Let's face it, most of my shopping is done online. And I'm betting it's the same for you, too.

Priscilla Tan  |  Singapore
Published 2016-04-22 10:50:56

I’m low maintenance. I’m frugal and only buy things I need.

Wow, I can’t even lie with a straight face while writing this. You should see my expression — it sold me out. You got me, it could not be further from the truth.

Like you and every other millennial who thrives on technology and social media, I love shopping — especially, online shopping. My heart flutters whenever I spot an under-hyped book (or an oversized denim jacket) on the internet, and most of the time, I let my shopaholic monster get the best of me.

I add it into my e-cart without a second thought, and often regret it when the price gets cut during the Christmas shopping season. Dumb.

Be Smart About Shopping

shopping in singapore
Image credit: Visual Hunt

Which is why I’ve taken a leaf out of Lifehacker’s book: the 30-day rule. The gist is that whenever I want to buy something, I make myself turn away and walk out the store. I take note of the item in my smartphone and wait for 30 days. By the end of the month, if the itch is still there, I buy it.

More often than not, it works, because by then, I’m no longer interested in the item. (I’m also still intimidated by the exorbitant price.)

But what happens when the itch is still there? Easy, I turn to online shopping stores.

Online Shopping, Better Than Offline Shopping?

shopping in singapore
Image credit: Visual Hunt

One time, I was dead set on mastering the ukulele after watching Sungha Jung belting it out on YouTube. Instead of rushing down to the music store in the nearest shopping mall, I went to an online store called Go Buy Lah and bought an ukulele that cost me less than $20.

Granted, it was unwise of me to buy a musical instrument online, but given that I lose interest easily, I figured it was a safe decision on my part. And it still is, because after a year, the ukulele is in a superb condition. (And yes, I still stink at playing it.)

I get my reading fix at Better World Books, an online bookshop that donates a percentage of its profits to literacy programmes; and BooksActually, a local independent bookseller that has both an online and offline store.

I’m much more familiar with navigating the website than traipsing around the physical shop.

shopping in singapore
Image credit: silverfox09 via Visual hunt / CC BY

Fashion-wise, I tend to lean towards pre-order shopping websites like RACKSPACEPROJECT. I buy CDs on Fishpond and record label websites, despite the frustration I have with the delivery guy who never fails to botch up the CD covers every single time. There’s also a great cashback site called Shopback which gives cash back on all of your online purchases, but that only extends to the merchants who signed up with them.

But don’t get me wrong. That’s not to say that I’ve completely given up on in-store shopping. When it comes to shoes, toiletries, groceries, personal care products, and food, I still prefer to buy them at brick and mortar (B&M) stores.

I know it’s important to support these stores; I’ve read enough blog posts and newspapers articles to understand the problem of shoppers staying away from these traditional retailers. But two dilemmas still remain: how can they compete with the great bargains online? And what’s a shopper to do with a tiny budget?

I don’t have any solution. So I’ll stick to what I know best for now: clicking the ‘Checkout’ button.

Where do you do your shopping nowadays?

Featured image credit: Unsplash

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