From abandoning your basket to timing your spree right, we’ve got 20 proven tips that’ll help you save money next time you’re shopping online.
Anyone who says they don’t like saving money as they spend it is lying. So, if you’re fed up of paying full price and want to start reaping some of the penny-pinching rewards lots of us already do, just follow some or all of these 20 thrifty hacks next time you shop online.
1. Sign up to newsletters
More often than not, when you sign up to a retailer’s newsletter a welcome email will land in your inbox, and in that email there’ll usually be some sort of welcome discount. It doesn’t cost a thing to sign-up - just a second or two of your time, so get yourself in with as many as you can.
2. Abandon your basket
If you put something in your basket, start the checkout process, and then abandon it before it’s time to pay, sometimes, you’ll receive a money-off code from the retailer in a bid to push you over the sales line. There’s no guarantee, but it’s worth a go.
3. Use Google Shopping
If you’re shopping with a specific item in mind, head to Google Shopping before you buy to compare online prices and see where you can bag the best deal.
4. Use a cashback site
Although you probably won’t get the money back right away, by using cashback sites you can get money back on what you buy (usually a percentage of the purchase). If you consistently use them, the pounds can soon add up.
5. Hunt for deals
Spend some time rooting through online deal forums, like hotukdeals, dealnews.com, and Voucher Codes. Your persistence will be rewarded.
6. Use Groupon
With Groupon, you can get up to a whopping 70% off anything from food and holidays to massages and clothes.
7. Plan big purchases
If you’re not in a hurry, time big purchases to coincide with seasonal sales. For example, if you’re after a new outdoor furniture set, odds are, most retailers will have theirs on sale towards the end of summer, so pick one up then instead.
8. Pick up in-store
To save on postage, if you can, get your item sent to a local store and pick it up for free.
9. Stock up during sales
If you know you buy the same thing regularly - like your shampoo, washing up liquid or favourite foundation, stock up when you see it’s on sale. If it’s not perishable and you know you’ll use it down the line, it’s a no brainer.
10. Don’t buy for brand
This one’s particularly pertinent for your food shop. Switch some branded items to non-branded items, if you don’t like it you can always switch back, but more often than not you can’t even taste the difference - but your bank account can see it.
11. Buy secondhand
Check out sites like eBay, Amazon, Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace for secondhand goods. You might even get lucky and bag something for free!
12. Time it right
Now this one will vary from shop-to-shop, but, generally, retailers tend to offer discounts on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. So, just timing your weekly shop right could save you a few quid.
13. Set up an alert
If the item(s) you want isn’t on sale now, set up a Google Alert to be notified when it is. This way you’ll be ready to pounce as soon as the price drops.
14. Join loyalty programmes
This can be a bit of a slow burner, but it’s worth it when the time to cash in finally comes around. It’s probably only worth it for sites you regularly use though, otherwise it could literally take years to be rewarded.
15. Clear your cookies and go incognito
Dynamic pricing is when retailers show different customers different prices depending on their shopping habits. If you’re a regular shopper, they might assume you’re willing to pay anything to get your goods and bump the price up as a result.
To avoid being rumbled, clear your cookies and go incognito.
16. Use your coupons in the right order
If you’ve got more than one coupon at your disposal make sure you use them wisely. For example, let’s say you have a £10 voucher and a 20% off coupon. Use the 20% off first to get the most money off the total amount, and then use then £10 voucher after.
17. Ask for a discount
If you don’t ask you don’t get. Next time that little online chat pop-up appears on your screen, instead of shutting it down, ask the agent if they’ve got any promo codes they can share with you. It might not always work, but it’ll be worth it even if it does a handful of times.
18. Follow your favourite brands on social media
That way you’ll be hot on the pulse of any upcoming sales and discounts.
19. Head to online outlet stores
They sell the same quality items as their non-outlet counterparts, but for a fraction of the price. Don’t get your hopes up too high though, because there are limited quantities things tend to sell out pretty quick.
20. Happy birthday to you
Lots of stores offer freebies, coupons or discounts for your birthday, so cash in on them! To be eligible most retailers require you to be signed up to their loyalty programme and/or newsletter, so get yourself enrolled for lots of extra birthday goodies.
Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.