09 July 2020
SMART SHOPPING: 8 money-saving tips for the new age shopper

There are some people who only shop out of necessity. And then there are others who derive immense joy from buying the most random things. Whether you’re a bargain hunter, impulse buyer or practical shopper, there’s no denying that shopping in this day and age has been made sooo much more convenient thanks to the internet. That is why it’s all the more important to adopt good shopping habits to stop you from spending more than you should. Read on for money-saving tips and find out how you can shop smart both online and off!

It’s not thaaat hard to memorise those 16 magic digits.

Keep your personal details to yourself.

If you have the memory span of a goldfish, or if numbers just make you nervous, chances are you’ve probably saved your login or credit card details on several websites.

Well, it has probably made online shopping way more convenient hasn’t it? Groceries? Click and done! Phone bills? Click and paid! $120 designer dustbin with an obscure Swedish sounding name? Click and ordered! Wait, what just happened?

You see, just like the anti-drug campaigns of old and Pringles commercials have taught us: Once you start, you can’t stop. The easier it is to check out your ever-growing cart online, the more likely you’ll find yourself spending money on things you may not necessarily need. What’s more, having your login details saved makes you an easy target for hackers and the like too.


Know that the price isn’t always right.

So you’re looking for a new phone. What’s your game plan? Do you go straight to the official manufacturer’s shop or your favourite neighbourhood tech shop? Or maybe you’d rather skip the queues and just get it online instead?

You don’t have to dig too far into the money-saving tips jar before you come across this nugget of wisdom: Always look out for the best prices on more than one platform, whether online or off. And if anyone mockingly calls you an ‘aunty’, well they won’t be laughing once they find out how much you’ve saved! In some cases, searching several places could save you a hefty amount of cash. After all, no one likes paying more for something they can get for less.

If you’re a car owner looking out for car parts or accessories, the same rules apply. As a pro tip, check out websites like sgCarMart or platforms like Carousell which may offer bargains or money-saving tips on purchasing car accessories and more. Facebook groups specific to your car make or model may even feature certain parts and accessories that you won’t be able to find elsewhere.

Get those receipts out of the bin and into your drawer.

Keep your purchases close and your receipts closer.

If you’ve ever purchased gadgets or other electronic equipment, you probably already know the importance of receipts. Afterall, they’re a life saver when the item you purchased turns out to be defective and needs to be repaired or replaced. But did you know that keeping your receipts for services such as hairdressing appointments, or even consultations with your doctor is just as important too?  

For instance, when it comes to servicing your car, a one-month warranty on workmanship is more or less standard. This makes sense since you’ll probably only notice issues a day or two after the initial work. As such, it’s definitely a good idea to remember to keep your receipts in a safe place. If a bulk of your receipts are on paper (and not digital), snap quick pics on your phone just in case the ink fades over time.

Don’t fall for the ad trap.

Unless you spend most of your time in hibernation, it’s almost impossible to go a day without seeing at least one advertisement. In fact, studies have found that the average person sees thousands of ads a day! And with social media platforms allowing companies to target consumers down to specific demographics (did someone say single, 28-year-old male with 2 golden retrievers and an interest in romcoms and juggling?), you’ll most likely be seeing ads that appeal most to you. That’s also why that image of a pair of sweet sneakers you viewed once has been following you around for days.

Since you can’t avoid ads, one way to deal with them is to make lists of things you do need to get, and to stop yourself from making purchases out of boredom. Of course, that’s easier said than done! *quickly closes Zalora, Lazada and Qoo10 tabs on browser and starts reading up on more money-saving tips*  

Does the word ‘sale’ get you all tingly?

Don’t be fooled by marketing gimmicks.

Yes, we’re sure you know it all too well. That ‘clearance sale’ banner that you’ve seen at the same shop for months now, or even overly-excited youths at supermarkets offering you ‘buy 1 get 1 free’ promotions. Sales and marketing gimmicks have been around for years to help make products look more appealing to consumers.

For instance, one of the most used marketing gimmicks at car workshops is the classic bait and switch. They’ll start by offering customers low prices to service their car or perform repairs. Once customers bring their car in, the staff might then point out several things that could do with replacing too – these include brake pads, transmission fluid and more.

Well, boo to that.

As a rule of thumb, try to avoid car servicing packages which are well below the usual market rate. For instance, be wary of anything that costs less than $180 unless you know exactly what it entails. If you’re still clueless on whether something is a marketing gimmick or not, just remember this: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

But if you’d rather just avoid the hassle of finding a good workshop or trying to pick up money-saving tips you can use at your next car servicing then why not try out AutoApp? By only working with reputable and trusted partner workshops, you can rest assured that you’ll never fall prey to gimmicks or scams with us! And that’s the truth. 

Know the ABCs of T&Cs.

There’s a whole bunch of reasons why you should always pay attention to the fine print. Sure, most of us tend to just gloss over walls of text, especially when the font size is smaller than 10. However, the extra effort you make to read the terms and conditions of that car servicing contract or online website could pay off in the long run. The last thing you want is to be slapped with extra fees or charges that you weren’t aware of.

And… you don’t want to be signing off your first-born child to an unknown company do you? 

99 bottles of engine oil on the wall.

Stock up, but not too much.

If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that some Singaporeans love stocking up on everything – from instant noodles, toilet paper to sanitisers and disinfectants. But what drives consumers to do so? Perhaps it’s the comfort knowing that everything is readily available should you ever need it, or maybe it’s just plain ole’ kiasu-ism.

That said, it’s perfectly fine to stock up on groceries or essentials every now and then, in reasonable amounts of course. And if you’re a car owner, it’s a good idea to keep a couple of bottles of engine oil at home so that you can do your own top-ups between servicing sessions. Wet wipes are also super convenient when it comes to cleaning dusty dashboards or your hands after you’ve been checking your engine or brake fluids. They’re also handy wiping down dusty dashboards and other interior surfaces. So be sure to keep a few packs in your glove compartment! Pro tip: Wet wipes come in large sizes as well and work better for car applications.

Gang up on shipping costs.

Don’t exorbitant shipping prices really just stink? I mean surely it can’t cost THAT much to fly a tiny wallet all the way to Singapore, unless of course it’s flying first-class. If you know the feels, then fret not. One awesome way to save on shipping costs is through group buys.

It’s simple. Customers seeking out products from the same seller, place an order together so that the shipping cost is split evenly across the board and you save precious moolah! What’s more, a quick online search should lead you to forums or group buy listings on platforms such as Carousell. Easy peasy.

If you happen to be in the market for car accessories or parts like performance filters, strut bars or tyres, group buys may be available on Facebook groups and forums too – so keep a look out! Plus, joining online communities of car enthusiasts such as these could earn you a new friend or two who may have some money-saving tips and ideas for you too!

Now that you’ve picked up some money-saving tips and learnt a thing or two about shopping smart, would it be wrong to tempt you with some cool car accessories for your kids, automotive merchandise or maybe even yummy foods to whet your appetite?

That said, at AutoApp, we’re all about transparency and clear-cut policies that make sense. Find out more about how we can turn servicing your car into a stress-free experience here.