Online Shopping Tips and Tricks

This post is sponsored by Cash Passport Prepaid MasterCard

Amongst my friends and loved ones I’m known as ‘the’ savviest online shopper. I know where the best deals are, which stores will ship internationally, how to save money and when’s the best time to shop. The truth is that the only reason I’m a savvy online shopper is because I use a bunch of tools to make the process easy, and with the busiest shopping time of the year now in full swing I thought it would be nice if I share my secrets with you.

Knowledge is power and I’m passing on the baton for you to now be the savvy online shopper with these tools. Go forth and use wisely (which of course means to buy all the pretty things!!). 

Tape Measure

It sounds so simple and rather obvious but a tape measure can truly be your best friend of online shopping. Avoid getting stuck during a flash sale on THE OUTNET with a dress in a foreign sizing system that you have no idea how to convert by simply having a tape measure within easy reach. Nearly every online store will have a link to their size chart within the product listing so all you have to do is measure yourself and see what size the chart says will be your size. Simples!

Tape Measure and Sizing Guide Shopping Tools

Tape measures come in handy

Shopping Directory

Looking up shipping information, coupon codes and sales can take you hours and require visiting a few dozen sites, but that was until I created The Plastic Diaries Online Shopping Directory. This secret weapon didn’t exist and it drove me insane trying to find this information every time I wanted to buy something, so I had created it myself.

The aggregator will tell you which online stores stock the brand/s you’re looking for and if they will ship to your country. PLUS, each store listing contains information on active sales or promotions and it highlights the hottest products available. It’s probably an even better friend than the tape measure.

Dupe List

I admit I’m guilty of owning a lot of shimmery taupe eyeshadows but thanks to Temptalia’s Dupe List I know I have never bought two the complete same (except for the few occasions where I forgot I already bought an item and proceed to buy it again).

The Dupe List can be used to help you find similar items based on their swatches. You can use it to locate a drugstore version of a luxe product, find similar products to ones you already love, or do as I do and double-check that new lippy you want isn’t like any that you already own.

Temptalia Dupe List for swatch comparison

Know your dupes


Possibly the hardest item to buy online is foundation but thanks to Findation, it’s a problem of my past. Findation is an aggregator that allows me to enter the shades of foundation I already know match my skin, and uses that information to find me a matching shade in other foundation.

Cash Passport Prepaid MasterCard

Online shopping isn’t just about convenience; it’s also about getting the things you want at the best price. An important aspect to online shopping is to minimize the extra costs like hidden credit card fees and foreign exchange rates.

DID YOU KNOW: Now that there are some overseas websites that offer the ability to “Pay in AUD” you may think they’re saving us money but actually, they aren’t. When we pay in AUD on an overseas website the store is choosing the foreign currency (FX) rate, which may not be competitive, and is not the same as paying in the local currency – be it USD, GBP, Euros, etc. The best option is usually to pay in the local currency.

Using Cash Passport is a sneaky option that can save you lots of coin. It’s similar to buying travel money before I go on a holiday, except I can use it to shop online whenever I like and it avoids those hidden fees my bank charges me. It’s also a great option if you can’t/don’t want to own a credit card.

I simply load the card with my chosen currency (i.e. USD) and then shop online just as I would with my own credit card (let’s say at Nordstrom) – but this way I select to change the currency to USD and keep shipping to Australia. That way I pay no additional overseas transaction fees and I know exactly how much the FX rate was when I locked it in. Take that, expensive-bank-issued-card!

Oh and you can get your Cash Passport online and have it shipped straight to your door. Lazy me avoids leaving the house for anything!

MasterCard Multi-Currancy Cash Passport

Use Cash Passport to avoid hidden fees

Special Offer

If you get a Cash Passport before the 31st December, 2014 and load $200 AUD equivalent, you’ll get a BONUS $10 on your card!

Simply enter BLOG10 when prompted during purchase. But hurry, this offer is capped at the first 500 customers.

Do you shop online? Have you been stung by hidden fees? Let me know by commenting below!

Online Shopping tips, tricks and tools

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