Shopping Around in the Digital Age

We all love a bargain and, thanks to the internet, there’s usually always a host of deals to be had somewhere, all just the click of a mouse button away. What’s more, ease of browsing through search engines allows us to find multiple locations to buy exactly what we want, quicker than it’ll take you to read this article.

Focus on the Time of Year

Convenience and reputation often tend to attract the most custom, along with a vast range of diverse products, which is undoubtedly why the leading internet shopping sites in 2018 were Amazon, eBay and Walmart. However, just because they’re the biggest and most famous, offering a one-stop-shop for practically everything you could want, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re better than other online stores.

Any savvy shopper will always make a point of comparing prices between stores as a matter of principle and, sometimes, the bigger name stores can offer some of the best prices and discounts. However, price shouldn’t always be the deciding factor when buying something online, given there are lots of other factors one should perhaps consider when deciding what constitutes a good deal.

Image Source: @knowledge_18 via Twitter

One interesting approach is to plan for the year ahead, given that certain products can fluctuate greatly in price depending on the season or month of the year. We’re all familiar with Black Friday in November, although, it might not always be the best time for a good deal. For example, if you’re shopping for home decor and furnishings, big-box stores frequently offer some of their best deals around Memorial Day in May. Likewise, a good time to buy home appliances can be September and the week leading up to Labor Day, with many retailers offering great clearance deals.

Articles of clothing are also affected by the seasons, as brick-and-mortar stores and online retailers alike rotate their inventories. If you’re looking for a bikini for the summer holidays or some garden furniture, then you’ll usually pay more for them when demand is highest, from June through August. Buy them during the springtime with early deals or, even better, wait until autumn and think of the following year, when retailers want to clear their stock at knockdown prices.

Smarter Gambling

While it’s fair to say that online gambling might not be considered the most financially sustainable pastime, it’s a popular pursuit that many of us do still enjoy. Indeed, placing bets and playing casino games via the internet has become so popular that the global online market is expected to generate revenues in excess of $74 billion by 2023 according to marketwatch.com reports, with the online gambling industry growing consistently by around 10% year on year since 2017.

Along with traditional table games such as poker, blackjack and roulette, amongst the most popular are the slots games and they can be promoted in a variety of different ways. While some casinos offer deposit bonus deals, crediting new user accounts with a free cash bonus based upon the first amount they deposit, others offer free spins for their slots, without the need to place an initial deposit after signing up.

Image Source: @gBitcoincasino via via Twitter

Getting something for nothing may seem too good to be true but Oddschecker has compared and listed online casino deals, highlighting those with free spin no deposit offers, how they can be used and how such offers vary from casino to casino. For example, some of the free spins are limited to very small stakes, must be used in one particular slot game, or used by a certain date; although it is possible to play without spending a single cent.

Nevertheless, always read the terms and conditions carefully, so you know exactly what you’re signing up for. Shop around to find the best offer that suits the way you play and for the kind of games you enjoy playing, whether it’s free spins or cash bonus, when opening a new account. Likewise, never deposit more than you can afford and are willing to lose, because while the chance of winning is always enticing, and the games can be great fun, it’s always sensible to set yourself a limit and stick with it.

Digital vs Traditional Purchases

Remember when video games, computer software and movies came in a box? Well, the internet and faster-than-ever connection speeds have forever changed how we consume digital products. Back in the old days, we went to a retailer and got a physical product in a box, something we could hold in our hands, usually with a neatly printed and detailed instruction manual, and perhaps even some other gimmicks such as collectibles or accessories thrown in.

These days, few want DVD cases, software or game boxes cluttering up their homes, aside perhaps from the most ardent collectors. True, doing away with needless packaging removes the environmental footprint left by the plastic and paper waste. However, one would assume that might also mean a reduction in price given there’s no packaging required, though if you’ll forgive the pun, it isn’t always the case.

Image Source: @pcgamer via Twitter

Many movie, game and software prices have actually risen, instead of falling, with online retailers and publishers citing the increased cost of servers to host the library of their products, or bandwidth needed to meet the volume of download demands. The main convenience for the buyer is they can get what they want “on demand” pretty much instantly, downloading their product whenever they want, without the need to leave the comfort of their home and visit a traditional retail store.

Yet, many video games, software and movies can still be purchased at traditional retail stores, in boxes and on disc, cheaper than their digital download equivalent. That would appear to defy all logic but nonetheless, it’s still true for even some of the latest releases. For now, that is, because the future points towards more digital downloads, online streaming, and even software as a service, requiring a subscription rather than a one-off purchase. The option of buying boxed products cheaper is looking like it’ll head the way of the dinosaurs in the next few years, so grab your bargains while you can.

Whether it’s shopping around for physical products, making digital purchases or gambling online, shopping around is just as important as it was when we used to walk down Main Street, peering through store windows at the offers and sales. As ever, keep browsing and don’t plump for the first deal you see, as there could well be a better on just around the corner.

(Visited 41 times, 1 visits today)