Top 10 Intelligent Shopping Tips Everyone Must Know

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It was only the other day that I was watching the movie, Confessions of a shopaholic, and I stuck against this sentence, ‘“When I shop, the world gets better, and the world is better, but then it’s not, and I need to do it again.’ Which compels me to think how shopping has become so integral in our lives. Shopping, over the years has evolved, coming a long way from being a mere necessity to having acquired a position of being an art. Today it manifests itself as a pastime, an addiction, a routine activity. In her novel Confessions of a Shopaholic, Sophie Kinsella writes, “For years now I’ve kind of operated under an informal shopping cycle. A bit like a farmer’s crop rotation system. Except, instead of wheat, maize, barley, and fallow, mine pretty much goes clothes, makeup, shoes, and clothes (I don’t bother with fallow). Shopping is actually very similar to farming a field. You can’t keep buying the same thing, you have to have a bit of variety. Otherwise you get bored and stop enjoying yourself.”  This comes as a testimony to the status of art acquired by the activity of shopping. However, there are certain points every shopper must keep in mind- be it a random shopper, a regular shopper or for that matter, a perplexed shopper.

10) Be aware about the return policy:

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Not only an intelligent but even an informed customer must be aware of his/her consumer rights along with responsibilities. So apart from the terms and conditions of the particular product that you purchase, also be aware of the return policy of the store, privacy policy of the website and the receipt and refund details. Never discard the receipt or bill before using the product.

9) Research:

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This is especially true of durable consumer products like electronics, automobiles etc. Use the boon of online shopping sites and price comparison platforms. If you  are planning to purchase electronics for instance, you easily browse through various sites, compare the prices, features, guarantee, after-sales service, among other parameters. When you finally make the decision to buy, it would be an informed one, and you cannot be deceived tricked manipulated or duped by the persuasion of the salesman.

8) Don’t shop when angry

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While you may all relate to Rebecca Bloom, ““I love shopping. There is a little bit of magic found in buying something new. It is instant gratification, a quick fix.”, shopping can help you overcome depression and enliven your spirits, the same can work out against you if done in a jest of frustration or anger. Whenever you are  anxious or annoyed, don’t go shopping. You will end up buying stuff you are never going to use and lose a part of your money you are never going to get back. Especially because your emotions will overpower your thinking ability and defy all logic or rationality. You would not care to read leave alone thoroughly grasp the repercussions of those terms you just agreed upon.

7) Buy on discount

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Scavenger hunting during sales might in fact be a very intelligent shopping tactic.  When you can get the same thing at a lower price, why pay more? A caveat, though: avoid impulse buying.

6) Bargain:

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Also known as haggling, bargaining helps to negotiate the price of the good between buyer and seller. While it may sound like a dispute, in reality it has a practical application and a very light-hearted connottion. So bargain wherever possible. By which I mean, bargain with kirana store owners, vendors, not with malls and supermarkets. Take down the following words of Erma Bombeck as a definition of shopping, “It’s a contact sport like football. Women enjoy the scrimmage, the noisy crowds, the danger of being trampled to death, and the ecstasy of the purchase.”

5) Get store cards if they yield discount:

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If you visit a couple of stores on a regular basis, and I am sure you do, save on your purchases by getting some in-house benefits. For instance, get the store cards which render you exclusive discounts, redeemable points, bulk offers, and other benefits available only to the card holders. It might not be a great saving in terms of magnitude. But, little drops of water make a mighty ocean, so never miss out on any opportunity to save. Grab all store cards. They cost nothing and can prove economical.

4) Have someone to control you when you splurge:

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Erma Bombeck  says it all when she says, “The odds of going to the store for a loaf of bread and coming out with only a loaf of bread are three billion to one.” Despite restraining yourself hard, despite deploying the best of self-control possible, you might end up giving in to your desire to possess things you might not need really, but might just be interested in acquiring its possession. So, keep someone wise and prudent and frugal, even parsimonious as a company to prevent you from spending a fortune in air.

3) Budget constraint

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While you can go on shopping endlessly without a pause, it would not be a healthy act. So, intelligent shopping essentially entails keeping a track of your expenses on a minute-to-minute basis. Keep your budget constraint on your mind. This will enable you to be on tenterhooks, thereby preventing you from spending lavishly. Blame it on the profound desire to take sartorial risks, but we do not limit ourselves and give in to the temptation of attractive yet deceptive prices and schemes. Don’t let it make a hole in your pocket.

2) Buy only what you need:

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The worst mistake you can commit is going shopping without an agenda. You may eend up in the trial room of a fashionwear showroom, when you were supposed to buy groceries. Or you might be haggling with the street vendor while seeking to purchase some petty stationery. Hence, the solution is to make a list of things to be bought. And dont forget to strike off as and when you accomplish your mission of purchase.  Thwart irrelevant and money-draining purchases by making a list of your most coveted items, and only buy those that you’ve been eyeing before the baits of schemes and coupons were given.

1) Avoid buying on credit

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Leave alone debit and credit cards at home and carry cash, only enough to last you through the whole shopping escapade. They come with a lot of pitfalls that need to be avoided. If you make a payment late, you can expect a hefty late fee. If you go over your card limit, you’ll have another fee added to your bill. If you want a special-reward credit card, you may need to pay an annual fee. If you want to transfer a balance from one card to another, you can expect a balance transfer fee. So, you might end up paying a larger price for your convenience.

 

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