason for this is that even if consumers are able to purchase products at a lower price than brick-and-mortar stores, we will feel the money we saved is “free”. This will likely lead to us using the “free” money to purchase more things.

So, while we still get good value for your money spent, we’re not actually saving any money in the end. That’s because we’ve just spent all that savings on another product that we probably didn’t need or had to intention to buy when we began our search online.

This actually leads in to our next point quite nicely.

#2 You’ll Buy Stuff You Don’t Actually Need While Browsing

We hope you’ve stopped browsing by the time you’ve spent all that savings on another product.

The problem with shopping online is that it’s just so convenient and extensive. You don’t have to spend much effort going from one store to another, and you can view all products, in all sizes and all colours. And sometimes, you can even revolve the models to see how a dress or shirt will look like from all angles.

During the check-out, and even while you’re browsing your purchases, you will often be recommended products with this familiar and quite handy section “customers who bought this item also bought…”.

Sometimes, you instantly know why those customers also bought those other products, because it’s useful and makes sense to buy. This, however, just means you’re now buying a product you never intended to buy in the first place.

Other times, you’re attracted into “clearance sales” to buy products at a really good deal. This also means you’re buying products you had no intention of buying when you went online.

#3 Your Life Will Now Be Crowded With “Must-Buy” Deals From Now On

The power of the internet means that online shops can continue to engage you long after you’ve bought and left its store, and even if you’ve not bought from it.

With your contact details now with online retailers, you’ll now be constantly bombarded with targeted advertising. You will be fed similar products to what you’re usually browsing and buying, increasing the chances that you will continue this habit/ addiction. This constant reminder will generally lead to you going back to the store during your free time and buying more products there.

Also, whenever there are sales on online stores you’ve visited or bought from, you’ll be sure to receive mass mailers or texts encouraging you to save on more products. Again, just because you’re getting a good deal does not mean you’re saving money.

Read Also: 4 Things Millennials Spend On Now That Their Parents’ Generation Does Not

#4 Making You Addicted And / Or Always Returning Whenever You Have Free Time

After getting good deals online, you may end up getting addicted or find yourself returning whenever you have spare time on the way home or lazing around during the weekend at home.

This desire to see what’s new or whether there are new discounts you can participate in will drive you to making more impulse purchases and eventually addiction to shopping online.

Once you go down this route, spending money online will be really easy, and you may need an intervention or receive a rude awakening after seeing a credit card bill to get over this phase.

#5 Incurring Foreign Currency And Delivery Charges

One way online stores lure you in is through their really cheap prices. Some of these stores will try to list a really low upfront price and add charges at the end.

The logic is deadly simple, you’ve spent so much time browsing and choosing the products that you like on the online store, many times, you may have fallen in love and already form an attachment with the product after shopping for so long. A small charge at the end, while irksome, is not going to stop you from buying the products you’ve spent hours shortlisting.

Some of these charges may include handling fees and shipping fees. Sometimes, when you shop on international blogshops and online stores, you would even find that you’ve been quoted in US dollars rather than Singapore dollars as they never specified currency upfront.

However, there are also there are online retailers in Singapore such as Zalora, that offer perks such as free delivery for orders above $40 and 30 days free return.

Buy Only What You Intended To And Need

This is a really simple advice. You should only purchase what you’ve gone online to buy in the first place. Ignore the recommendations, the clearance sales and the other great deals online – you can think about it and come back to purchase in the future.

If you can master this, then only will buying online become a boon. Otherwise, it will form another money-sucking habit you need to pull yourself out of.

Read Also: 4 Excuses That Singaporeans Give To Justify Spending More Than They Have To

One other thought of shopping online is that many times, if we buy from retailers that aren’t branded or well-known, we may receive products that are substandard or worse, completely different to what we’ve seen online.

In this scenario, we don’t even get a good deal, and have to either continue shopping online or look for alternatives at the stores.