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11 Ways To Save Money While Shopping Online in 2017

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11 Ways To Save Money While Shopping Online in 2017

Shopping from home offers comfort and convenience, but many people fail to save money because they are not savvy to online markets. In this modern world, people don’t have time to physically hop from store to store due to busy schedules and buying online doesn’t have to be expensive. It is beneficial to be smart while shopping online. You just have to know what to look for. This article will show you some of the smartest ways to save money.

There are tons of tips posted on different websites. Not all of them help you save money. There are plenty of online outlets where despite your efforts you may still eventually spend more. Here are few key points which can actually save you money while shopping online.

1. Get Your E-mail Set Up For Online Shopping

It is very helpful to create a separate email address only for shopping. Online retailers will often send discounts, offers, and coupons. If you have a separate address, you can check that account only you’re ready to shop. With a certain purchase in mind, you can quickly search through the inbox and grab the coupon you need. That beats being bombarded by retail emails each time you go to reply to important messages.

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2. Research The Product

Research on the product you want to buy is important and it saves you money. It is good to shop around online to see if you can get a better deal on your product somewhere else. With research, you will know you are getting the best deal out there. Never neglect to check the manufacturer, who often has the best price available.

3. Track The Sales Price

One of the smartest ways to save money online while is tracking the sales price for discounts. The mistake many people make here is checking the online store as often as possible manually which does not guarantee them savings. The best way to track the price is to create an account with a website that provides this service. Create a merchant account on a site like Shoptagr, then save those adorable boots to your wish list. The sale system will email you when they are marked down in price. Sit back and watch your savings roll in.

4. Shop at the Right Time

Another mistake some people make is shopping at the wrong time. It is crucial to know the right time to shop in order save money. Suppliers know when customers buy, and adapt their prices accordingly. Most people shop on Sundays so prices usually increase as the weekend approaches. The best bargains occur early in the week, therefore it is best to do you online shopping Tuesday or Wednesday for the best deals.

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5. Make Use of One Merchant

It is one of the smartest consumer tactics to stick with one merchant for multiple purchases. If you buy more from one retailer then you tend to save money often. So remember, if you are making a lot of purchases at once, try to buy them all from one company. This incentivizes deals from the merchant. It also allows the retailer to ship all of your purchases together and can save you hundreds in shipping costs.

6. Leave Goods in Your Cart

Putting an item in your cart lets the retailer know you have an interest in buying. When you intentionally leave the item in your cart for a few days, the store commences to panic. Rather than lose the sale, they will often send you discount offers to get you to finalize your purchase. Leaving an item in your cart is also a good way to avoid losing money on impulse buys. Come back in a day or two and see how bad you, and the retailer, want that sale.

7. Request a Price Drop Refund

It can be really upsetting upon purchasing a product at full price just to see it go on sale the next day. In some instances, you could be in a position to get a price drop refund, which essentially refunds the difference between the sale price and what you paid.

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8. Bargain with Customer Service

Many companies are willing to honor any coupon, even if it’s expired. An expired coupon can be an opportunity for you, just contact customer service and bargain with them. Sometimes a phone call can go a long way, if you don’t have any coupon at all then ask if there is any discount available on the items you’re interested in.

9. Use Coupon Codes

The days and nights of clipping coupons out of magazines and papers may be over but that doesn’t mean coupons are dead! Nowadays, coupons come in the form of codes you enter when creating an online purchase. Although sometimes merchants will send you these codes, the best location to find them is a coupon website. In order to avoid endless searching, choose a site that offers discounts from many different retailers, such as Coupofy, to find the ones that you want.

10. Make use of Coupons Wisely

If you are applying several coupons to the price tag on a product or service, be sure to use them in a way that saves you the most money. It’s always best to use a “percentage-off” coupon before a “money-off” coupon.

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11. Use the Preferred Credit Card

It is obvious that credit card companies charge the retailer on any transaction. Many companies prefer their own credit card programs or have special deals with a credit company. In order to encourage you to use their cards, companies will often offer cash back programs and other rewards.

Finally, keep checking for cashback offers posted by retailers about different offers and discount rates. A lot of online retailers will provide huge discounts during festivals and holidays. In India, every other day is a festival. Shop with a bit of savvy and you should never pay full price online again.

Featured photo credit: BrookeValentine via brookevalentine.info

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Saminu Abass

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Last Updated on August 25, 2021

Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

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Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

As a recruiter, I have met and interviewed hundreds of candidates who have no idea who they are.

Without a personal brand, candidates struggle to answer the question: “tell me about yourself—who are you?” They have no idea about who they are, what their strengths are, and how they can add value to the company. They present their CV’s believing that their CV is the key to their career success. In some ways, your CV still has its use. However, in today’s job market, you need more than a CV to stand out in a crowd.

According to Celinne Da Costa:[1]

“Personal brand is essentially your golden ticket to networking with the right people, getting hired for a dream job, or building an influential business.” She believes that “a strong personal brand allows you to stand out in an oversaturated marketplace by exposing desired audiences to your vision, skillset, and personality in a way that is strategically aligned with your career goals.”

A personal brand opens up your world to so many more career opportunities that you would never have been exposed to with just your CV.

What Is Your Personal Brand?

