June 12, 2018
Any shopper would love to secure a good deal, especially during holidays. Why not do it from the comfort of your home or office, and save yourself a lot of bother?
Only about 24% of South Africans have considered spending online for those holiday deals.1,2 They don’t want to be bothered about large crowds, using all that petrol in thick traffic, having to battle for a parking spot, and standing in long queues which seem to take forever.
What makes online shopping so powerful is that you can access several shops and even holiday resorts from the comfort of your home and secure the great deals quite easily. Items that require delivery to your home may require you to confirm the delivery times, especially if it is over the holiday or festive season and ordinary trading hours may change. You may want to make use of any windows of opportunity for when delivery fees are discounted. 1,3
It is so easy to be tempted by amazing deals but as great as they may be, borrowing money to secure them may defeat the whole object of purchasing online. When you use your credit card, you may lose out in the long run because that “special deal” may have you paying interest.3
Provided you go onto a secure website (look out for that ‘padlock’ sign) which protects you from cybercriminals, online shopping is considerably safer than milling with the crowds in huge shopping malls. In shopping malls you may possibly be a target for pickpocket thieves or fraudsters. In a busy shopping mall, you have to watch your handbag, your wallet, and the way they swipe your credit card. 3
All the way from South Africa, you can still capitalise on going online (for example deals during Black Friday in the USA) and use the advantages that are being offered to your American counterparts, if it works for you. You would maybe use a service such as PayPal for this. 1 Just make sure that you know about the type of delivery service being offered from the US to South Africa and what charges and complications you may encounter. PayPal’s Buyer Protection protects you from the undesirable situation where the item you paid for has either not arrived, or when it does, you discover that you never wanted that particular item in the first place.
Even though flying to Cairo is not everyone’s favourite destination, Egypt Air certainly provides cheap flights.4Certain credit cards or membership cards offer frequent flyer programmes or other loyalty benefits that you can take advantage of. Sometimes, flights on Friday the 13th will be cheaper, as well as on 25 and 31 December. 4
Unless an airline offers a special deal that is dependent on you taking the return flight as well, you might find that making online bookings by separating the outbound flight from the return flight on domestic flights works out cheaper. It is worth comparing all options before you purchase your tickets. International flights this might prove more costly. 4
It will be to your advantage if you are flexible on your departure and arrival dates. For instance, Saturday afternoon domestic flights are usually cheaper. If you wish to pay less for flying overseas, depart from South Africa between Sunday to Thursday, and return between Tuesday to Thursday. 4 Airlines tend to show fares on either side of your dates if you look for it and you might notice where you can pick up a more affordable ticket.
Follow the following guidelines to secure some good online shopping deals.
You need to do some homework to ensure that the online shop you intend to buy from passes the test. This is especially in the case of less well-known retailers. Look out for any reviews and customer ratings, and carefully examine the online shop’s shipment policy and fees as well as their return policy. When making payments, ensure you are connecting with a secure website, which is indicated by the padlock sign, or by an address starting with https. Don’t use a wifi network, as it might not be secure. Any items for sale at ridiculously low prices must raise your suspicions – they could be pirated items or just too good to be true.5
Before for instance Black Friday or Christmas, the sooner you start to scan the media platforms for good deals the better. Regularly look at websites of your best online shops to see what deals pop up, and request that you be sent email alerts of their sales. 5
Do not buy two items and have them shipped to you, followed by another three items later, as it increases shipping costs. Rather buy all five items together, and receive them as one shipment. 5
When purchasing from overseas, you may forget about the additional costs such as import and customs duties. VAT will be the first additional cost you will have to pay. However, customs duty on especially clothing can be as high as 45%. Make sure to check this out before you just click purchase.5
Just as you managed to get those online holiday deals so effectively, it is also as easy to buy car insurance online with PMD which can be a completely online experience. It has many benefits, such as being quick and easy to use, at a time most convenient for you. You can specify your policy to fit your needs. You won’t have to talk to anyone, but will have access to audio and video materials. Should you really get stuck, you can resort to the call-back facility.