Want to shop online and save money? Choosing to shop online puts you in control and you can use some savvvy tips and tricks to ensure you always get the best deal for you. Here are five of our favourite ways to save money when shopping online.
Compare product prices
Even if you’ve already got it in mind which retailer you want to purchase from, it’s always worth conducting a quick bit of research to compare prices for the item before you buy, especially if it’s a branded item.
Google’s Shopping search makes this super easy. Simply click on the Shopping tab, type in the name of the item you’re keen to purchase (for example, “Hasbro Monopoly game”) and hit search. The results should provide you with a list of online stores that are selling the item and the different prices they’re being sold out. You can then choose the retailer that’s offering the best price – both in terms of the product price and delivery fee.
Use cashback websites
Cashback websites, such as Quidco or TopCashBack, are a brilliant way of both saving money and making money when you buy online.
Register for free on the cashback site of your choice, then simply search for the online retailer that you’re interested in purchasing from. The results will show you if the retailer offers cashback (sadly, not all do), what level of cashback they offer and if they’re currently running any extra money-saving promotions.
Then you simply click through from the cashback site to the store and shop. Your cashback purchase should be tracked (Quidco, for example, has a pop-up box that will tell you your visit has been recorded).
Do bear in mind that cashback payments can take months to be paid out to you, so it’s not an instant way of making money back, but it can be worth it in the long-run. Cashback websites can be great to use for large purchases, such as furniture or holidays, as you can end up getting a nice amount back, but are equally useful for smaller, everyday purchases too – every little bit adds up!
Search Google for discount codes or coupons
Before I make an online purchase, I always do a Google search to see if there are any current discount codes or coupons available.
Try searching for the name of the online store and the fact that you’re looking for a discount code (eg “Dominos discount code”). If a lot of results come up, you can narrow down the results by typing in the year or month and year that you’re looking (eg “Dominos discount code June 2020”).
There are lots of websites that specialise in providing links to discount codes, such as VoucherCodes.co.uk and HotUKDeals.com. You can also look directly on these sites, but by using Google, you can see at a glance what’s available.
Look out for special discount codes on shop sites
Some retailers offer special discount codes on their online stores. For example, retailers like Roman Originals or The Skinny Food Company often have a pop-up box that appears when you’re browsing the site offering you an extra discount. Sometimes you’ll need to enter your email address or sign up to their newsletter to get the discount, but if you’re definitely going to make a purchase, it’s worth it. As a bonus, once you’re on their mailing list, you’re likely to be told about future discounts and money saving opportunities too.
Do be aware that if you’re using a cashback site as well, you won’t necessarily be eligible to get two discounts – one is likely to over-ride the other.
Check delivery options
Don’t forget to check what the delivery options are before you buy. Some retailers, such as Dorothy Perkins, offer you the chance to pay a one off fee to cover free delivery for a year. If you’re going to be buying online regularly, then this could prove to be an excellent long-term saving.
Other retailers, such as M&S, have a minimum spend amount in order to achieve free delivery. Although it’s not advisable to buy something extra for the sake of it, if there’s something else you need, buying it at the same time could help save on postage costs.