Monday, October 3, 2011

Habits, Tips & other shopping related things.

I'm back already! A friend just gave me an idea for a post. Although I just made a post I wanted to get this out while its fresh in mind.

So basically everyone has their own ways of doing everything. Shopping is one of those things that not everyone does the same. So I thought I would share some of my habits, tips, ideas, etc. with you all.

I will let this post focus on online shopping. This might me a big scrambled mess because I don't know where to start but here it goes.

First thing I do is have an email account I use for all things shopping related. I use this email to sign up for things & get all order related notifications (Order confirmation, Order shipped, etc.). Automatically you should go to the site of all your favorite brands and/or stores & sign up for whatever email notifications they offer. Newsletter, new product notifications, sale notices, discount offers, etc. This comes in handy! Now if you sign up to quite a few places this email will fill up if you don't check it daily or at least every other day. So don't let it pile up. This is also why I suggest a separate email just for this purpose.

Also be sure to sign up for their website account. I use the same 1 or 2 username/password combos for all shopping sites so they are easy to remember. A lot of sites just use your email address as a username which makes it even easier. Having an account comes in handy for making fast purchases with saved billing/shipping info, & saving items to a wishlist for easy & fast access later on if you aren't ready to purchase now. Also some sites allow you to send someone your wishlist for their viewing which is good for holidays/birthdays when people don't know what to get for you. A lot of sites send you a thank you for signing up discount offer when you first sign up for an account/email subscription. So always sign up for accounts/subscriptions to sites you plan to purchase from & check your email before you order! It may take up to an hour to receive these but if they do send an offer it is usually worth waiting the hour. Save all of these emails in a folder in your email account. Some of them have a limited time expiration date & will expire before you shop on these sites. For this you could make a separate email account and if the offer you were sent to your original email is expired, sign up with the second account and use that offer. Then you can continue to send all emails to your original account.

Next thing I always do when shopping online is do a discount/coupon code search for that site. The biggest resource & usually the only place I find any codes is Retail Me Not. No sign up required just search the site you want on there & they will show you what discount codes others have shared for that site. This has saved me some money on numerous occasions so always give it a check if you have no offer codes at the time. I would always use whichever is a better discount, usually ones you are sent by email.

Another thing I do a lot which I mentioned in my previous post is bookmark all sites I love, & item pages. This isn't really necessary or that helpful but its something I do. Usually just bookmarking the main page is good enough especially if you have wish-listed the items you like.

I also take my OCD a bit further as I said in my previous post & save pictures of all the items I want, wish, love, crave. This has been helpful when it comes to reference to an item you saw on a site but is now sold out on that site & is unavailable for viewing & purchase. So I can look at the brand name & item name or description & Google to find it on another site if possible.

This may be common sense but when I order from any site I always save all emails sent regarding that order. Confirmations, Shipping notifications, Order #'s, Tracking info, etc. I make sure to check my credit card statement & ensure the order total is exactly what I was charged for, only one time (sometimes if you get click happy on the place order button it could go through twice, but usually the company is smart enough to catch this mistake if it happens). Also this way if there is any issue with my order I have all the info necessary to report to the site & get it taken care of. I keep these emails even after I have received my order to make sure I am happy with the item in every way & will not be returning it.

Some places send you a discount offer AFTER you place an order, to encourage a second order. If the offer is good enough, they can usually get me with this slick trick. I always save these emails also & check this email folder before I make any online purchase.

Something I do that is really BAD is apply for credit cards for brands/sites/stores I love. Now this is only bad if you don't have a decent income to keep up with the payments. I did have that but then ended up with a lower paying job & have been struggling ever since. On top of my lower income I have no control on my shopping so my cards have been pretty constantly maxed out. My monthly payments & finance charges get high & it is EXTREMELY HARD to keep up. I am wasting so much money on finance charges because I can't get my balances back down. And of course on the extremely rare occasion my payment is late, there goes another fee. So I STRONGLY ADVISE not getting credit cards with your favorite shopping places (which you are obviously more likely to use) unless you can control your spending & have the income to pay what you use.
So now I currently have 3 brand/store related cards. Victoria's Secret, Mandees & recently I got an American Eagle card. I signed up for AE because at the time I hardly found things there that I wanted badly enough to buy. I was hoping having a card I barely used would help my credit. But of course, I suddenly found a bunch of things I loved & that card was soon maxed. I don't have a high limit on that one since its new, thankfully, so I did get it paid off to about a $20 balance, but then found gorgeous Deux Lux handbags that I HAD to have. --Received and love this bag, one was cancelled due to being out of stock, & I will definitely be sharing this bag with you soon!-- So now that card is almost maxed out again. So once again I do NOT recommend doing this unless you can handle the payments.

Another way to get great deals is to check up on your favorite brand/sites social networking sites, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Most places are getting their own pages & sometimes they will post special discount offers exclusively for fans/followers of their page. You can make dummy accounts just to follow/fan all these pages or just add them to your regular accounts & make a special list on your FB/Twitter account to view all your brand/site pages together.

One of my shopping habits that is a good deed & also saves me a lot of money {sometimes, you'll see why} is shopping animal friendly. I no longer (I used to be unaware of this issue) buy anything made with genuine leather, suede or any kind of animal skin/fur. This means I only wear Converse Chucks when it comes to sneakers. There are other leather free sneaks I could get but I just love Convees. I always check all item descriptions & info to ensure no genuine skins were used. Since most higher end designers use at least some bits of genuine leather in their handbags I do not buy any of them. Even Coach & Dooney bags with material bodies have leather trim & handles so I do not purchase them. Though some of the bags are gorgeous this belief saves me a bunch of money by cancelling high end designers from my options.

I also do not buy any household, personal care or beauty products that are tested on animals. Even products whose parent company does animal testing, it doesn't necessarily have to be that specific product. I protest the whole company. When I first learned about animal testing I had to change A LOT of the products I purchased. I had to get a whole new skin care routine & even though doing that caused me to break out badly in the mean time I refused to go against my beliefs for my own selfish needs. I have found an animal friendly skin care routine that had worked for me & it wasn't hard at all. If anyone wants to know feel free to ask. I research through PETA to see which companies are Vegan/Animal Testing Free & get those products only. I am proud to say I have not spent a dime on any company that does testing since I have discovered this & I am happy to do so. I wish more people would do the same. With a little research it is honestly not THAT bad. There are a lot of quality brands that don't do animal testing. Give it a look here: . There are other sites that offer more or similar info just use the oh so magical Google. Or check the specific brands main website under the About Us or FAQ section. Any brand that does NO testing or is a Vegan brand will say so outright. Any other dance around the fact is usually to avoid the fact that they do testing. Don't let them baffle you with their bullshit. Vegan & Cruelty free companies proudly advertise the fact.
Also if you don't feel animal testing is that bad or cruel visit PETA & learn more about what is really done behind closed doors. Its not as simple as some companies want you to believe. It is actually extremely heartbreaking. =[

This is all that I can think of on the moment. If I come up with more I will add them to here or a new post. I hope something here has helped you. If you have any tricks or tips of your own please share them with me! Thanks for reading!

Until next time,
Lovely Shopdict

No comments: