We all know everyone is busy making a long list for Diwali shopping and it has become a practice to look for offers, discounts in the newspaper to be the early bird! Some tips to help you to be economical and quick in shopping...
Make a list of things you want to buy and mark them with /without an exchange offer and the budget you would like to allocate against each item, also whether you would like to opt for the easy instalments. Let the list have things for your family separate and for other family members.
Make a primary list out of the main list and decide on the day and time. It’s better to take a day off from your work and avoid going on a weekend or a holiday. Prioritise your needs, do not deviate. The best time to go for shopping is between 11 am to 4 pm. Carry some water and biscuits with you. Avoid taking children unnecessarily, take them only if the purchase is related to them like dresses, footwear etc. Half your time would go in managing them. Do not go in an empty stomach it would pull you down and your time.
Before stepping out make a resolution that you are not going to deviate from the list, never fall a prey to the temptations of the sales men / offers etc.
Chalk out your route with the shops. Malls as per your choice, you may hop from one shop to other keeping the reasonable price, quality, your budget and your time in mind. Do not entertain any calls while shopping to avoid confusion, delay and loss of money while purchasing. Look carefully for the buttons, designs, patterns, seconds /damages, scratches and dents etc on the goods.
Wear casual dress which would make you look decent and smart .The unmanageable crowd would make you sweat and spoil your mood with frequent power cuts and the noise from the generator. Going in a cheerful mood is essential for shopping otherwise it would be an irreparable disaster.
For the heavy purchases like washing machine, fridge, TV etc start the survey thro friends, shops and internet to know the best deal and do not feel embarrassed to ask your doubts with the sales managers. After all at the end of the day it’s your hard earned money. Get the details regarding the warranty, guaranty and collect the Warranty card duly signed and sealed.
If there are any side offers for the big buys, look for the market price and just because it’s an attached offer do not go for it unless you feel the need for it, you can always go without the extra iron box, mixie, grinder, toaster etc.
Calculate carefully if you are opting for the instalment payments the number of instalments and the amount you need to shell out every month.
I am an eyewitness to a famous brand washing machine tumbling down from the tempo. It fell on the road from the tempo while ignoring the bump and the driver realised it after the vehicle moved some 100 feet. All I can do was to pity the buyer!
Make a note of the sales man, manager who dealt with you in the bargain and keep in touch with them in future if you encounter any problem.
Do not listen to the sales people in the shop, go by your instinct .Their job is to somehow make you buy, so be careful. Handle them casually and humorously and never be rude, Chances of them dumping the damaged products are more! They may try to please you by saying, ‘’this suits you well, you look like so ....and so’’. Use the trial room for the perfect fitting dresses, avail the opportunity rather than give in to your laziness. Find out the exchange policy of the items you purchase.
Do not buy things or dresses that you already have and have hardly used to avoid duplicating. Go for necessity rather than the offers available, there is no hard and fast rule that you have to buy to impress others. Buy for your family members’ need. Since you are paying for your kids go for their taste with your budget and the quality and the market value in mind.
If you do not have time to think of any buy, delay it and never buy in a hurry to repent later in leisure. Mentally calculate the amount you need to shell out by cash/ card or coupons to avoid unnecessary hassles in the counter, you are not the only one at the counter. If you feel running short of funds, decide on the things you can purchase later for example if you have selected more than one set of dresses for a single person.
If you are using your cards be careful it reaches you soon after swiping as there are many frauds doing the rounds regarding the credit and debit cards at the billing counters. Do not fail to collect your card and also just do not put them in your wallet, check whether it is your card.
Finally ,when you come near the counter, count the cash physically and then hand over at the billing counter. When they bill your items, check whether they are billing your purchases and before leaving the counter check your things with your bill/s.
If you feel you have time and money to go for additional purchase do not do immediately, relax and try the next day. The mere pleasure of having excess money in hand would tempt you to become lavish in your purchase, reasoning will take a backseat!
Preserve the bills and note down the invoice number, bill number, model, brand, serial number and the mode of payment in your diary along with the salesman, delivery man etc ., for your future use. The funny income tax people would only harass common, middle class people like us!