No matter if times are difficult, malls are never empty since people here always find a reason to do some retail therapy. Evidently, Pinoys enjoy spending because they appreciate life, so they try to enjoy it to the fullest.
It is important to point out, however, that while Filipinos like buying things, they are always on the lookout for great deals. Filipinos are generally intelligent consumers who desire more value for their money, which is why many enjoy haggling, waiting for promos, or going to midnight sales.
If you are one of the millions of Pinoys with a similar consumer behavior, you may want to consider the following shopping hacks that will help you get the items you want while saving precious money at the same time.
Use a Credit Card That Offers Great Benefits
Do not just use any credit card when shopping, but use one that works to your advantage. Look for features that will make your shopping experience more enjoyable and less financially burdensome.
For instance, the Robinsons Bank DOS Mastercard offers a “2-Gives” benefit wherein your purchases will be automatically converted to a two-month installment plan.. Such a feature can benefit you greatly since it will break up the purchase into two payments over a period of two months without you having to pay added interest. Think about how financially convenient it is, especially if you purchase big-ticket items like furniture, gadgets, or household appliances.
Other outstanding credit card features to look for when choosing payment cards include sign-up bonuses, low interest rates, and cashback benefits. These will help you save or even earn money as you spend. You can also use credit cards that let you earn reward points that you can use to redeem various items, such as gift certificates, cash rebates, or free car fuel.
Consider Buying Second-Hand Items
Thanks to local celebrities who proudly post pictures of their OOTDs straight from ukay-ukay shops on their social media accounts, buying second-hand items, particularly clothes, is no longer considered tacky. Nobody will look down on you for wearing something from a thrift shop, so it is time to reserve your department store shopping for special occasions and go thrift shopping more often instead.
Buying used or pre-loved goods will allow you to enjoy high-quality, durable, and even branded products at incredibly low prices. Filipino fashion icon Heart Evangelista was even once featured in a magazine sporting a gorgeous red ukay top worth 20 pesos. Imagine that!
You can update your wardrobe and accessories without going broke. You can even find rare collectible items and hard-to-find books in second-hand shops if you know where to look. Search the web for suggestions or follow influencers on social media for ideas.
Take Advantage of Clearance Sales
Stores normally display new items on prominent shelves for six to eight weeks. After this time, unsold goods will be moved somewhere else and marked down so that the store can dispose of them faster. As such, you may want to avoid the new displays (higher-priced items) and look at clearance bins so you get a lot more bang for your buck.
Remember that goods on sale are basically of the same quality as the newer products on display. They are just a bit older. Why would you pay a full price for newly displayed jeans when you can buy a two-month-old pair at 30% off?
Make Use of Altering Stations
Perhaps you are going through piles of clothes on sale and the items you want are only available in sizes that are too big for you. Don’t walk away. Buy them, especially if they are offered at half-price off or more, and walk to the nearest altering stations—all malls have them.
You can even visit your favorite sastre or modista to repair the clothes so that they will fit you. When you learn the value of tailoring and the beauty of reshaping and resizing, you will have more choices of affordable clothes. Every plus-size sale will turn into a golden opportunity for clothes shopping.
Explore Bazaars and Flea Markets
Another way to satisfy the shopaholic in you without spending too much is to explore bazaars and flea markets (locally known as tiangge), especially during the holidays. You can check out annual celebrity bazaars if you are interested in buying pre-loved items of your favorite actors or actresses.
Some celebrities with a passion for cooking and crafts even sell their products at these events, which means you get to try out affordable baked goods and own accessories that you cannot purchase anywhere else. Another great thing about bazaars organized by famous people is that part of the events’ proceeds is usually given to charity. Essentially, you are helping other people as you shop. How cool is that?
Aside from charity bazaars, you can also check out flea markets organized by your local government. These shopping events usually showcase native products offered at factory prices. At the end of the day, you get value for money, learn a bit more about the culture and heritage of products’ places of origin, and even help local Filipino businesses.
Watch Out for Garage Sales
If you are planning to buy art pieces, bicycles, exercise equipment, tools, baby gear, or large furniture, skip the mall and drive around your neighborhood to look for garage sales. Think about it. Why buy a new wall art décor for thousands of pesos when you can buy a not-so-new, but interesting painting that cost a lot less?
Garage sales are full of delightful surprises, especially if the seller is moving and is wanting to get rid of many of their things. You just need to be patient and use time-honored strategies to score everything you want at much cheaper prices. For example, you can strike up a friendly conversation with the seller so it is easier for you to haggle. You can also collect multiple items and negotiate for a “bulk price.”
Download Online Shopping Apps
Online shopping is the next best thing to quench your thirst for new finds, especially if you are too busy to go to the mall. Online stores are open 24/7 and you can pretty much buy anything you want in the comfort of your home.
A simple tip you can follow for a more satisfying online shopping experience is using shopping apps instead of websites. Shopping platforms like Lazada, Zalora, Shopee, and Sephora PH give access to exclusive offers, promo codes, discounts, and vouchers that you can only get by downloading their respective mobile apps. These apps also offer promotions that are updated daily, so you have more opportunities to save more money.
Another incredible thing about shopping using a smartphone app is that you get notified of upcoming major sales and campaigns, where the shopping platform features products from top stores and offers huge discounts and privileges that you cannot experience on ordinary days. Do not miss money-saving promos like free shipping, buy 1 take 1, and discounts of up to 90% by pressing the notification button of your favorite online shopping apps.
Look for Vouchers or Coupons
Before buying anything online, you should try looking for vouchers and coupons that offer perks—free shipping, 10% off, PHP20 off, and similar benefits that can help you save even more money. Imagine how much savings you can accumulate if you order high-value items or shop regularly for essentials. At the end of the day, every single peso you save counts.
Get your first voucher by downloading an online shopping app. Shopping applications usually welcome new account holders with a voucher that can significantly reduce the price of your first purchase. You can also redeem the latest coupons, vouchers, and promo codes by visiting the Rappler Coupons page or by following celebrities and bloggers on various social media platforms as they often offer discount vouchers and exclusive deals for the brands they promote.
Add the Items You Want on Your Online Shopping Cart
Perhaps there is an item you want to buy online, but it comes with a hefty price tag that you cannot afford. What should you do? First, stay on the page. Second, tap the “Add to Cart” button. Lastly, close your browser and wait.
Note that every time you add something to your online cart and leave without completing the transaction, the system alerts the seller. You become a target of the brand’s remarketing campaign. Keep in mind that the end goal of many online shops is to convert visitors to consumers, so they will do all they can to encourage you to complete your purchase.
Check your email after a few days because you mighty receive promo codes, coupons, or discount offers related to the item in your abandoned cart. When this happens, you now have the chance to buy your desired item at a much lower price.
Download a Cashback App
Convert a portion of your spending into cash or rewards that you can use by downloading and using cashback apps when shopping online. Shop from any of the online partner stores of the cashback app and you will receive a percentage of your total spending.
Essentially, you will be earning while shopping. Isn’t that incredible? Some of the best cashback apps in the Philippines include Shopback, Eatigo, Metrodeal, Honestbee, and Agoda.
Shopping is one of life’s simple joys, but it comes at a cost—literally. Fortunately, you can continue enjoying this guilty pleasure without breaking the bank by considering the clever tips discussed above.