10 Ways To Save Money When Shopping Online
Shopping at Christmas can be a stressful and expensive time so we’re here to give you the best ways to save money when looking for those important gifts online.
The number of people shopping online is increasing year on year but many of us (probably the majority!) still leave our gift shopping for Christmas until the last minute, allowing the retailers to take advantage and charge a premium.
But if you’re a savvy shopper, you can save money by keeping an eye out for special deals in the weeks and months leading up to December 25th.
Here are a few tips to avoid overpaying on those gifts and bag yourself a bargain!
1. Buy In Advance
If you leave your shopping until the last minute, you’ll have no choice but to pay last minute prices! You might also find that the most popular gifts have sold out.
So, as soon as you can, figure out who you need to buy gifts for and make a list of what you want to buy.
WishLists are ideal for this. They allow you to bookmark and save certain items into a list, for you or others to browse through when they want to start shopping.
2. Shop Around
If you see a gift you like on a website, before you buy, do a search for the term in Google (use quotation marks to narrow your search – “example”).
By doing this, there’s a good chance you’ll find another retailer that is selling exactly the same product but at a cheaper price! Never simply buy from the first website you find.
3. Voucher/Coupon Codes
As an example, if you search for ‘John Lewis discount codes’, you’ll be presented with a list of voucher code sites. Simply choose a coupon and enter it at checkout to get a discount.
You may need to sign up with your email address to get the code but if it saves you money, it is worth it.
Just keep an eye out for code sites that ask for more information than your email, like your phone number or any bank information. Steer clear of websites like this. Christmas is an opportune time for scams and cons as well as special offers.
4. Email Newsletters
Online retailers usually have a mailing list you can signup to, which means you’ll get regular emails with special offers.
Also, if they’re having a sale, you’ll be the first to know!
5. Cashback Websites
Sites such as TopCashBack and Quidco partner with retailers to give you a small percentage of your order value back, usually between 5-10%, though this varies.
You don’t have to do anything differently from when you normally buy, so it’s a no-brainer!
6. Daily Deals
These are limited-stock, one-day only deals (Amazon’s deals can be for just an hour!) that give you the opportunity to get a great deal before the big day!
Set up accounts with these retailers and then you can choose alerts that notify you when a flash sale or daily deal is about to start.
7. Don’t Waste Your Money
There is nothing worse than spending money on what you think is a great gift, only to find your recipient already has one, or has no need or desire for it. Wasting money on irrelevant gifts is a big regret at Christmas time so make sure you get it right first time.
Without being sneaky or breaking any privacy rules, you could always take a peak at your loved one’s browser history if you share a computer.
It could give you valuable insights into what they would really like for Christmas.
8. Quality Vs Quantity
For eCommerce websites, Black Friday is extremely relevant. The focus on Black Friday sales has exploded over the last year and it has quickly become one of the UK’s biggest consumer sales peaks.
That said, whilst there are definitely bargains to be had, it’s important to understand that many retailers use Black Friday sales as an outlet for last-season or older model goods.
So double-check you’re actually getting good value for money and the model you want.
9. Organise A Secret Santa
Buying gifts for everyone (especially if you work in a large office) can be quite expensive. Instead, organise a Secret Santa where you buy only a single gift for someone in your group. There are plenty of online generators that will you to automate the process if you find getting everyone together to draw names to be a bit difficult.
You should also set a limit on your gift, say £5 or £10, so no one feels under pressure to spend more than they are comfortable with.
10. Smart Delivery
When sending gifts in the UK and overseas, Royal Mail often isn’t the cheapest or quickest option available. If you’re sending parcels that weigh more than 1-2kg, sites such as ParcelMonkey.co.uk generally offer more competitive pricing than Royal Mail.
We hope you find these tips useful when it comes to your Christmas shopping. And if you have a savvy money-saving trick that isn’t listed here, let us know by posting a comment below!