10 Helpful Online Shopping Hacks for Saving Money
Online shopping has made life so much easier for families. But, the more convenient retailers make it to buy stuff, the more stuff you buy, the more money you spend! So we’re going to let you in on a little secret, and share 10 helpful shopping hacks for saving money online.
- Abandon Your Shopping Cart
Our first hack involves tricking shopping carts into thinking you don’t want your products anymore. First, make sure you sign-in to the site you’re using (so that they know who you are and how to contact you). Then, shop as normal. Go through the checkout process but close the site just before you pay. This is called “abandoning” your cart.
Some retailers will send you an offer code to entice you to complete your transaction. Vouchers range from “Free Shipping” to a percentage off your order, so it’s worth a try. To see if the shop you’re using offers these vouchers, wait a few days after abandoning your cart, then check your email.
- Get Price-Drop Alerts
If there is something you’ve had your eye on for a while but can’t quite afford, price-drop alerts might be just the hack you’re looking for.
Love Sales makes it even easier to save on tonnes of products with a bookmark button. Whenever you are browsing online and see something you like, just hit the Love Sales button to automatically add it to your list.
- Sign Up to Newsletters
You may have noticed when shopping online that most sites offer discounts to new customers to get them to register their details, like this:
While this itself is a great way to save money, there’s more! When you sign up to receive emails from a retailer, you can expect to be rewarded with vouchers and discounts all year round. Retailers do this to reward loyalty and spread positive word-of-mouth between customers and their social circles.
- Use Online Outlets
Everyone knows about discount outlets in the ‘real world’ – huge stores and warehouses that sell old and end-of-the-line stock at a reduced price. But these outlets exist online too.
Some of your favourite retail outlets could have online outlets. All you have to do is find them. To save your some work, here are our top 5 UK outlets:
Click here for a more comprehensive list of top UK retail outlet websites.
- Utilise ShopBots and Coupon Sites
Finding a good deal is important, but with all the other stuff you have to do, it’s not always easy to find time to do as much research as you’d like. Cue ShopBots and coupon sites!
ShopBots are software programmes that trawl the internet collecting pricing information on products to find the best price. The king of ShopBots is the aptly-named MegaShopBot. This site goes one step further by collecting prices from all of the ShopBots (who have already collected pricing information across retail sites) to give you the ultimate price. Just search the product you’re shopping for, and MegaShopBot will compile a list of online stores that offer it for the best price:
Coupon sites, like Hot UK Deals, work in a similar way to ShopBots, but they collate the best deals online generally rather than the best prices for individual products. Before you buy anything online, always check for vouchers or coupons first!
- Cash In on Cashback
Cashback deals are plentiful these days, whether a cashback credit card or a cashback offer through your bank. Most schemes and cards are pretty straightforward, so there’s no reason not to use them.
With a cashback credit card, simply go about your shopping as normal and you’ll receive a percentage of your spend back into your account. Just pay your credit card off (in full) every month so that you are saving money (rather than racking up debt!)
Cashback schemes work a little differently. Similar to the coupon sites mentioned earlier, these schemes offer a list of retailers and/or products where you can claim cash back. They are really useful if you’re already planning on using the recommended products and retailers.
- Use Compare Functions
Lots of shopping sites are making it easier for you to find the best deal by offering a ‘compare’ function. While browsing products, select the ‘compare’ box for items you want to buy. You can then review those products side by side in a separate window to calculate value for money. Here’s an example of a comparison between pushchairs on the Tesco Direct website:
By giving you the product dimensions and any additional information, as well as the all-important price, the compare functionality makes it easier to choose the product that gives you more bang for your buck.
- Dodge Delivery Costs
Shopping online is great. You can save money and compare prices in a few clicks, all from the comfort on your sofa. The biggest downfall is paying for delivery. Some retailers who have realised this, offer free delivery. But there is usually a minimum spend you need to qualify.
If you don’t meet the spend threshold, in-store collection is free. This is a great way to save a couple of quid. All you have to do is resist the temptation to buy more when you collect your shopping!
10 Retailers Who Offer Click and Collect:
- John Lewis/Waitrose
- Tesco Direct
- Mamas & Papas
- Toys R Us
- Early Learning Centre
- B & M Home
- Join Parenting Clubs
If you’re a new (or soon-to-be) parent, there are many online stores that will be on your radar now that weren’t before – and they will all be fighting for your attention. Resulting in big savings for you!
One such retailer is Boots. From the moment you find out you’re pregnant to your child turning three, you can join the Boots Parenting Club to take advantage of tailored offers. Mothercare has a similar club called My Mothercare which boasts over £100 worth of vouchers, 20% off maternity clothing, exclusive early access to sales, and more!
Even Amazon are jumping on the parenting-club bandwagon, offering prime members up to 20% off family-centric products, including nappies.
- Try Your Hand at Haggling!
More and more online stores are offering Live Chat. But they mostly go ignored unless a shopper has a serious issue or complaint they want resolved instantly. However, some frugal online shoppers have been sleuthing and discovered that Live Chats can also be used to haggle with staff to get discounts while shopping.
It’s not an infallible way to save, but it is worth a try and isn’t as awkward as face-to-face haggling can be!
So there you have it! 10 helpful online shopping hacks for saving money next time you shop.