16 incredible money saving tips for online shopping

I am sure you must have shopped online very recently. In last 5 yrs, the whole dynamics of shopping has changed, We have more online for most of the things ranging from electronics, clothes, groceries and even movies ticket booking :).

We are fascinated with the discounts and offers we get online. However I am sure even if you know a lot of tips of saving money online, still you might not be exploring its full potential.

tricks for saving money when online shopping in India

Hence, I am going to list down various points and how you can save more money. Detailed description of these points is after this table.

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Tip #1

Install Buyhatke extension

Tip #2

Go a bit extra mile in search for Coupons

Tip #3

Get cashback with specific credit cards and debit cards

Tip #4

Wait for the special days like Diwali and New year

Tip #5

Use Comparison Websites to find the best offer

Tip #6

Set Price Alerts

Tip #7

Leave items in your cart and wait for few days

Tip #8

Use wallet payment methods like paytm, mobikwik and payumoney

Tip #9

Use different emails for Shopping

Tip #10

Get extra cashback using Cashkaro.com

Tip #11

Industries like airlines and hotels give huge discount to there old customers

Tip #12

For used products you can get huge discounts on OLX, Quikr websites

Tip #13

Check prices on website pricebaba.com to know which brand is selling at discounted price or on MRP

Tip #14

To get the best deals keep checking the offer section of all website before you shop

Tip #15

Register on websites where users post great deals & discounts from here and there

Tip #16

Don’t get into the trap


1. Install Buyhatke extension

There is this website called Buyhatke.com which offers a chrome extension, which shows you the other website where you can get the best deal while you are looking at some product.

You just need to install it in your chrome as extension. This way, you will be able to see the price offered by some other website.

Below you can clearly see, when I went to Snapdeal to find the price of its one of the LED tv, the price it showed me was Rs 17,568. However, the buyhatke extension at the top showed me that the same product is available for Rs 15,990 on Flipkart.

I didn’t had to go anywhere to compare the price. The extension automatically searches the best deal and show it to me. You can also compare the prices of the product by clicking on “Compare Prices” tab on the top right.

buyhatke extention online shopping

However note that the extension does not take into consideration all the coupons and cash back. So take the decision after factoring in all those points.

Another amazing feature of this extension is the historical PRICE changes which you can see on the same page a bit below the product description (automatically it comes when you use the extension). You will be able to see how the price has changed over previous few months. You can see the maximum and minimum and judge if the current price might fall further in coming days or it can do up.

buyhatke price history chart

2. Go a bit extra mile in search for Coupons

This is the most basic thing you need to do when you are buying online. Sellers know that coupons are a great way to excite customers and make a faster sale by making buyers feel that this is the best moment to buy. Given the huge competition in the e-commerce space, every other company wants to give you a great deal somehow. Either the web site from where you are buying something may show you the coupon or you can find it on coupon sites.

On an average, I have always found some of the other kind of coupon which reduces the price by at least 5-10% . Some websites can have a variety of coupons depending on various categories (20 category = 20 different type of coupons). Something like “Buy above Rs 1,999 and get 20% discount” applicable on furniture.

coupons online shopping

Then there are websites like Ebay, which have generic coupons like “Buy above 750 and get 7.5% discount”, These coupons are easily available on the majority of the coupon websites.

I know most of the people who buy online do search for coupons, but I don’t think a lot of them go an extra mile to search for the best coupon and settle with the first one which they get. If you are buying an item with a high price, it’s worth the effort to spend extra 5 min to search for the best coupon available. You can keep applying 3-4 coupons and see which is giving you the best deal.

3. Get cashback with specific credit cards and debit cards

At times, you can get a good cashback or discount on paying from a specific bank credit or debit card. Banks tie up with the website, so that maximum payments go through their channel. This can be for marketing purpose or just to increase the sales of a particular credit or debit card.

Like Amazon may be giving a 10% cashback when you purchase by an SBI debit card or Snapdeal providing an additional 5% cashback on HDFC debit card

debit card online shopping


4. Wait for the special days like Diwali and New year

There are extra discounts and offers during Diwali, New year and many other Indian festivals. If you can wait and postpone your shopping, its always recommended to wait for these days, especially Diwali. Its a known fact that people in India buy high ticket items because of the auspicious festival. You might get a much better deal and cash back offers given the cut-throat competition between e-commerce companies in India.

diwali shopping online

Also, there are events like GOSF (great Indian shopping festival) where you can get good deals (not always). Last year, I made the same mistake. I upgraded my TV in the month of Aug and didn’t wait for Diwali and saw the same TV selling at 15-20% extra discount. If you can wait a bit, it’s always better to plan your purchases, especially high ticket purchases.

