When shopping while you are out of town, it’s always a good idea to make sure that you shop smart. After all, you might end up spending a lot of money on things that you never intended to buy. Moreover, return policies come with stringent rules—and this shows why you should be extra cautious if you are shopping when you are out of town.
Things like impulse buying, making spontaneous decisions, and the need to bring home as many mementos as you can risk spiraling your shopping bills. When shopping while out of town, you will realize that there is endless merchandise for you to purchase—but you cannot buy almost every other thing.
So, the secret to a good shopping experience is to know where to shop, how, and when to do your shopping. In addition to this, you will also need to understand a few tips that will keep your shopping bill under control. With that said, let’s look at the ultimate shopping tips when you are out of town.
Carry several credit cards without foreign transaction fees
Before traveling out of town, ensure that you get several credit cards—these cards should be from different companies that don’t charge foreign transaction fees. Failing to do that can cost you a fee of at least 3%.
So, why do you need these cards? The answer is very simple—in case one gets lost or stolen, you have a backup plan. You might also realize that the store where you shop doesn’t accept one type of credit card. It’s always good to have options when shopping out of town—and having credit cards will give you such options.
When getting a credit card, go for one that will give you maximum points. When you get such a card, ensure that you fully capitalize on the points.
Never use your debit card
One thing with debit cards is that they aren’t secured as credit cards are. In case your credit card is stolen or lost, you can incur a fee of only $50. However, you will not incur any expense if you notify the credit card company immediately.
Moreover, with credit cards, you have a maximum of 60 days to dispute any charges made. And, if the merchant goes out of business, you can get a reimbursement of your purchase if you didn’t receive it. You cannot get such benefits with a debit card.
Always use the local currency
When shopping out of town, you might realize that some stores ask customers to pay in foreign currency, instead of the local currency. Well, paying in a foreign currency might seem more convenient since you don’t have to go through the hustle of exchanging the currency. However, this isn’t true at all!
In case you didn’t know, this is a complete rip-off. The exchange fees in these stores are higher than what your bank charges. Therefore, always remember to pay in the local currency, regardless of the circumstances.
Set some time aside to explore
As a rule of thumb, you will only find the best merchandise when you have enough time to search for it. At times, most people set a time limit to search for a certain product. However, this doesn’t work in their favor. Eventually, they end up buying something that doesn’t excite them.
However, when you get to shop without any pressure, you are more likely to find something that you like. Therefore, it’s always a good thing to make sure that you take your time, and walk from store to store and make price comparisons. Who knows, you might end up buying a product at a cheaper price than if you had bought it at the first instance.
Yes, there is a possibility that you like traveling on your own. However, never turn down the opportunity to make friends when traveling. These friends come in handy when shopping. In case you get a friend who knows their way around the foreign city or who lives there, you will get the best recommendations.
If you are shopping at an outlet store, such as designer outlet Via Jurmala, asking someone who’s familiar with the store to accompany you will make things easier for you. If you’re new to that city, consider consulting a barista at the corner coffee shop—these people know which neighborhoods you can get the best deals.
Create space in your traveling bag or suitcase
Most people are tempted to pack almost all the clothes in their wardrobe when traveling out of town. However, this is not a good idea. There’s one thing these people forget—they are bound to shop when traveling, and they will need space for these products.
Therefore, always leave some space in your suitcase to avoid unnecessary inconveniences. The last thing that you want to do is to leave some of your valuable items behind because you lack space. Also, this can cause some additional charges on your travel costs if you consider getting an extra suitcase to pack your new clothes.
Avoid buying for the fun of it!
This might seem so obvious—however, most people tend to buy things for the sake of spending when traveling out of town. Buying things out of town can be therapeutic for others. However, always make sure that you ask yourself whether you need that item before purchasing it.
Don’t restrict yourself
Unless you don’t like spending money when shopping out of town, it’s always a good thing to open your wardrobe and see an item that reminds you of your previous trip. You don’t need to buy lots of shirts or tops on your trip—these are things that you can do in your daily shopping. However, if you find a vintage blazer or beret go for it. You don’t know if you will find it at any other place.
Understand that prices do differ from store to store
This is a common thing with major supermarkets. Mostly, you will realize that the prices do differ from one branch to another because of various factors. Therefore, it’s advisable that you take your time, and go from one branch to another to make a comparison of the price of commodities.
Keep your receipts
Always retain your shopping receipts if you spend a considerable amount of money when shopping out of town. Receipts are important, as they will help you claim refunds in case the products that you bought turn out to be defective. Therefore, never leave the store without a receipt for the products that you’ve bought. Moreover, you need to be wary of retailers who don’t want to issue a receipt after making your purchase. Such traders might be selling defective products, and also can make it hard for you to claim a refund since you don’t have proof of purchase.
Double-check the prices
This is important, and it will help you avoid paying more for a product that you would have bought at a cheaper price. Therefore, if you find something that captures your eye, just check the price tag, and then do a quick internet search to check the price of similar items in other stores. Doing this will prevent you from getting scammed. Today, most shopping malls have free Wi-Fi, and you should capitalize on this to do your research. Remember, you are not in a rush, therefore take your time to confirm whether you are getting good value for your money.