“Personal branding is how you distinctively market your uniqueness.” —Bernard Kelvin Clive

Today, the job market is very competitive and tough. Having a great CV will only let you go so far because everyone has a CV, but no one else has your distinct personal brand! It is your personal brand that differentiates you from everyone else and that is what people buy—you.

Your personal brand is your mark on the world. It is how people you interact with and the world see you. It is your legacy—it is more important than a business brand because your personal brand lasts forever.

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I have coached people who have very successful careers, and they come to me because they have suddenly found that they are not getting the opportunities or having the conversations that would them to their next role. They are having what I call a “career meltdown,” all because they have no personal brand.

A personal brand helps you become conscious of your differences and your uniqueness. It allows you to position yourself in a way that makes you stand out from the pack, especially among other potential job applicants.

Don’t get me wrong, having a great CV and a great LinkedIn profile is important. However, there are a few steps that you have to take to have a CV and LinkedIn profile that is aligned to who you are, the value you offer to the market, and the personal guarantee that you deliver results.

Building your personal brand is about strategically, creatively, and professionally presenting what makes you, you. Knowing who you are and the value you bring to the table enables you to be more informed, agile, and adaptable to the changing dynamic world of work. This is how you can avoid having a series of career meltdowns.

Your Personal Brand Is Essential for Your Career Success

In her article, Why Personal Branding Is More Important Than Ever, Caroline Castrillon outlines key reasons why a personal brand is essential for career success.

According to Castrillon,[2]

“One reason is that it is more popular for recruiters to use social media during the interview process. According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees.”

The first thing I do as a recruiter when I want to check out a candidate or coaching client is to look them up on LinkedIn or other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Your digital footprint is the window that highlights to the world who you are. When you have no control over how you want to be seen, you are making a big mistake because you are leaving it up to someone else to make a judgment for you as to who you are.

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As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, once said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”

In her book, Becoming, Michelle Obama writes about the importance of having a personal brand and her journey to defining her personal brand. She wrote that:

“if you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”

When you have a personal brand, you are in control. You know exactly what people will say about you when you leave the room.

The magic of a personal brand is that gives you control over how you want to be seen in the world. Your confidence and self-belief enable you to leverage opportunities and make informed decisions about your career and your future. You no longer experience the frustrations of a career meltdown or being at a crossroads not knowing what to do next with your career or your life. With a personal brand, you have focus, clarity, and a strategy to move forward toward future success.

Creating your personal brand does not happen overnight. It takes a lot of work and self-reflection. You will be expected to step outside of your comfort zone not once, but many times.

The good news is that the more time you spend outside of your comfort zone, the more you will like being there. Being outside of your comfort zone is where you can test the viability of and fine-tune your personal brand.

5 Key Steps to Creating Your Personal Brand

These five steps will help you create a personal brand that will deliver you the results you desire with your career and in life.

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1. Set Your Personal Goals

What is it that you want to do in the next five years? What will your future self be doing in the next five to ten years? What is important to you? If you can answer these questions, then you are on the right path. If not, then you have to start thinking about them.

2. Create Your Unique Value Proposition

Create your unique value proposition by asking yourself these four questions:

  1. What are your personality features? What benefit do you offer people?
  2. Who are you and why do people enjoy working with you?
  3. What do you do and what do people want you to do for them? How do you solve their problems?
  4. What makes you different from others like you?

The answers to these questions will give you the information you need to create your professional story, which is the key step to creating your personal brand.

3. Write Your Professional Story

Knowing who you are, what you want, and the unique value you offer is essential to you creating your professional story. People remember stories. Your personal story incorporates your value proposition and tells people who you are and what makes you unique. This is what people will remember about you.

4. Determine Which Platforms Will Support Your Personal Brand

Decide which social media accounts and online platforms will best represent your brand and allow you to share your voice. In a professional capacity, having a LinkedIn profile and a CV that reflects your brand is key to your positioning in relation to role opportunities. People will be connecting with you because they will like the story you are telling.

5. Become Recognized for Sharing Your Knowledge and Expertise

A great way for you to promote yourself is by sharing knowledge and helping others. This is where you prove you know your stuff and you gain exposure for doing so. You can do this through social media, writing, commenting, video, joining professional groups, networking, etc. Find your own style and uniqueness and use it to attract clients, the opportunities, or the jobs you desire.

The importance of having a personal brand is not going to go away. In fact, it is the only way where you can stand out and be unique in a complex changing world of work. If you don’t have a personal brand, someone will do it for you. If you let this happen, you have no control and you may not like the story they create.

Standing out from others takes time and investment. Most people cannot make the change by themselves, and this is where engaging a personal brand coach is a viable option to consider.

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As a personal brand coach, working with my clients to create their personal brand is my passion. I love the fact that we can work together to create a personal story that defines exactly what people will say when you leave the room.

Other People’s Stories

Listening to other people’s stories is a great way to learn. In his article, 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding, Rafael Dos Santos presents the best Ted Talks where speakers share their stories about the “why,” “what,” and “how” of personal branding.((GuidedPR: 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding))

Take some time out to listen to these speakers sharing their stories and thoughts about personal branding. You will definitely learn so much about how you can start your journey of defining yourself and taking control of your professional and personal life.

Your personal brand, without a doubt, is your secret weapon to your career success. As Michelle Obama said,

“your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”

So, go own your story. Go on the journey to create your personal brand that defines who you are, highlights your uniqueness, and the value you offer to the world.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

Reference

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