Another great benefit of waiting for some weeks or month is that you may realize that you actually don’t really need the product and it was a decision in haste to buy the product.

5. Use Comparison Websites to find the best offer

There are various websites like Junglee.com, mysmartprice.com and shopmania.in (and many others) where you can compare the prices of a product on various websites at one single place. You can see their shipping cost, estimated delivery time and also the rating of the seller.

It’s one window from where you can choose the website you want to buy from. At times, there is some mismatch in the main price on the website and the one shown on the comparison website. Below is how it looks like..

compare prices online on junglee

Mysmartprice gives a comprehensive comparison with various details and also the facility to set the price alert at the website level. It also gives section for price history, specification etc in a single page. Here is the snapshot

mysmartprice compare prices online

Scandid and pricebaba are some other good comparison websites you might want to try.

6. Set Price Alerts

At times, you are not in a hurry to buy some product, but you never know when the price of a product was reduced to a level where you become highly interested in purchasing the product. So in that case, you can set a price alert for a particular product and when it touches that price limit, you will be informed about it over an email

For example, if you want to buy a product which costs Rs 5,000 at the moment, but you are very sure that its price will come down to Rs 4700 and that time you would buy it, then you can set the alert and you will be informed about it.

How to set up the price alert?

  • You can use cheapass.in to set the alert. Just paste the url or the product and your email and your price alert will be set up
  • The other way is to use this google docs tool created by Amit Agarwal. It will notify you on email on any drop in prices.
  • You can find the product you want to track on Junglee.com. You will see a “Set price Alert” link just near the product name.

7. Leave items in your cart and wait for few days

This trick might be working only with few websites and not all, but it’s still worth the try. You can first add all your items in the cart and then don’t check out. Just leave the items there in the cart. This is a big issue for e-commerce websites where the customers add the products to the cart, but at the final stage do not make payment and leave.

In technical term, this is called “shopping cart abandonment” and for most of the websites, its one of the biggest pain point, because a huge amount of sales is stuck there in the abandoned cart. As per the business insider report, globally out of every Rs 100 worth of products which is added to cart 71% is abandoned, means more than 2/3rd sales which can potentially happen, do not happen.

So, various companies in order to close that pending sale, will remind you about your cart and ask you to complete the sale. And some of them will often try to lure you with some extra discount with coupons etc. In the best case, you will be able to save a bit more and in the worst case, you won’t save anything extra.

Below is a sample email from pepperfry which was sent to some customer who didn’t complete the sale.

pepperfry email left cart

(image source)

Note that this trick will mostly work for new customers who have recently created their account, because companies are in the race to acquire new customers to show it to their VC on how they are growing. So do not expect this will well know and big websites where you are already buying from many months or years.

8. Use wallet payment methods like paytm, mobikwik and payumoney

On top of your regular discounts which comes from coupons, you can also get additional discounts if you use the e-wallets these days. If not discount, you will surely get some kind of cash back. The best example, I can provide is from bookmyshow website where you get the extra discount when you use movie tickets.

Pro TIP for Bookmyshow: If you want to book X tickets and each ticket cost is as high as Rs 200-250, book 1 ticket X times, that way you get maximum cashback :). Just that you need to make sure you be fast enough to book all tickets you need.

wallet discounts

9. Use different emails for Shopping

Almost all the companies offer some kind of discounts to new users. A lot of them offer coupons codes on email when you register for the first time. You can see this clearly on Foodpanda or Ola Cabs, where you get huge discount being a new user or get a FREE benefit for the first time.

A lot of companies are now offering the bigger discount if you order things using their mobile app, but you can’t use multiple phone number’s unlike emails, so that’s not easy enough. But if you have many people at home with smartphone’s, you can take this benefit too, for some limited time.

10. Get extra cashback using Cashkaro.com

On top of all the discounts you get, you can also get some cashback if you buy things from cashkaro.com links. Its a website where you have to create an account and then use their links to visit the actual website where you want to buy things.

This way, cashkaro website gets the commission from the seller and they share a part with you and it accumulates there. You can take the money in your bank account via NEFT once it crosses a limit. Below is a simple video which shows you how it works.

