Top Tips For Getting The Best Out Of Online Shopping

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The popularity of internet shopping has hit an all-time high. Brick-and-mortar stores are feeling the pinch, with around 20% of all shopping done online. It is easy and convenient for shoppers – they can order it from the comfort of their own home – no worrying about strapping the kids into the car and finding somewhere to park. It is even easier now with huge corporations such as Amazon offering next day or even same-day delivery on pretty much every item you could dream of.

The internet, however, is a vast place, and it can be difficult to know where to start and how to find the very best deals and offers. For example, you might be starting to think about Christmas and looking for that perfect gift for the loved one in your life – but where on earth do you start looking for the best discounts on luxury watches? Fear not, however, we have put together a guide showing you how to get the very best out of your online shopping.

Spend some time looking for the cheapest online prices

As we said above, this can be one of the most challenging aspects of online shopping, but a little time and research can pay huge dividends. 

One way of doing this is to use price comparison sites. These sites trawl through selected retailers’ products to find the cheapest deal, whether you’re searching for clothes, games, or more. Google Shopping is one of the best and the most consistent. 

Abandon your shopping cart to persuade them to give you a discount code

One sneaky little tip that is not too well known but worth a try is to put any items you want to buy into your shopping cart, and then click off the website and go off and do something else. Assuming you have left your email address, in many instances, the company will get in touch with you asking why you have abandoned the cart, if there is anything that they can do, and very often throwing in a discount code to tempt you back. It does not always work, but it is worth a try!

Download a voucher code plugin

Sometimes when you’re shopping, you forget to check up on the voucher code sites to help slash the cost of what you’re about to buy. However, some plugins automatically gather voucher codes that are eligible for the store you are shopping at and gives you a notification to tell you what you can save. 

Shop on a Monday

The day of the week you choose to buy things online could help you save money. Research from price comparison shopping websites has identified that online shoppers tend to get the best deals on a range of products towards the beginning of the week rather than around the weekend when retailers know people have more free time to browse and make purchases.

Sign up to newsletters

While the pop-ups asking you to sign up can be more than a little annoying, if you are after a bargain, sign up to the newsletters. Online retailers are keen to get you on their mailing list, so many offer an incentive for signing up for their newsletter. At Gap, for example, you can get 20% off full-price styles when you sign up

Even if a retailer does not offer an incentive, newsletters are an excellent way to stay in the loop about sales, store events, and other offers that could benefit you.

If you are worried about your inbox being overrun, you could set up a separate address to manage them.

Haggle on live chat

Lots of stores have an online chat service, where you can speak to a customer service advisor. It won’t always work, but if you are desperate for that discount, do not dismiss the little pop-up box and ask – it is worth a shot! The live chat advisors on the Dell, Nike, and Dyson websites have been known to give 10% or more off purchases just for asking. 

Accumulate more coupons with multiple email addresses

You will often find that some retailers like to send single-use coupons out to a select number of customers. To get the most out of these, sign up using multiple email addresses so you can receive the same coupon multiple times.

It is pretty sneaky, but well worth it if you can receive multiple discount codes to use in your favorite store!

Beat delivery charges

Even when you have found the perfect deal on that much-wanted item, the delivery charges can soon rack up, and you lose the benefit of the original discount. However, as with most things, there is a way around it if you are savvy. Many retailers offer a click and collect service, where you order and pay online and take advantage of an online-only discount, but you can collect the item from the store. Others, including retail giant Amazon, offer the choice of picking your order up from a designated locker or store rather than having it delivered to your home. This is usually free or at a lower cost and is convenient because you don’t have to worry about waiting in for it or missing the delivery. 

If you are a regular customer, some websites offer a delivery scheme to allow you to save money on deliveries. You may pay a fixed amount every year or every month and have as many deliveries as you need or want for no extra cost, such as the Prime delivery service on Amazon.

Track price drops and sales

Years ago, sales only happened at particular times of the year – the end of the season, after Christmas, etc., but now they happen all year round, and many are ‘flash sales,’ only happening for a day, or even just a few hours. It can be hard to keep track of these. However, there are price tracking websites dedicated to keeping you in the know. Many offer a toolbar button you can download, which allows you to add items to your watch list as you browse the web, set a price you would like to pay for it, and create an alert for if it drops in price.

Use social media to find out about offers.

There is a good chance that you are active on at least one social media network, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Remember, the vast majority of stores and businesses are also on there, and will use these platforms for advertising their upcoming deals and offers. It is important to follow them and interact with them – the algorithms of these networks mean that unless you regularly engage with them, their posts will be hidden from your timeline, and you may miss out on offers. Many stores offer voucher codes and discounts exclusively for their social media followers.

Clear your browsing history and cookies

Do you know those things that pop up when you visit a website asking you about cookies? They are completely harmless (and often irritating!), but when it comes to online shopping, they are not going to be your friend. They store what you have been looking at and browsing, and if they know you are looking to buy them, they may well increase the price. If you are shopping online, delete your cookies and browser history and start afresh when you come to purchase something.

Do not be afraid to stack your codes

Many online retailers will allow you to stack up a bunch of different coupon codes at checkout so you can apply a number of different discounts to the same purchase.

Just enter the codes one at a time, and just before you are about to pay, check your invoice to make sure all discounts have been applied. Gap, Crocs, and Amazon are all examples of  the retailers that give you the option to stack, but many will not, so remember to double-check what codes have workedbefore paying.

Include your birthday for a birthday discount

Signing up to newsletters has plenty of benefits, but do not forget to fill in your birthday when you are registering. Some retailers or restaurants will offer you a discount on your birthday, or in some cases, a free gift such as a free coffee or dessert when you go in-store. Build-A-Bear is another retailer that offers this perk for your children.

Hopefully, by following some of these steps, you will be about to pick up a few bargains just in time for Christmas. Happy shopping!

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