Smart Shopper: How To Become Smart Buyers
They are known as the consumers of the 21st century and use all the tools at their disposal to make the best purchasing decisions. New technologies and knowledge are your greatest allies to save. In addition, they take into account respect for the environment and other social concerns.
Surely, you have ever bought something and, after a while, you have been surprised that the same product or service was available in another store at a better price or with more favorable conditions for you. So, you are left with the feeling that you have made a mistake and therefore lost money. One way to prevent this type of situation from happening and affecting your finances is to become a smart shopper.
The definition of a smart shopper is very simple. As its name suggests, it is about a person who buys intelligently, looking for as much information as possible to make the best decision about the good or service that they want to acquire. Due to digitization and the increase in electronic commerce, it is common for this concept to be associated, mainly, with Internet purchases, but it can also be transferred to traditional channels, that is, to physical stores.
How to be a smart shopper?
Through the media, social networks, bus stations, shop windows, etc., a large number of articles and services of all kinds are promoted, so the temptation to buy can be constant. Added to the above is the possibility, on many occasions, of having a smartphone or computer available at any time of the day to access online stores. So before you hit the checkout button, use your credit card, or even shell out cash, consider five strategies to become a savvy shopper.
- Ask yourself if you need it. This first point is essential since the smart shopper is characterized by self-control and by being clear about his purchase motivations. Being an informed person, he knows very well both the characteristics of the product and its need and usefulness, so it is more difficult for him to fall prey to impulses or so-called financial biases.
- Always compare prices. Currently, knowing the price of the same product in different stores is very easy thanks to the Internet. You can access various pages on your own or use some digital price comparison tool. It is also advisable that you keep in mind what the regular value of what you want to buy is to contrast it when discounts arrive or during times of offers such as Black Friday.
- Take advantage of points or rewards. The smart shopper seeks the greatest possible savings in price, but without sacrificing quality, so resorting to brand loyalty programs is a good idea to obtain a better price or conditions. Generally, these are recurring purchases at certain brands or stores that are converted into points and that, in turn, can be exchanged for discounts, products, gifts, etc. Rewards can also be accessed for paying through a specific method or using a promotional code, among others.
- Look at the opinions. Checking the reviews of the products you are interested in is a good starting point to identify whether or not it meets your expectations. On the website of manufacturers or sellers, it is common to find descriptions of the state of the product, customer service ratings, incidents or failures, among other information provided by the users themselves and that is worth considering in advance.
- Shop safely. The last strategy, but not the least important, is to make payments or transactions following cybersecurity recommendations. As we have already said, smart buyers are people who stay informed and have the necessary knowledge to avoid, to a large extent, being victims of scams or fraud that put their banking and personal data or their money at risk. Checking that the web you are browsing includes the “HTTPS” protocol, that the address bar has a padlock, choosing secure passwords, or avoiding opening and interacting with suspicious emails are some of the tips to keep yourself safe.
Responsible consumption criteria
A characteristic of the smart shopper is the concern for their consumption habits. In addition to seeking savings and quality in purchases, as we have seen previously, it is also guided by criteria such as environmental sustainability. For example, when buying an electronic device, it is common for one of your options to consult the second-hand market or refurbished products. There you can find items that meet your needs for a lower price while contributing to the preservation of natural resources. If you are interested in delving into this alternative, in Finance for Mortals you can learn about the ten tips to keep in mind when buying second-hand online.
Another habit in the intelligent buyer is taking care of their financial health: they know how to manage their capital, minimize risks such as over-indebtedness derived from excessive purchases, and plan their acquisitions, through a budget, among other methods.