You can register on CashKaro using this link


5 more tips when buying online (tip number 11-15)

  • There are some industries like airlines and hotels which shows dynamic pricing to their old customers based on their history and location using your cookies. So if you use Incognito mode in the browser, they will not come to know that you are an old user and treat as a new customer.
  • At times, you might want to check websites like Olx and quikr because you can get the same product at a very heavy discount, but for a used product. In some cases, it might fit your requirement and you will save a good amount
  • You might want to try out websites like pricebaba.com which can find out a better deal for you from an offline store. so you can compare prices online and then inquire for prices offline. This would work out for those products, where you are not getting any kind of discount online and its selling near its MRP.
  • You can register on the website called Desidime.com, where real users post great deals and discounts they find here and there. You can also interact, ask questions to other users.

Last and more important tip – Don’t get into the trap (16th)

Now the last and the final point. All the tips which are mentioned above would be helpful and in your interest if you don’t lose control over yourself and be a responsible buying. Only buy things which you really need. These discounts and coupons are just extra benefits.

Don’t let these coupons and discounts become the carrot for you to buy things which you just don’t need. The sad reality is that, even though you feel that coupons are benefitting you, it’s actually helping sellers more.

These coupons and discounts are often funded and sourced by the sellers only to make sure they increase their revenue’s. Yes, in some cases, it will surely benefit the customer’s, but at a higher level these are mainly the marketing tricks of the seller and nothing more than that.

Let me take an example of Foodpanda, If you had to order food from outside, then foodpanda coupons are the added discount you get. But a lot of people are now using foodpanda on those days, when they didn’t had to order from outside, but just used it because there was a discount. Can you see how these deals manipulate your behavior and your way of spending?

Don’t browse for fun

Doing time pass on e-commerce websites is not good for your wallet :). The basic principle of economics is that “Supply creates its own demand” and with the mobile apps retailers are trying to create an ecosystem where you can purchase on just one click. With discounts, they are creating an environment of instant gratification and by giving money back guarantee and replacement guarantee, they are removing the fear for online shopping.

But the at end due to all these factors, people are buying things which they just don’t need at all and creating the big pile of junk at their home. So just make sure you do not browse for fun, because you will surely come up with some reason on why you need that product you just saw.

Let me know what do you think about this article? Also share some more tips which you personally use and you think can be shared with others as well 🙂

4 early life mistakes which investors should avoid at any cost

We see most of the investors having a complex and bad financial life mainly because they have done a lot of mistakes when they started their financial life, which I think should be minimized by learning from other investors mistakes.

So we are listing down 4 common mistakes which most of the new investors make when they start their financial life.

personal finance mistakes of new employee

Mistake #1 – Buying products only for “saving tax”

I have experienced the power of “tax-saving” season in an investor’s financial life. When I was into my first job, the cafeteria and the reception area was filled with my employee’s sitting with some agent or advisor with various kind of forms all over the table.

The tax season was on and all the people were busy “arranging for the investment proof” and not investing their money. Especially the new employee’s who had no idea about anything and they followed the herd to save tax.

Below is the google trend showing you, how most the people starting thinking about the “tax saving” only in the month of Jan/Feb/Mar when they got emails from their employers. The search trend clearly shows that.

tax saving search trend india

Only after many years, people realize that they have not done great justice to their money and invested mainly for instant gratification of saving tax. If you are a new investor, I suggest do not get carried away and only think about saving tax.

I know tax saving is important and one has to do it, but do it meaningfully.

Explore what all options you have and which one them will align well with your long-term goals and then invest in those products.

Mistake #2 – Waiting for the “right time” to invest

When we work with our clients, we observe that one of the biggest regrets, they have is that they didn’t start their investments early in life and lost the valuable time. A person in India spends close to 20 yrs in school/college and most of the students have seen a lot of struggle around money, because of which all their early life, they suppress their desires. They never freely spend money on anything and keep waiting for that D-day when they will have no restrictions around money. The first salary is nothing less than a big jackpot.

right time never comes when one can start investing but to invest right time is created

The first few months when they see a lot of money in their account, is the time of celebration and fulfilling all their wishes they had from years. There is nothing wrong about splurging, spending and enjoying it all. But some people extend it over many years and over-do it. When it comes to investing their money, they say that they dont save enough after their expenses and once their salary increase, they will invest then.

In short, they keep waiting for the “right time” and it never arrives. Because the nature of money is such that, the more you earn, the more you will spend and your lifestyle will keep changing its shape to fit in your salary.

1 out of 3 investors wait for 5 yrs before making first investments

I ran a survey on this topic, which was taken by 208 investors and as much as 37% of investors said that they made their first investments after 5 yrs of their career. Think about this , around 1/3rd investors wait for 5 yrs before they make their first investment. Thats quite high. If you see the same survey results below, almost 8% investors didn’t invest anything for first 10 yrs of their earning life.

investment late tenure

This makes them loose valuable time, and for many years they do not accumulate any wealth and get into the mode of living on paycheck to paycheck. Even if they had started a recurring deposit of Rs 2,000 per month, even that would be a great thing, because they are atleast getting into that habit of saving some money regularly and later its just about increasing it.

