With the Black Friday and Cyber Monday online sales just around the corner, it’s time to make your bargain-hunting game plan so you don’t overload your digital cart or blow your holiday budget way too soon. Here are four handy strategies for navigating the online sales so you check out with what you want – and none of the shiny distractions.
1. Make a budget
All online-sales champions start with a financial plan of attack. They know that the convenience of shopping on the internet makes us more prone to impulse buys because we unconsciously feel less guilty about parting with digital money. If a wallet isn’t physically pulled out to hand over notes and coins, does a transaction even take place?
Avoid the splurges and regret-it-laters by setting yourself up with clear limits before you log on. Decide on the amount of money you’re willing to spend on the sales, or on any particular item, and choose whether it’s a no-nonsense hard limit or there’s any wriggle room. Then make that amount visible in some way – maybe write it on a sticky note that you post to the corner of your computer screen. Letting your eyes see a limit will help your head think twice before your heart stocks up your cart.
That said, a budget is an estimation. And the joy of the internet being on sale is that you never know what you’re going to find. So if the price of those jeans you’ve had your eye on for months is unexpectedly slashed in half, go ahead – just make sure you move things around in your budget (or are willing to let something else go) so you can stay on track.
2. List your needs, wants and desires
A key to online-sales success is knowing what you’re clicking for. Make a shopping list and label each item as a thing you need (because it serves a basic purpose), a thing you want (because it’ll make your life a bit better) or a thing you desire (because you crave it). This way you know what takes priority in your budget.
Say you have a few family birthdays coming up. You’ll probably want to put these presents in the ‘need’ column. But that fancy shirt that looks amazing on the model in the picture? It might not fit you the same way, so consider categorising it – and any unfamiliar or less predictable fashion – as a want. Once you’re finished buying up the things you’ve decided you need, you can revisit the shirt and choose whether there’s room in your budget to move it from ‘wishlist’ to ‘cart’. Another pro tip: check a store’s returns policy before you check out so you know you’ll be able to send the item back if it’s just not right.
3. Compare prices, including in-store
Before you check out, check around. See if the thing you’re buying is more affordable elsewhere – including, if you can, in real life.
If you’re on a third-party retailer’s site, check other third-party retailers who might sell the same thing, or browse the website of the item’s brand or label just to check that the sale price is actually a good bargain. A lot of comparison services also provide decent overviews of your options. Google Shopping, for example, lets you compare the same item from different online and physical retailers in a way that’s as simple as googling the product, filtering any options, and checking out the clear thumbnails and prices. The ShopSavvy app lets you scan a barcode into your smartphone and view the same item across different retailers.
4. Be alert for hidden fees
Ah, the sting of clicking through to checkout only to find that your total has jumped up because of taxes you didn’t see coming. Or realising that shipping to your neck of the woods will cancel out the sale savings. Or checking your bank balance days after the online sale and noticing you’ve been charged a fee for buying from an overseas merchant.
The thing is, you don’t need to just accept those hidden bank fees. If you’re an eligible Orange One or Orange Everyday customer, you can shop with any online retailer and we’ll rebate the ING International Transaction fees. All you need to do is deposit your pay of $1,000 or more into your Orange Everyday account each month as well as make 5+ settled (not pending) card purchases. (A cash advance fee applies for any cash advance with Orange One.)
During your spree, keep an eye on the site’s currency. This will help you calculate the conversion when you get to checkout. And before you add anything to your cart, find out about the site’s shipping and return policies, and whether any special shipping prices apply during the sale. You might even want to revisit your budget and factor in the cost of getting your parcels posted – or think about joining carts with a friend and splitting the cost.
Rebate Offers for Orange Everyday, Orange One and Orange One Platinum Customers
Where you satisfy the eligibility requirements* in the current calendar month, ING will rebate the following under the Global ATM Rebate and the ING International Transaction Fee Rebate Offers in the following calendar month:
Global ATM Rebate:
- for ATMs in Australia – any ATM fee charged by the ATM operator is rebated immediately following the transaction,
- for ATMs outside Australia – ING will rebate the International ATM withdrawal fee of $2.50 immediately after it is charged and rebate any ATM fee charged by the ATM operator at settlement of the transaction. While the transaction is pending the amount of the acquirer fee will be deducted from your available balance and will be reinstated after the transaction is finalised. ATM transactions outside Australia can take up to 5 business days to finalise.
ING International Transaction Fee Rebate:
- for ING International Transaction Fees – ING will rebate the ING International Transaction Fee of 2.5% of the amount of the international transaction immediately after it is charged. Merchants may charge you a separate fee for their services (which is not rebated under this offer).
*Eligibility requirements to receive the Global ATM Rebate and ING International Transaction Fee Rebate Offers – You must perform the following during the current calendar month to receive benefit of the above rebates next calendar month:
- deposit at least $1,000 from an external bank account to any personal ING account in your name (excluding Living Super and Orange One), and
- also make at least 5 card purchases^ that are settled+ (and not at a ‘pending status’) using your ING debit or credit card (excluding ATM withdrawals, balance enquiries, cash advances and EFTPOS cash out only transactions).
^Card purchases includes in store credit or EFTPOS purchases, online purchases, regular card payments, payWave, Apple Pay, and Google Pay transactions made with an Orange Everyday Visa card, Orange One or Orange One Platinum Visa card or Nil Interest Visa card provided with an eligible ING home loan.
+When using the phrase ‘settled‘ card purchases in a calendar month, we mean that the purchases made on your card must be fully processed by the end of the last day of that month. Card purchases made in store or online this current calendar month which are at a ‘pending status’ and do not settle until the next calendar month do not count towards the 5 card purchases needed this current calendar month.
When determining if you are eligible under the offer, we also take into account the behaviour of any of your joint account holders or additional cardholders.
Where eligibility is satisfied, the offer will apply to:
- all Orange Everyday accounts held in your name (either single or joint account), and
- all Orange One and Orange One Platinum accounts held in your name (including in respect of any additional cardholder).
The ING cash advance fee for Orange One and Orange One Platinum customers is not rebated under this offer.
This offer may be changed or withdrawn at any time at ING’s sole discretion.
The information is current as at publication. Any advice on this website does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs and you should consider whether it is appropriate for you. Deposit products, savings products, credit card and home loan products are issued by ING, a business name of ING Bank (Australia) Limited ABN 24 000 893 292, AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 229823. ING Living Super (which is part of the ING Superannuation Fund ABN 13 355 603 448) is issued by Diversa Trustees Limited ABN 49 006 421 638, AFSL 235153 RSE L0000635. The insurance cover offered by ING Living Super is provided by Metlife Insurance Limited ABN 75 004 274 882, AFSL 238096. ING Insurance is issued by Auto & General Insurance Company Limited (AGIC) ABN 42 111 586 353 AFSL Licence No 285571 as insurer. It is distributed by Auto & General Services Pty Ltd (AGS) ABN 61 003 617 909 AFSL 241411 and by ING as an Authorised Representative AR 1247634 of AGS. All applications for credit are subject to ING's credit approval criteria, and fees and charges apply. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement, Terms and Conditions, Fees and Limits Schedule, Financial Services Guide, Key Facts Sheet and Credit Guide available at ing.com.au when deciding whether to acquire, or to continue to hold, a product. Before interacting with us via our social media platforms, please take a minute to familiarise yourself with our Social Media User Terms https://www.ing.com.au/pdf/Social_Media_User_Terms.pdf.