How to be a smart online buyer

When you decide you want to buy something off the internet, how do you go about doing so? I’m not talking about getting your shopping delivered to your door, I am talking about buying something like maybe a laptop, digital camera or a new mobile phone.

Many people just look for the make and model they want and they go straight in for the buy. Do you? If so, you may want to read on, as you could save yourself a lot of money!

Say I wanted to buy a laptop, one of the first things I would do would be to go to a money saving site like Money Saving Expert in order to establish whether there are currently any great offers on laptops that other people on the web have noticed.

If you are still looking for the best type of laptop for you, try review and comparison sites like Test Freaks. These can help you decide what laptop to buy, as they can give you reviews that people who have bought laptops have written. They often also present data in a very easy way, often giving the product a score, based on its price, spec (and therefore value for money) and what peoples reviews are like – i.e. positive or negative.

Test Freaks LogoIf/once you have your heart set on a particular laptop, then your next step is to look for discount codes for that sit/product. Sites like My Voucher Codes can often save you 5-10% on your goods, simply because they know the latest discounts for your product. 5-10% might not sound that much, but if you are buying a £350 laptop (lets say $500) 10% is £35/$50 which is enough to buy you a really good travel case as well as a decent wireless laser mouse and a USB hub.

The final bit of advice I would give you is to take your time. When spending a large amount of money over the internet check reviews of the site you are buying off, to see if it is reputable, check that the item is exactly what you want and make sure you get the best price!

Often online sites have deals which change all the time, meaning that tomorrow that perfect laptop may now be 25% cheaper, as it was only higher priced so that they could bring it down and slap a ‘25% off!’ label on it.

Good luck making any online purchases 🙂

Anyone got any other advice/experiences to share?

20 thoughts on “How to be a smart online buyer

  1. Delivery charges from online stores are still a significant factor when comparing costs. Product directories like google shopping help you compare prices across stores in a level playing field. But once you have found the best price you can online there is still something to be said for asking for a discount from your local technology store and picking up your laptop right away. Best of both worlds !

    • Christopher (admin team)

      I forgot to mention that actually, check the delivery charges, as it may be much more than you think!

      Thanks for that good point, welcome to the commenting community 🙂
      Christopher – Admin Team

  2. I’m sure you are a money-saving expert. You started off by looking for offer, then probably review and finally discount. Whenever I buy things online, I just click on the Buy Now button without going through all the steps you mentioned except for product review. I think I will check out those discounts, but not too sure whether those discounts coupons only available to certain country or worldwide 🙂

    • Christopher (admin team)

      “everyone loves saving” – Very true Aaron!

      Discount coupons can be very useful, and there are so many out there!

      Thanks for the comment, welcome to the community 🙂
      Christopher – Admin Team

  3. Thanks for the tips. When I bought my last laptop, I spent about a week, choosing and thinking and comparing things all around the Internet. I even went to the high street shops and looked at the models there and then made a final decision.

  4. Surely some helpful set of tips. Its always advisable to do some research and then buy a product online. As there are new promotions and offers coming out everyday, the best its better to look out for them.
    Also, shipping charges are an important factor to watch out for. Some sites have a heavy discount on the product but they compensate by adding a bulky shipping cost to it.

    • Christopher (admin team)

      Bulk order another useful point David!

      If you, your friend and your brother need a new TV, why not buy them together and save on delivery?!

  5. I like using the Invisible Hand Firefox plugin, it automatically searches for the lowest price on multiple websites when you’re on a product page. RetailMeNot is also really helpful for coupon codes. Most of the time it’s cheapest to get gadgets on Amazon or Newegg though. Amazon Prime definitely helps with shipping costs, IF you shop at Amazon often enough.

  6. Hi Christopher,

    thank you very much for sharing this information. As you have rightly mentioned, going through the reviews about the product and getting the best value through vouchers can help you in getting a good bargain. I have been using Vouchercode for all my online purchases.

  7. I tend to use ebay if I were to buy things online, most of the sellers on there are pretty decent and ship fairly fast. And most of the items on there are pretty cheap.

    • Christopher (admin team)

      eBay can have some good offers, but equally, sometimes eBay sells things overpriced.

      Thanks for your input Morrison, welcome to the Technology Bloggers community!
      Christopher – Admin Team

  8. It would really be helpful to view some reviews first before deciding to buy any product online. The specifications may match one’s need but in most cases the person does not have any idea about the quality or the products defects. Understandably as no manufacturer would highlight their products’ negative sides.

  9. I really enjoy buying discounted items whether online or offline. Considering that the quality of the product that I will buy will still be brand new. There are some instances I used to rely on sites like test freaks especially that I’m after of the prices so I don’t really care if its used or not so long that I get a cheap price. I will definitely have all these sites as my references in the future.

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