Here’s why you should monitor exchange rates to score big savings on your online shopping. Find out how much you actually stand to save!
Earlier in March 2020, I had an interesting conversation with my neighbour who’s an avid cyclist. Due to the government’s advice to remain socially distant and stay home as much as possible (without hitting ‘tipping point’), he looked towards online shopping to find an at-home training bike and had found one that he really liked! There was just one problem – it was retailing for £1,299. After considering the exchange rate between British Pounds (GBP) and Singapore Dollars (SGD), he decided that it way was too expensive.
With the exchange rate being £1.00 to S$1.80 then, this made his prospective training bike purchase cost close to S$2,338. This price still has yet been accounted for foreign transaction fees and additional markups imposed on his credit card use. Unfortunately, he was not a YouTrip user – yet.
However, this doesn’t mark the end of my story. A few weeks later, my neighbour mentioned that he just made the bike purchase online! I asked what changed his mind, and if there was a sale or discount applied. It turns out the only thing that had changed in the few weeks was the exchange rate.
How Much Can Online Shopping Prices Vary Due To Exchange Rates?
Within a span of two weeks before his purchase, my neighbour had noticed a pretty significant drop in the exchange rates between GBP and SGD. After doing the necessary price conversions, he realised how the price tag became so much more favourable!
|Date||GBP/SGD Exchange Rate||Price of £1,299 Bike in SGD|
|10 March 2020||1.81194||~S$2353.70|
|20 March 2020||1.67037||~S$2169.80|
Due to fluctuations in exchange rates, there was a price drop of around almost S$200! Can you imagine missing out on these savings?
Understanding how exchange rates work can definitely work in your favour to provide more online shopping savings! Let’s see how this story relates to your own online shopping experiences.
When Is It Worthwhile To Keep Track Of Exchange Rates For Online Shopping?
Time is money, and keeping track of exchange rates isn’t worth your time if you’re purchasing relatively lower-cost items. However, it can be really useful if you’re considering to buy a big-ticket item online. Not sure where to start? We put together the ultimate overseas online shopping guide here!
A good gauge on effort would be on items that cost above S$1000. You’ll probably notice more significant savings for anything that is above this price point. As this online shopping hack requires you to time your purchase, it probably isn’t suitable for time-sensitive purchases too.
Regardless of what you’re buying – whether it’s a premium sound system or a quality WFH office chair – these items have a fixed price that’s unlikely to change for a long while.
The only lever that can help you save money then is a favourable exchange rate.
How Do I Use Exchange Rates To Determine When To Buy A Product?
To illustrate this, we use the same at-home training bike example as a reference. We know that it costs £1,299. If this price suits you, you should go ahead and buy it.
But if you want to know how the fluctuations in GBP will affect SGD equivalent, you could first check out how the exchange rates have fluctuated between the currencies over the past year. You can find this information easily online on platforms like xe.com. Here’s a glimpse of how the bike’s price would have changed over the course of a year, in terms of its SGD equivalent.
|Date||GBP/SGD Exchange Rate||SGD Price of £1,299 Bike|
|16 August 2019||1.67934||~S$2,181.50|
|19 October 2019||1.77039||~S$2,299.70|
|13 December 2019||1.82195||~S$2,366.70|
|20 February 2020||1.80247||~S$2,341.40|
|7 April 2020||1.75234||~S$2,276.30|
As you can see, prices can fluctuate and go from anywhere between S$2,181 to S$2,366, close to S$200 despite the price of the bike remaining the same throughout.
To give you a visual representation of how big these fluctuations can be, here’s a plot for the year:
And one for the last month:
While nobody can predict or time exchange rates perfectly, knowing that these currency fluctuations exist can make all the difference in your online shopping savings. At least you’re making a more informed decision before spending big.
If you’re intending to wait it out for foreign exchange rates to reach an ideal exchange ratio, you could download apps that notify you when this happens. Or simply use your YouTrip app to check on the real-time exchange rates for 10 currencies.
How Else Can YouTrip Help Me Save More On Overseas Online Shopping?
The biggest benefit of using YouTrip is that you’re able to lock in your preferred foreign currency exchange rate and store them as separate currency wallets. Once you’ve secured a favourable rate for yourself, ditch the XE.com graphs and fluctuations entirely, simply spend knowing that it’s already giving you the most value for your spend!
Plus, unlike bank credit or debit cards, you won’t have to worry about any transaction fees or markups. YouTrip’s Wholesale Exchange Rates automatically ensure that you’re getting the best rates 24/7.
Start snagging the best deal for all your online shopping purchases! With a YouTrip card in hand, you can start saving this easily.