Shopping Online: Tips and Tricks To Save You Money

Shopping Online: Tips and Tricks To Save You Money

As much as we attempt to downsize, declutter, and change our shopping habits; there is no point denying the unavoidable fact we sometimes need to buy new things. When the time comes to make a purchase there are a few tips and tricks worth knowing for getting a better deal.

Set Up A New Email

Shopping online involves a lot of emails; newsletter subscriptions, notifications, purchase recipes… Keeping a separate email address prevents marketing emails flooding your personal/work inbox and means you only need to access it when looking up receipts, and checking on sales, discount codes, and offers. If you don’t want a separate inbox, set up a filter in your current one, which will pull all promotional emails into a separate folder. Consider using Unroll.Me to clean up your inbox regularly.

Sign Up For Newsletters

Most mailing lists will not only send notifications on sales and offers they also send rewards on sign-up, usually 10% off or free shipping on your first order. If they ask for your birthday on sign up the chances are they’re requesting this information so they can send you a birthday treat in the form of a discount code - there’s nothing stopping you entering a different date to get your “birthday treat” early...

Follow On Social Media

Most brands share details of their sales and current offers across their social media platforms but some also share discounts exclusive to specific platforms. It’s worth checking a brand’s feed before making a purchase if you’re on the hunt for current promotions and deals.

Shop On The Right Day

It’s a well known industry “secret” that most deals are rolled out later in the week usually over Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Shopping on these days (instead of over the weekend) means you’re more likely to catch a good deal as soon as it hits.

Join The Wait List

If an item you love is out of stock sign up to the wait list to be notified when it’s back in stock and hopefully you won’t be tempted to buy something else instead. Not all websites offer this feature and if they don’t, save your beloved item to a wishlist to keep a reminder of the things you’re coveting.

Online vs In-Store

Sometimes in-store deals are better than online and vice versa so check both before committing to a purchase. Weigh up whether it’s worth the trip if you have to do it by car or if you’re better off saving the time and making the purchase online regardless of shipping costs.

Go Incognito

Log out of your accounts, clear your browsing history and cookies, and switch to an incognito browser. Not only will this prevent sneaky price changes, if you’re searching for a gift on a shared computer using an incognito browser your search history won’t be stored. If you’re tired of being bombarded by advertisements and marketed to based on your recent search history, consider installing AdBlock.

Use Variations

If you’re frequently tempted into making impulse purchases, make use of search features. Narrow down your choices and hone in on exactly what you want by using the variant search features to bring up a smaller selection of products.

Check Availability

If you’re shopping on a specific brand’s website, it’s worth checking to see if their products are available elsewhere online including multi-brand websites. If a product is available in several places online, taking the time to compare prices means it's possible to take advantage of free shipping and returns, loyalty programmes, sales, and discount codes.

Google For Discount

Never pay full price for anything ever again; this is a simple and very effective tip everyone should be using. Before making a purchase, do a quick Google search: “discount code [brand] [month] [year]” It will pull up any current discount codes, offers, deals, flash sales. If you find multiple codes remember to stack the discounts if you can.

Ask Customer Service

Take the work out of hunting for offers, if there is a chat box online ask the customer service team if there are any current promotions or discounts. They might be able to swing you a deal or offer you an incentive for purchasing from them.

Abandon Your Cart

Always do this. Fill your cart with the items you want to buy and then… abandon it. Close your browser. The chances are you’ll receive an email within 24-hours and it’s likely that email will contain an incentive to bring you back to the site. It could mean the difference between paying full price and getting free shipping or a percentage off your total.

Read The Reviews

It sounds very obvious but make sure you read onsite and offsite reviews of the brand and product you’re considering purchasing especially if it’s from a website you haven’t purchased from before. If it sounds like too good of a deal it probably is.

Take Advantage Of Trials

Even if you know you’re going to buy a subscription make use of the free trials service based websites offer, you can often get an entire month for free so why not make use of it before committing to a monthly fee?

Be An Ethical Consumer provides information on brands, you can’t access all the information they have on each brand but you can at least find a basic rating with information on their manufacturing policies. Try searching “[brand] Ethical Consumer Rating."

Wait It Out

If you can’t find discount or qualify for free shipping and your order isn’t urgent, be patient and wait it out. If you’re committed to making a purchase, check back daily to see if any offers come up or the item goes on sale.