The perils of online shopping

I have been shopping online for the longest since. Amazon, ebay, taobao, gmarket, Redmart, you name it. I have shopped on both international sites as well as local sites. International sites simply because I could only get those products on those sites, and they are not available locally. Local sites mainly for grocery shopping, and others.

It is not difficult to shop online. In fact, with just a click, you could easily load items into your cart. And before you might realise, within 10 minutes, you have loaded your cart full of items. However, as you do not load it in a physical basket or trolley, you probably won’t be able to tell how much you have actually added.

And when you decided to view your cart at this point in time, you might be surprised how much you have already added in. But the question is, have you really added in the important stuff yet? Or are you just randomly adding stuff in because the picture of that hershey’s just seemed to hard to resist and it’s on promotional offer!

Also, one of the conditions required for many of these online shopping sites, is that you have to hit a minimum order before they offer free delivery. Of course, who will want to pay for that extra delivery charge? As such, more often than not, I’ll try to fill up the cart so that it hits the minimum amount, never mind that those other added on items are probably “not needed”, but it does the job of adding up to the amount.

With all that, how do we shop online avoiding buying in excess?

How are a few tips:

  1. Create a list – write down what you need, or what you need to get and focus on these items first when you start shopping. This will help to avoid buying items that are not necessary.
  2. Provide a timeframe – we can sit in front of the machine and start adding in and clicking in items easily. Give yourself a timeframe when you do your online shopping and try not to exceed them. It will also help you to narrow down and focus on the items that you need first without browsing through other unnecessary items.
  3. Budget – Just like your normal grocery shopping, set yourself a budget, for some the budget is the minimum order delivery.
  4. Other add-ons – What if you do not meet the minimum sum for delivery? You could add on other items but this is the tricky part. What items should we add on? For grocery shopping, it is fairly straightforward, you could add on other discounted items with longer shelf life. For instance, if a can of pasta sauce is on discount and granted that you might already have 2 cans at home, you could still purchase this, since it has a longer shelf life and discounted, it will offer you some savings. However, other items might not be as straight forward and you might end up getting things that you don’t really need. If so, you might be better off paying for that delivery fee rather than spending a whole load more for items that are not required. Weigh the difference between the 2, and the answer will be quite obvious to you.

How do you shop online? Will love to hear your experience as well.

6 thoughts on “The perils of online shopping

  1. I think the worst thing about shopping online is that they then have your email address to fill your inbox with temptation you don’t need! I am always up subscribing to these. Spending enough to get free or reduced shipping charges is something I have to be careful of, so is browsing (all those things you never knew yo “needed” until now) I like your time limit suggestion.
    I’ve found doing my groccery shopping online has helped me with over-buying -

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes, totally agree. As and when there are promotions or discounts, they will flood your mailbox with the offers. I have unsubscribed to some of them but definitely there’s more to be done.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have mostly stopped because as you mentioned in your post it was amazing how quickly the cart filled up. I also sometimes do it over two days, so I will select what I want one day then come back the next day and go over it again. It has stopped the impulse buys which creating a list would also prevent.

    Liked by 1 person

    • For me, it’s the opposite. I started shopping online more since I have a kid because it’s just so much more convenient and the delivery comes right to the doorstep. With a kid, shopping outside can be a pain sometimes, plus carrying bags of your shopping while carrying a kid can also be a nightmare. I have since resorted to online shopping to kind of “ease” this and I think for me right now, the convenience just beats everything else!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes, it’s definitely comfortable to do it at home. A few clicks and you are done. And they will be delivered to you at the selected timeslots. I have buy almost everything oneline, from milk formula, diapers, makeup, groceries, gifts, clothing, etc.


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