As an Internet service provider, we are always thinking of ways we can help our community have the best possible online experience. Since so many are doing more and more shopping online these days, we wanted to share our Top 5 Online Shopping Tips to Help You Save. After all, what feels better than getting a great deal?
Canadians are looking for ways to save
With the rising costs of living, many of us are looking for ways to save wherever possible. According to the Government of Canada, most Canadians spend 35 to 50 per cent of their income on housing and utilities. In 2017, transportation costs rose 3.8%, food costs rose 1.4%, and recreation and education costs rose 2.1%.
There are some fascinating indicators in this infographic about couponing that demonstrate that Canadians are a thrifty bunch: We ranked seventh in the world for coupon use, with 96% of those surveyed indicating they would still use coupons even if they won the lottery. That is a serious commitment to thriftiness!
With so many Canadians looking for deals, here are the Top 5 Online Shopping Tips to Help You Save.
5. Try online Bartering Platforms
Bartering is by no means a new way of acquiring goods and services, as a matter of fact it’s been around since the Stone Age. The issue with bartering in the past was that one would need to find the right trading partner to make it work. In the Internet Age, bartering has been taken to a whole other level by allowing people with mutual interests to connect and make a deal.
In addition to the big sites such as Craigslist and Kijiji, another site called Bunz Trading Zone emerged as a player in this space in 2013. It is a trading and barter platform that removes currency from the equation completely. There’s even a Bunz App that allows users to trade almost anything.
There is no question that shoppers can save a lot of money bartering online, but we recommend being cautious and following some basic safety rules.
4. Use online flyers, coupons and cash back rewards
Taking the couponing experience online through sites like Save.ca and webSaver.ca allows shoppers to browse and compare flyers, while also being able to print coupons for in-store use. There are also apps like Flipp and Flyerify that make saving money easy by aggregating all the information in one place. For example, one Toronto family of five uses these tools and keeps their grocery bill under $200 each month. While this approach requires extra time and research, the savings can definitely be worth it.
We must admit, the prospect of having the total on the cash register go to zero like one of those “Extreme Couponing” episodes is quite fascinating.
3. Find great deals on Social Media and in online communities
Another great way to stay informed on the best deals is to find and follow other savings enthusiasts on Social Media and in online communities such as RedFlagDeals. Since these communities crowd source all kinds of different leads on deals, there is always something new to discover, talk about and share.
2. Browser Extensions
This is where technology and thriftiness really start to intersect. For those who do not envision themselves scanning the web for deals and want a tool that will do all the heavy lifting for them, browser extensions such as Honey, Amazon Assistant, Invisible Hand, The Camelizer and Cently are worth a closer look.
Browser extensions are add-ons that are downloaded and installed onto a web browser. They spring into action whenever the online shopper starts the checkout process and automatically apply the best online coupon it can find. There is some variance in how these services work, so we recommend shoppers explore the different options and pick the one that best fits their needs. Some tools also enable item tracking, list price history and send notifications when prices go down.
Some shoppers also take a two-pronged approach by combining coupons with the use of a cash back site like Ebates. Ebates has a smart set up: They receive commissions when shoppers buy items through their platform and then share part of that commission back with the user
1. Beat Dynamic Pricing
As consumers, we’ve grown accustomed to paying more for certain things at peak times based on supply and demand, but Dynamic Pricing is different. As we shop online, many sites we visit use algorithms to establish price based on things like location and browsing history.
The idea behind dynamic pricing is to use our online activity and footprint to adjust the price of a product or service. Based on the data collected, the algorithm can determine that a shopper may be willing or able to pay more than someone else for the same product or service.
A good way to circumvent these marketing practices is to routinely clear your cache of third party cookies, disable your location, browse in “incognito” mode, mix up which devices you shop on and sign up for a tool like Paribus. Paribus will track the online receipts you receive by email and contact the merchant for a price adjustment claim if they are offering the same product or service for a lesser price to other customers.
At Acanac we offer a wide range of High Speed Internet plans in Ontario and Quebec at a great price so that you can shop ‘til you drop online, worry-free. Whether you’re looking for Unlimited Internet usage, or a plan that fits your exact needs, we have the package that you’ll be thankful for all year round. Call us today at 1-866-281-3583 or visit us online to find out why it’s good to be here.
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