Get Your Online Shopping Under Control

I love it when readers send in stories to share on the mom blog.  The following story was sent in by Amanda Wall.  She wants to share with you how she got her online shopping under control.  Since the time to start our holiday shopping is right around the corner, I thought this may come in handy – enjoy!


How I Got My Online Shopping Under Control

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I get product research burn-out.  I start out pumped, thinking, “I’ll going to find the best yoga mat! I’m gonna read every possible review!  And then I’ll order it!  It’ll take 15 minutes tops!” An hour later, and I’m gritting my teeth as I open up yet another tab for another product, looking through conflicting reviews written by people I’ve never met, having no idea who to trust or what to buy. And then I give up and watch some Netflix, and a week later I think, “Oh yeah.  I need a yoga mat.”  At which point, I just end up buying the first result and hoping for the best.

Here was the thing: I was addicted to online shopping, but I wasn’t any good at it. I found research overwhelming, and I had a tendency to impulse-buy when I got frustrated.  Sometimes the products I bought were great, but a lot of the time they were a little to the left of what I actually needed.  (Exhibit A: Buying a 7 quart slow cooker for my 2 person household.  There’s only so much chili my husband and I can eat.)

I had to come up with a new solution. I put on my big girl pants, signed up for a free product review app and tried a new approach.  After several months of personal reform, I can say that this app totally changed my shopping habits.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

Organized and Centralized Shopping Is Simpler

I’m a sucker for lists, and when I can see everything I’m thinking of buying right there in one place, I’m much more strategic about what and how I buy.  For instance, I might realize that I can space out my purchases over the next few months so that my bank account doesn’t take as big a hit.  Or, I may be able to dial back my urge to impulse-buy when I see the trendy dress sitting right next to the functional bras that I actually need.


Getting Friends’ Advice Makes Me Feel Safe

I am way more likely to trust a friend’s advice than a stranger’s.  So I’ll often post products I’m thinking about to Facebook to see if anybody has it and what they think.  In return, I get great advice, and what’s more, I get advice that is specific to my life.  For example, I once posted some throw pillows I was considering to Facebook.  My mom commented, “Ha, those pillows look just like mine!”I realized that, yes, those throw pillows I picked out look exactly like the handmade ones on my mother’s sofa.  And for me, that cinched it. They were special.

Price Comparison Saves Money

Comparing prices and products is especially easy using Google Shopping or a shopping app like the one I used.  When I can clearly see how much the same item costs across different websites, I can get a better idea of how much of a deal I’m getting.  A 10% off code is great, unless another site is selling it for 15% off.  I love being able to know that I’m getting the best possible price.

Writing Helpful Reviews Energizes Me

I wrote up short reviews of some my absolute favorite gadgets, cleansers, electronics, and clothes.  An unexpected benefit of writing up reviews of products I already own was that it made me appreciate the things I already own.  I fell in love with some of my all-time favorites again. Somehow, it slakes my thirst for online shopping in a way that doesn’t cost me money. I like being able to give good advice to my friends and family and evangelize products that I really believe in.

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