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How To Be A Smart Shopper

Posted: July 11, 2012

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In an age of information overload, we need to learn to buy smart. 5 money saving tips to be a smart shopper!

By Tranquil Samuel

(Before we get to the tips, don’t miss this video from our post sponsors, Shopper’s Stop: Shoppers Stop’s First Citizen Card Holders enjoy exclusive previews to sales – get the sale prices days before everyone else!)

Everyone may not agree with Bo Derek when she exclaimed, “Whoever said money can’t buy happiness simply didn’t know where to go shopping!” Most people though, find that there is something uplifting, something instantly gratifying in going out shopping. Even if you are not a fan of shopping, most of us cannot escape having to shop around and buy things we need.

However, it can be a little confusing and hugely time consuming to sift through all the information that we are now bombarded with. Here are some tips on how to buy smart which at the end of the day means making the right choices for yourself.

Smart Shopper = Thoughtful shopper

Firstly, change from being an impulse buyer to an intelligent shopper. The former, more often than not, tends to end up with things that he or she did not need, that is not suitable, or that has no value for the money paid for it. An intelligent shopper on the other hand, is a discerning buyer. This type will hold her ground until she has every bit of information that she wants on the product.

A shopping list is a valuable tool not only when you buy groceries. When you go shopping for clothes and accessories, make a list of all the basics that you may need to replace, like T-shirts or black slacks. Sticking mostly to the list will prevent impulse buying.

Repurpose, Reuse

“Money” is not the bone of contention for the intelligent shopper; “Value for money” is! One of the ways to be a smart shopper is to buy products that multi-task. A beautiful belt that can be also be used as a necklace, a neutral coloured skirt which goes with just about any top, a beauty product that can double up as both lip and cheek colour, are all examples of multi-tasking products.

Research and buy smart

“If men liked shopping, they would call it research!” That’s the truth! Today, research is a very valuable tool to an intelligent shopper. And with the internet, that becomes so easy. Comparing prices and models, and terms of warrantee and delivery, from the comforts of your home, by a few clicks on your computer or smart phone are great advantages when you research on products.

Clearance sales are a great opportunity to pick up some good bargains. Remember that size does not always matter. If you like something, but can’t find the right size, look in the smaller and larger sizes. Chances are big that you may find something that fits, among items that have been wrongly sized (which is the reason they are in the sale).

Loyalty programs help you buy smart

An effectively designed loyalty program offered by a store should never be ignored, especially if you notice that they have an excellent customer service. (Don’t forget to check out a sweet little video above from Shopper’s Stop, on the First Citizens program). Loyalty programs can be translated into getting good discounts and exceptionalcustomer service to track products for which the store knows you have a special preference. This will especially work well when the store is known for its integrityand when all the benefits as well as the restrictions of the loyalty program are communicated to you up-front.

Money saving tips are not just about “cheap”

Learn to recognize the difference between splurging and intelligent shopping. When you see a dress that is expensive but stylish and as a result, makes you feel like a million bucks, go for it rather than buy a cheaper dress which may not have the same stunning cut or style. Chances are, you will wear the first one more often and therefore the cost per wear will go down in time and make it a smart buy.

Lastly, do not remove the tags from the bought items for a week, or till the time before which the store permits an exchange or return. This allows you to re-think on the purchase and ensure that you will be happy with the purchase.

About the Author: Tranquil Samuel is a full-time mother, part-time chorister and a freelance writer and translator, with an egalitarian and contemplative bend of mind.

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