Thursday, June 04, 2015

Sales Tips from a Smart Online Shopper

I know someone who has a closet crammed with nothing-to-wears. And another has so many bags and shoes that she had to build a huge cabinet just for storing them. Me? I’m contented with a few pairs of pants and tops, and I wear my shoes until they become a source of embarrassment. I guess it does make me sound pathetic and even my sister said, “You’ll end up just like mama if you horde your money. Go buy something for yourself!”

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I promised that I would reward myself with something pretty and… well, with a price tag that won’t deprive me of dinner for a week or force me to survive without electricity for a month.

For advice I turned to my neighbour, Mrs. Jiran, who earns a small salary but is always fashionably dressed. I caught her just as she was getting out of her Honda after a day out. I complimented her on her beautiful blouse and the trendy shoes she was wearing. “And oh, I love your handbag too and those earrings and scarf. Make you look so elegant,” I said sincerely before asking for her advice. 

She glanced at my sweaty face and the soil-stained cuffs of my sleeves and let her eyes travel to the mismatched flip-flops on my feet —I had been weeding in my backyard.

Photo credit: Zalora

“What you need is a make-over,” she declared. My face must have turned white and then beet-red because she quickly offered to tell me how she could afford to satisfy all her needs and wants.

“What woman doesn’t want to look beautiful, eh? We work hard at the office and come home to more work. Never ending, our chores. It’s only fair that we reward ourselves occasionally, my friend,” she said.

Photo credit: Zalora

 “If I bought myself this, that and those I’d have no money left for food,” I told her. That was when she told me her secret. She doesn’t earn much so she saves her money and shops only during sales.

“Who could resist a sales promotion deal?” she asked. “Sales are held regularly. There are sales during the festive seasons and holidays: Chinese New Year, Hari Raya, Christmas etc. And with online shopping, you don’t even need to go to the malls.” She smiled, her red lips stretching from ear to ear. “Now listen here,” she said, acting like a boss.

Photo credit: Zalora

And so I learnt from the chatty Mrs. Jiran the rules of smart online shopping during sales and how to avoid disappointment or regret.

1. Buy something that will not go out of date. For example, basic tees and jeans are a smart investment because they are timeless.

2. Don’t immediately buy an item that catches your eye. Read the product description carefully; pick a size and zoom in on the picture before adding it to your online shopping cart. You should ask yourself where and when you’re going to wear the product and if it matches with what you already own.

3. Know what you have in your wardrobe so any new products you choose could be matched and worn with your current clothes. Make a list of new items you could add to your wardrobe—a blouse like your old one but in a different colour; pretty fashion accessories you could match with many of your clothes. By sticking to the list you’ll prevent impulse buying and avoid over-spending and there’ll be no regrets when the sales period is over.

So there you are—the rules to smart online shopping. Now let’s shop and have fun!

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