How to ace the shopping season in the Philippines

    blog-how-to-shop-smart-carousell

    You mean it’s already October and we’re left with 3 months more to the end of the year? It’s hard to believe what an inconvenience COVID-19 has brought upon us. And because we’ve been cooped up for so long,  what better time than now to #treatyoself?

    9.9 to 12.12 mark our region’s golden period for online and e-commerce shopping–from great deals to mega discounts, how excited are you?! 

    But besides thinking of how best to stretch your money, it’ll be much easier to also shop with the peace of mind that you’re getting the item you’ve been eyeing safely.

    Here are 6 tips to look out for to not let your second thoughts dampen your shopping spirits!

    Tip 1: Make sure you’re getting the item you want

    Dislike salespeople in stores trailing you when you shop? The beauty of online shopping is that you don’t have to talk to them before making a decision and payment. A godsend for introverts, I know!

    However, not being able to touch and feel the actual product might come with its shortfalls. Just think of this guy who wanted to surprise his wife with a couple of (what he thought were) small Snorlax plushies, but…

    blog-snorlax

    Yup, you get what I mean.

    Here are some tips you might want to keep in mind when buying from these categories:

    blog-tips-buying-items

     

    Tip 2: Get the right advice when you shop

    Even after doing as much research as you can for an item, that urge to consult someone you trust before you check out is REAL. Does this really suit my needs? What’s the difference between this version and the newer version? Wait–do I really need this?

    Besides asking your friends for their opinions, retail shopping offers you the chance to ask the salesperson for some help. But when it comes to online shopping, who do you go to?

    Shopping forums, Viber groups, or chatting with the seller directly is your next best alternative! Dayre blogs are a great way to find the best products and deals for anything health and beauty related. There are also a bunch of Reddit threads and Facebook groups, where people talk about product reviews and the pros and cons of the item. A tip is to do as much prior research using these channels on your desired item as possible before you cart out!

    But your best bet in seeking a trusted second opinion is by chatting with the seller directly. The seller would know best the specifications, product features, and how to care for the item that they are selling. Just like salespersons when you shop retail, chatting with the seller is as good an option for shopping online! On Carousell, just tap on the “Chat” button on your desired listing to get started 😉 

     

    Tip 3: Support local as you shop

    Think living in the midst of a pandemic is bad? With tons of local cafes and eateries ceasing operations, I think we can safely conclude that living in a recession as a business owner is way worse 🙁 Heard of the news that your favorite drinking places in Poblacion, Makati are shutting down? 

    Local businesses, compared to huge conglomerates, care about the community and the people they serve. Now that we have shifted to staying home, there are now emerging brands of bottled cocktail drinks you can enjoy drinking from home. With this new-found knowledge of local businesses, we can serve to protect more of such stores. 

    Instead of buying from large corporations, try buying from your neighbors instead by filtering for location when you search for an item! Trust their opinion on their brand new or rarely used items. They’re just casual sellers like you and me, trying to clarify what they don’t need.

    You’ll also be showing that you care for the environment when you shop from them. Reduced packaging and carbon footprint when dealing with meeting up is an added bonus! 

     

    Tip 4: Shop sustainably

    Ever wondered how ‘fast’ fast fashion really is? To clue you in, 3 out of 10 Filipinos throw away clothing after only wearing it once. Possibly after an #OOTD photo?

    blog-filipinos-clothes-landfill

    Along with that, 85% of our clothes are disposed of in landfills. Due to its low manufacturing costs, fast fashion clothing is largely made of synthetic fibers which take up to 200 years to biodegrade. 

    Electronic waste is another huge contributor to landfills every year. We produce almost 50 million tons of electronic waste globally every year and only less than 15-20% gets recycled and goes straight to landfill. That’s about the weight of 2,000 Statues of Liberty! 

    If you’ve haven’t already heard it enough from your mom, we’re here to reiterate: Tama na ang gastos! Here’s a simple mind map to use to help you decide if you should buy anything:

    blog-infographic-decision

    Managed to get your answer? If you landed on “buy”, here are some further steps to take to reduce waste as you shop:

    • Buying secondhand clothing, electronics, or home appliances;
    • Repairing or refurbishing faulty or broken items; 
    • Recycling what can be recycled at your nearest recycling point!

     

    Tip 5: Keep an eye on your desired items

    Luggage, GoPros, and other travel knick-knacks are now a thing of the past. This year’s most popular items are definitely Xiaomi’s Robot Vacuum Cleaner and Nintendo Switch. And because their retail price can go up to PHP20,000 usually, sales are definitely the best time to get them!

    But before you jump into your cart, don’t get tricked into buying more than what you actually need! eCommerce sites tend to get you to buy more just so you can hit the minimum spend to get free shipping or a measly discount voucher. Why do that when you can get great deals all year round when you shop smart on Carousell?

    Whether they’re decluttering or regretting, people take to Carousell to list brand new or underutilized items they don’t need anymore. Mostly at a fraction of its retail price too, so you never have to worry about camping online for a deal release! A Xiaomi Robot Vacuum cleaner? A mint-condition one is going for PHP10,500 when its retail price is almost 1.5x times of that. 

    blog-xiaomi-vacuum-carousell

    The Nintendo Switch? The retail price is around PHP23,990, while a preloved set is going for PHP15,000 on Carousell, it’s even got some games included in the package already!

    blog-nintendo-switch-carousell

    Be sure to use the Saved Search function when you’ve got your eye on a certain product! This ensures that you’ll be informed about each new listing of the item you’re interested in. Similarly, follow sellers whose listings interest you–you’ll never know what great finds you can get! Take it from Aisa <@archivemanila> who decided to level up her cooking during the quarantine as she snagged a preloved rotisserie oven for PHP3,000 from Carousell instead of buying brand new online which would take 2 weeks to be delivered. Score!

     

    Tip 6: Sell your items away if they’re not what you expected

    If you’ve ever shopped online, you’d know that there’s a chance that the item wouldn’t be what you thought it would. Especially so if you didn’t have the time to do extensive research, such as reading reviews by other buyers.

    Other than being thoroughly disappointed, I used to pile up all my “regret buys” because I couldn’t bear to throw them away. I mean, they’re brand new after all

    Instead of letting them create a mess in your home, list your unfavorable online buys on Carousell instead. Just because they didn’t live up to your expectations, doesn’t mean it’ll be the same for someone else! 

    Also, don’t worry about not making a profit out of it. There’s a good chance that you can recoup up to 90% of your “losses” from these regret buys when you manage to sell them. Selling them to someone who’ll get more value out of it is much better than having it take up useful space at home. And hey, this makes space for more shopping too 😉

    Haven’t listed secondhand items or need to know how to get the most out of it? Read this for a complete guide to selling your preloved items on Carousell.

    Above all, don’t forget to protect yourself from unnecessary spending and unsafe payment methods! If possible, always deal face-to-face through cash on delivery or ensure you’re paying through a secure platform. Make sure to do a background check on the seller by visiting his/her profile and read through his/her reviews. You can definitely gauge the legitimacy of the seller especially if his/her profile has 4-5 star reviews! 

    Happy shopping! 

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