So if you have just joined your first job, I would suggest start a recurring deposit RIGHT NOW, not for a big amount, but just Rs 500 atleast.

Mistake #3 – Getting high on debt, early in life

Debt is not a problem in itself, if you handle it carefully and responsibly. I do not come from a class of people, who suggest that one should not take loans or avoid debt 100%, because thats not possible for a majority of people and its not practical in today’s times.

However, rore and more people are embracing the EMI culture and we are turning into an EMI nation. Everything is available on EMI ranging from gym memberships to Mobile Phones, from vacations to jeans to even flight tickets. Because of EMI, one can afford anything and everything.

So most and more people are buying not so important things TODAY, for which they have to pay in FUTURE.

Are you getting my point?

This is a perfect recipe to get into the never ending debt cycle. There are many investors for whom EMI payments is going on for years and years. For many years, they have never consumed 100% of their monthly salary themselves.

Below is a bit old study by Indicus Analytics on how leveraged are urban Indians, and you will be surprised to know that around 61% of residents in Bangalore have some or the other kind of debt. For Mumbai its 50% . Below is a snapshot of their finding’s.

debt trend indian cities

So if you are young, try to see that you control your desires beyond a point else you will get into huge trouble later in life. Use the credit card and personal loans only and only if you really need it and you have no other options of borrowing and even then pay back the money as soon as possible.

Mistake #4 – Over relying on relatives, friends and parents for your financial decisions

Parents, friends and relatives can bring in a lot of experience and life lessons for us. But a lot of youngsters instead of learning about money, prefer to hand over their overall financial life to their parents. Parents have seen more life then their kids, but then times have changed a lot compared to last 1-2 decades and the many rules don’t apply today.

Also their way of thinking about risk, opportunities, returns etc might differ from you. Hence its not always a good idea to over-rely on parents advice. Mr Anand shares his view about this point in one of my old article

The times have changed so we have to change with the times. In most of the families, it is the ego of the parents which is finally ending with the suffering for the children. Parents feel that the children are incapable of handling money or they may get spoilt if the money is in their name. Also in some families it has become a question of pride saying – My children are so obedient that they are handling over their income to us.

The so called elderly, experienced people do not want to learn the new things and change and their beliefs are passed on to their children also. If we look around many Government employees, we can easily make out this. They are afraid to tell the children about the investments.

Relatives and friends role in your financial life

Also a lot of investors are influenced by their relatives and friends advice. A lot of them turn out to be life insurance agents who want to take advantage of the relation to meet their business targets. Out of 100 people I have come across, 95 people surely have an LIC policy sold by their relative, relative friend, friends relative, parents friend, or someone close.

As per our survey, 1 out of every 4 investors financial life is messed up because of their relatives and friends who sold them some financial product or advice on something and they could not deny them.

relatives role personal finance

We recently found that one of our client who recently joined job is paying close to 40% of his yearly salary in 6 life insurance policies. When we enquired more, we found that it were taken by his father for him 3 yrs back, and now as he has started earning, his father has passed the premium paying responsibility to him. The policies were sold by his father’s sister son’ who was behind his yearly targets

I would suggest learning things in the start of your career and not over relying on advice of your friends/ relatives and even parents. You could do many things like read personal finance books, attend workshops on money (we have next workshop in Bangalore on 2nd Aug, 2015) or just surf internet and ready various things.

How should an investor start his financial life at the start of his/her career ?

When a person joins a job, its a special moment in his life and a very crucial point. Taking good care at this point will be helpful for his whole life and many years worth of mistakes will not happen which happens with millions of people. Hence below is a very crisp checklist of what a new investor can start with.

  • See how much term plan you need and take it
  • See that you buy a good health insurance policy
  • See that you have started a recurring deposit or SIP in mutual funds for a minimum amount you are sure will not stop for next 5 yrs
  • Keep 2 months worth of expenses on the side in a saving account which you generally do not touch
  • Make sure you are meaningfully saving your taxes
  • Hire a good CA or Financial advisor if you feel you need handholding

Wish you best of luck for your financial life. Would like to hear your views on this topic

X+Y theory – A simple theory explaining, why its important to invest money for future

Today’s article is going to be very very basic. It’s one of the lessons which we should teach our kids when are growing up. The question is “Why Invest money at all?”

