Online Festival Sale. Tips For 💸Becoming A Smart Shopper
The festival season has commenced and we are seeing advertisements everywhere on the digital media about the discount sale. The season will last for 3 months, probably till the end of the year. All the big festivals like Dussehra, Diwali and Christmas will fall during this period.
The shopping festivity during festivals has become a great driver of sales in China, India and many other countries. Customers get discounts on wide range of products like clothes, gadgets and electronic appliances.
Daily when we switch on the television we find advertisements by E-commerce companies like Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal. The retail industry throughout the world has been adversely affected by the corona virus pandemic and people have been shopping for the essential items only. But with the festival season around, consumers are likely to splurge and go on a revenge buying spree.
The second wave of corona virus pandemic has made people careful in venturing out for shopping, particularly in areas which are heavily crowded. This has given a further flip to online shopping.
There are 560 million internet users in India and 329 million will bank on online shopping by the end of year 2020.The numbers are continuously growing by the day, and people are using their smartphones and tablets for shopping.
There are many advertisements being beamed everywhere, but people have to become informed and smart shoppers, for their own benefit. A brief description on careful shopping is mentioned below:-
· No cost EMI —
This is becoming very popular for purchasing big ticket items, which people otherwise find unaffordable. They can purchase through EMIs, thereby avoiding payment of huge amount upfront. No cost EMI is a scheme offered by merchants and retailers in which you pay the product price in EMIs spread over the payment timeline.
The first thought that comes to our mind is that the item is interest free. Let us now consider how this functions, with the help of an example:
Suppose you want to purchase a television set for Rs 50,000 in a three month EMI. If the interest applied is 15%, you have to pay an amount of Rs 7500. In a no cost EMI you have to forego the discount and pay the original price of television in EMIs.
So what inference can be drawn from this? It means that if you pay for the television upfront, you get a discount of Rs 7500 i.e. you get the television at a discounted price of Rs 42,500. But if you choose to buy the television with a no cost EMI scheme, you will have to pay the full price of Rs 50,000 which is divided into EMIs. Part of this is paid to the retailer and the interest amount is paid to the financier.
Now you will think, as to why to use this option of no cost EMI. This is particularly useful when you want to buy an expensive product; which you can’t afford, and don’t have the cash to make upfront payment.
It is also useful during the festival season, when you want to shop in bulk keeping your budget intact, or you are getting a very good deal.
But be careful as the companies might sell their unsold inventory at no cost EMIs.
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· Discounts of 70–80% —
Many of the online shopping sites claim to offer a discount of 70–80% on the price of the product. For them, it is good to tempt people on the price front.
We should be aware of the truth behind these discounts. Most of these discounts are on fashion products, as the companies try to remove their old stock. On the electronic items these may be on models having older features. On the other items there is only a nominal discount.
· Cashback offer —
Many companies try to woo customers through cash back offers.Let us consider an example. When we go to a shop to purchase a mobile, we may negotiate and bring down the cost of mobile by 10%.
Suppose a mobile is available for Rs 10,000.We can negotiate and bring down the price to Rs 9,000. The same way in online shopping when you buy a product for Rs 10,000 you will be refunded Rs 1,000 as per the 10 % cash back incentive. But the companies have got hidden tricks in this too.
Shopping websites can give cash back in their own company’s wallet, which you can’t use in your own bank account. To use the cash back offer one has to shop again from the same shopping website. Hence in this scheme, you should know whether the company will give cash back in your bank account, or the company’s wallet.
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· We often see that it is mentioned on the product page that one or two items are left in the stock. The seller does not want to give us time to think about the quality of the product or make comparison and wants us to make an immediate purchase.
· Check the price of item one day before the sales start. This will confirm if the seller is really giving discount, or if they have inflated the price and then giving discount.
· People should have a shopping list of necessary items ready, and purchase the items which are critically required . We should be careful during this Corona times as many people have lost their jobs and many have got salary cuts. The economy of the world is not in a very good state. Till the time the economy recovers we should not shop for unnecessary items and save money for emergency.
· The festival season is good for both the manufacturers and the banks as people pay through credit cards and both of them get volumes due to the various tie ups.
In case people are not able to pay on time, the charges of banks increase, which in turn is good for the balance sheet of the bank.
· Other than the big E-commerce sites, avoid making purchases using obscure websites,which are not known. Ensure that the website is secure (URL has https:// ).
Look for security certification on payment page provided by firms like Norton.
· Avoid making online transactions over public Wi-Fi. It is easier for hackers to access your confidential data on these unsecured networks.
· Register for SMS alerts with your bank to get notified immediately. You will come to know in case of any fraudulent transaction.
· Regularly monitor your credit card activity and statements. Request to receive alerts over a certain amount. This way if a hacker uses your card for multiple smaller purchases, instead of one large purchase, you will be notified.
Till now we have discussed only about online shopping, but since all the shops and malls have opened now, there is pressure for them to sell. They did not have good business during the lock down. Many people will go to the malls now, during the festival season.
The only difference will be that serious shoppers would go to the malls this time.People have to take the same care as we have heard on television or advised by the health ministry. Wear face masks, sanitize your hands and maintain social distancing.Keep away from places that are too crowded.
In the end, I would like to add that you should enjoy your shopping and bargaining activities. Purchase gifts for the people you love. Take all the necessary precautions and become an informed and smart shopper. This will be good for your financial condition.
The festival season comes once in a year and we have all the rights to shop wisely.