10 Online Shopping Tips For Geezers!10th April 2009
I thought I’d cobble together some tips to make the whole painful process of online shopping a little easier, more efficient and cheaper.
Some are pretty much common sense and others are ones I’ve managed to come up with myself due to my predilection towards being a lazy tightass.
Hopefully a few of them will be of some use in giving you more time to do more important activities such as watch sport, drink, eat and download specialist porn.
Comment on these and add your own at the bottom.
Bloody obvious this one but stay with me. There’s a bunch of discounts on the SmartGeezer Discount Page which can help you save a penny or two. I stay pretty much on top of menswear discounts so searching Google for discount codes and vouchers isn’t going to unearth much more.
Vente Privee is a private discount club which you can join, use ‘firstname.lastname@example.org‘ as your referral email address.
Brand Alley is another private sales club you can join.
Cocosa and another private club.
Also sign up to the newsletters of your favourite stores as they often offer subscriber only discounts and offers.
2. Compare to the Real World
Now this one involves actually getting out the chair and leaving the house, a hassle I know but it could save you some wonga. Online is not always cheaper especially during this period where ‘quantative easing’ has entered the lexicon of everday folk. You know we’re in shit when such abstract phrases are commonplace.
The real world doesn’t charge you shipping, yeah, I know! That shocked me too! Immediately you’ve saved youself about a fiver. The real world also offers immediate satisfaction and returns are a non-starter as you can just get a different size straight away. The real world ain’t all bad my online geezer brothers!
3. Return Stuff that Doesn’t Fit!
It’s a pain in the arse and make no mistake mister but if you’ve ordered something that doesn’t fit then return it. Try it on first without your strong smelling ‘Sex Panther’ aftershave so you can return it intact. Don’t cut off labels and don’t bin all the gubbins that come in the packaging.
Check a site does returns/exchanges/refunds. You may have to pay to send the item back or you might not have to.
It doesn’t take long to return an item and you’ll be glad you did later on. Harbouring an intense resentment towards an item of clothing because you’ll never be thin enough to wear it is not healthy…believe me, I’ve been there brother.
4. Measure and Compare
Of course, to avoid the above situation due to the wrong size can somewhat be limited by measuring yourself, not guessing a ballpark number or what you’d like to be. It ain’t hard to measure yourself with a tape measure, investing in one will save yourself in the long run.
I find the best way is to compare with what you bought before. I know that I’m always 8.5 for Adidas trainers, if no 8.5 is available then a 9 will be OK. I then use this info to buy 8.5′s or 9′s for all other shoes, I’m rarely caught out but occassionally I am, therefore see No.3.
You could also try an item on in the real world to see what size you are for a particular brand and use that info to buy online when you get back home.
5. Finding the Cheapest Price
Once you’ve found the item you want, you know the size, now you want the best price. I always start with Google Product Search, it offers a good comparison of items and prices. Also check the regular Google search as not all shops add their product list to the Google product search.
I also check out eBay to see what the SP on there is. Don’t be afraid of eBay but be doubly careful. What is the sellers feedback rating? I wouldn’t touch anyone with less than a 98%. Double check shipping cost and with brand names, double check authenticity. Here’s a good article – Buying Authentic on Ebay.
If you find yourself in the strange position of actually being in a shop then you could always check online prices via your mobile phone to see if it’s actually worth buying it there and then…or show the online price to the shop assistant and say, “Excuse me mate, this jacket is only £50 on this site, howabout knocking me up a little special offer?”
6. Wait for Sales
Another obvious one but have you ever waited for a sale? You can go looking for an item and hope a site has it on sale but if the item isn’t overly urgent or important why not bookmark it and wait until they send you an email about a sale (because you followed No.1 and subscribed to their newsletter).
7. Bulk Buy
Another reason to wait for items is that not only might they go on sale but they might have a new item you want later on therefore you buy two items and save money on shipping costs. Most online shops charge for the first item but not the second, or they offer free shipping on all orders over £50/£75/£100.
Some shops also offer bulk discounts; 2 for 3, buy 3 save 30% on the 3rd item, etc.
Saving items up can save you in the long run…that’s if you can wait.
8. Only Buy Legit
I don’t mean buying hookie goods from the back of a lorry (but if you want to support sweat shops and the lightfingered then there’s a special place in Hell reserved for you just under Satan’s ballbag). No, I mean make sure the website you’re buying from is legit as in ‘Secure’.
Is the checking out process secure; does the url start with https? Is there a padlock icon on your browser, usually on the bottom right? Only pay via credit/debit card, PayPal or Google Checkout. Using moneywire services doesn’t give you any guarantees or comeback. I would also be wary of imparting with your credit card number over the phone.
Does the site have contact details? A physical address?
9. Go for Non-Branded Items
There’s a bunch of items you can get that are either hidden away from sight or don’t really need to be branded. Underwear for one, you can save a ton. Who cares if your socks are designer or ASDA? I don’t give a shit, as long as you’re wearing socks and not going all Miami Vice on me, then I’m easy geezer.
A plain white polo shirt? So what if it doesn’t have a logo? Take these two examples…
Yes, I prefer the Fred Perry one and yes, I’m sure it’s better quality but is it 7.5 times better?
What about this…if you wear the Fred Perry one, does it make you look 7.5 times better?
(Yeah, I just got all philosophical on yo ass! Dolce and Gabbana ain’t got nothin’ on Hume and Kant.)
Mix and match your spending. Go cheap on some items and then splash out on other, more noticeable items. Buying more expensive on traditional items less sensitive to the fragile shallowness of fashion would be a good, long term investment.
10. Re-Assess Your Motivation
Easy tiger! Put down that credit card, don’t hit the buy button, push your chair back and think for a second…
- Do you really, absolutely need that?
- Do you need it this very second? Why not sleep on it.
- Do you love it or just think it’s OK?
- Are you only buying it because it’s on sale?
- Will it go with what you’ve already got? Or will you have to buy trousers, shoes and a jacket just to accommodate that luminous, flowery shirt?
- Buying a coat in the post-winter sale? Will it still be in fashion next winter?
Online shopping’s advantage is the ease with which you can compare and buy but this is also what can fill your wardrobe with half-loved, ‘unique’ items that sit there with the labels still attached.
I think sleeping on it is the best approach, don’t get too carried away otherwise you’ll be asking the bank manager/parents/spouse for some quantative easing yourself!
That’s it. Let me know what you thought, did you learn anything new to arm yourself with out there on the intratubes?
Add some of your own tips in the comments below.