A lot of investors are not very serious when it comes to save enough money and invest it properly so that it grows well. A lot of investors are quite consumed in their life and don’t deal with this conversation fully. Only after years of working they realise that they have done a very bad job when it comes to investing their money.

I thank Mandar Rane to raise this question in Ashal Jauhari facebook group and shared what he faces with his siblings and many connected to him

why should I invest

X+Y years theory – Why you should invest money at all ?

There is a simple conversation which I think everyone should go through once. I call it as X+Y theory. Its very simple.

Every person will be living for X+Y years in total.

X is the number of years when they will go to work and bring back money to pay their bills and acquire all they want to enjoy (movies, clothes, eating out, travel, food, fees). This is mostly ACTIVE income and money will come only when you work.

Y is the number of years, which we will spend without earning. We will still need food, clothes, travel, eating out and various other things, but the problem is we will not be working in those years, either by choice or mostly because we are unable to. Now where will the money come in that phase? The money has to come from somewhere?


So you mainly invest so that you create enough wealth which can last your Y years. I know I am making retirement planning very jazzy at this moment, But NO, this is just going one level deeper and answering the basic question of “Why should I invest at all?”

reason why to invest money

Note that when we are in X yrs phase, we are not too much concerned about the Y yrs, because the X yrs phase itself has many issues. Kids , House, job, health, parents, relationships and many issues which keeps us occupied enough and only when we approach the Y phase, we are bit scared and tensed, but then it gets too late.

3 basic level reasons you should invest your money?

Below I will talk of primary level issues why one should invest their money to grow in future. And when I say grow your money, I am not talking about saving it in bank account, I mean talking about really letting it grow beyond inflation.

1. Because of Inflation 

The most basic reason to invest your money is to protect it from Inflation. Your money will decrease after many years in its purchasing power. A Rs 100 note will not be able to buy the same thing in future, what it can buy today. So you need to invest money properly so that you are able to at least buy the same quantity tomorrow or preferably a larger quantity.

2. Financial Independence

This is exactly what I was talking above. I am sure everyone want to work, but not becoming money slave’s. If you do not invest your money, you will never be able to create a corpus of money you can rely on, and will never be able to get free from your work. If you want to make sure your reason to go to job should be “because I love my job” and not “I need to pay my bills, I am helpless”, then start building that corpus as soon as possible.

And I am not talking about cutting down your desires and entertainment. Do all that, but also start creating that corpus. Keep a balance.

3. Reach your life goals

If you earn Rs 100 per month, and you need Rs 50 for some purpose suddenly you can surely handle is somehow. But what if you need Rs 5000, but you earn only Rs 100? In that case, you need to make sure you have accumulated that amount before hand, slowly and steadily.

We all know some of our financial responsibilities will be coming up in distant future and they would need a big amount. Things like house downpayment, children college education, marriage and many other things like that. If you do not invest, how will you fund those goals? It’s as simple as that.

You are sum of your experiences in life

A lot of youngsters have seen their parents struggle for money and their mindset is already set in a way that they understand the importance of saving properly and growing their money. However a big number of people have had a bad relationship with money. They live paycheck to paycheck, splurge beyond the limit and are careless enough when it comes to money.

A lot of people might say that they are just stupid to act like that and are highly careless and irresponsible. But I think its just a matter of lack of financial literacy or their way of looking at life is different. Everyone is raised differently in their lives and we all have difference experiences. We become what we experience at some level. If you save enough or do not save enough, at the end its just has an outcome which you need to be aware about. That’s all.

How to teach this lesson to your kids (and some adults)?

The simplest way to teach this lesson to small children is to tell them the Ant and Grasshopper story. It’s one of the most simple and powerful stories.

Here is the story for those who can’t see the video

In a field one summer’s day a Grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart’s content. An Ant passed by, bearing along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the nest.

“Why not come and chat with me,” said the Grasshopper, “instead of toiling and moiling in that way?”
“I am helping to lay up food for the winter,” said the Ant, “and recommend you to do the same.”

“Why bother about winter?” said the Grasshopper; we have got plenty of food at present.” But the Ant went on its way and continued its toil.

When the winter came the Grasshopper found itself dying of hunger, while it saw the ants distributing, every day, corn and grain from the stores they had collected in the summer.

Then the Grasshopper knew… It is best to prepare for the days of necessity.

Invest early and with discipline

To get the maximum benefit, make sure you start your investments as early as possible. Even if it’s small in the start, that’s ok. At least you will prepare yourself to invest bigger amount in future if you at least invest small amounts in the start. You will build some wealth (even though its small) and build your mindset to invest regularly.