JOHANNESBURG - Online shopping has become an increasingly popular way to purchase everything from electronics and home décor to weekly dinner boxes and the trendiest clothing.
For many, though, the stress of finding parking, trawling shopping malls, and navigating the bun fights of in-store sales is something they’d rather avoid all together. With retailers launching mid-winter sales, tech-savvy consumers can use their browsers to get to the front of the queue and bag those bargains they’ve had their eyes on.
Mid-season sales are the most effective way for retailers to move their winter stock to make way for incoming spring and summer stock. Over the past two years, South African consumers are leaning more towards online promotions and sales that offer bigger discounts, providing more value to budget-conscious shoppers.
This trend towards online shopping looks set to continue this winter with a sustained increase in traffic to comparison sites, proving that consumers are doing their homework to find the best deal before spending their hard-earned money.
Comparison sites have become an invaluable tool for discerning shoppers, especially when finding the best deal in mid-season sales. Popular categories on comparison site PriceCheck this year can be found in the Big Blowout Sale and include electronics, watches, car parts and accessories, footwear, and fashion from reputable retailers like Cape Union Mart, Clicks, Loot, Old Khaki, Pc Link Computers, Raru, Superbalist, Takealot, The Kid Zone, Yuppiechef, and Zando. Consumers can view the discounts for each category, which are clearly displayed on site, taking the legwork out of shopping around.
While comparison tools make finding a good deal that much easier, having a solid game plan is always wise to prevent splurging and impulse buys. Consumers should stick to reputable retailers with watertight delivery and return policies and avoid being lured in by attractive deals, particularly those often seen on social media, that seem too good to be true.
Choosing a secure payment method is just as important as shopping from a reputable retailer. With online fraudsters taking advantage of bargain-hunters, consumers should only transact online using trusted payment methods such as credit card payments like Verified by Visa that require a supplementary one-time PIN, or mobile apps like Snapscan and PayPal.
Many retailers charge for delivery as well as returns. Consumers should always read the fine print to avoid incurring extra costs for returning purchases as it may end up costing more than it’s worth. Keep an eye out for hidden costs and be strategic when making additional purchases in order to qualify for free delivery.
Regardless of whether consumers are scouring mid-season sales for bargains, buying their children’s wardrobe for the next season, or just looking for the perfect gift, they should always do their homework, shop with reputable retailers with credible payment methods, and ensure they read delivery and returns policies to avoid unforeseen costs.
Comparison tools aggregate the best online bargains during mid-winter sales making finding stockists of specific products or brands a cinch, streamlining the shopping process for time-constrained, budget-conscious shoppers.
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