It can be convenient and often less expensive to shop online. But online retailers have become very savvy in separating you from your money - especially when they know that you are home with plenty of time to shop online, due to COVID-19. If you want to reduce the amount of money you spend online, it is good to know what tricks these retailers use to encourage you to spend as much as possible. Here are a few popular strategies.
Becoming your default.
Online retailers know that it is easy for you to purchase if they offer to store your credit card number, offer a simplified mobile app, or offer a membership for cheaper or faster shipping. This website then becomes the first, and most often only, a place you look for that must-buy. While there is no problem with you starting your search at a familiar site, be sure to comparison shop, too. That can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Emailing you with special deals.
If you sign up for updates from an online retailer, you can be sure that you will receive emails that tout sales and special deals only email recipients can access. But often these sales are either offered to everyone who visits the site or is not real sales at all. Cutting the price of an item by a few cents and then calling it a sale does not save you money. Again, comparison shopping before purchasing is the best approach.
Creative use of technology and design.
Online retailers use a variety of subtle techniques to get you to spend more money. These can range from using certain colors known to stimulate buying (like red and blue) to reduce the load time of pages, which can hasten the buying process and move you more quickly to checkout. Many large retailers have also rolled out mobile apps that make it easy to buy on the go when you are less likely to deliberate your choices and more prone to spontaneous shopping.
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