I don’t know about you, but I much prefer shopping online. I am a big shopaholic, but I just don’t enjoy shopping in stores. It’s always busy and crowded, but the prices are never as good instore compared to the prices online. I’d like to think that I’m a savvy shopper, as I never place any online orders without looking for ways in which I can save money. There’re many ways that you can save money with online shopping, so keep on reading for my tips on where to find the best deals when shopping online.
I am a massive fan of cashback sites, and have been using them religiously for nearly four years. Before finally trying cashback sites, I was a huge sceptic about how they work. I just couldn’t get my head around the concept of ‘free money’ for a couple of extra clicks, and I assumed it was some sort of scam but it absolutely isn’t. There’s a few different cashback sites out there, but the two big ones are Topcashback and Quidco. You basically sign up to their websites, and whenever you shop online, instead of searching online for a store like John Lewis, you would go to Topcashback and input ‘John Lewis’ in their search box. This then gives you a link to John Lewis, and you simply click it and do your shopping as normal.
It takes no more than ten extra seconds per retailer, and once you’ve clicked the link you don’t have to check out immediately as the cashback sites utilise cookies so you could make an order a few days later and still earn money. An example to try to explain how it works as simply as I can is if I purchase a MAC Lipstick from John Lewis, I can just go to the John Lewis website directly and pay £17.50 for my lipstick. Or I can go via Topcashback to get to the John Lewis website, and I will still pay £17.50 for my lipstick. It doesn’t make any difference to the price, or checkout process. It just means that you’ll earn a percentage of your final order via Topcashback.
Different sites have different cashback percentages, and the percentages do differ day to day so it’s always best to check which cashback sites have the better rates. You earn cashback on almost anything you can imagine like holidays, gifts, food shops and experience tickets. The money you earn from making your online purchases will grow in your account on your cashback sites, and once you reach a certain threshold, you can withdraw your cashback.
I personally like to let mine build up throughout the year, and then do a withdrawal in November, to put the money towards Christmas shopping but you can withdraw your earnings via PayPal, BACS, vouchers and more. It truly doesn’t cost you anything, you earn money for a couple of extra clicks and I now use the cashback sites before I make any online purchase, be it £1.99 or £1099. Another bonus of sites like Topcashback is that they sometimes list discount codes too, so you end up saving even more money.
Whenever I am placing an online order, I have a little ritual before I click ‘checkout’ and that involves checking for cashback eligibility but also checking for voucher codes. I won’t order anything without checking for voucher codes, as you can almost always find a code online that’ll save you money. There are lots of different voucher code websites, it can be a little overwhelming with which ones are the best, and have codes that work. You’ll always come across discount codes that have expired, or aren’t eligible for the items you’re purchasing due to things like brand limitations. For example, Charlotte Tilbury as a brand never allow you to use discount codes to purchase their products regardless of the retailer.
I have a few favourite voucher code websites that I have bookmarked, so I can check for live codes whenever I’m about to place an order. My top recommendation is VoucherCodes.co.uk, and they have a really great range of codes for almost any retailer you could imagine like Boots, Adidas, Debenhams and more. You just enter the sites name into the search box, and they’ll list all the live codes they have available for you to copy, to then paste in the ‘promo code’ box at checkout. Again just like cashback, it doesn’t cost you anything to search, but if you do manage to find one, it’ll save you money so it’s so worth doing.
If you’re ever looking for a product like a financial service, I’d always recommend utilising a comparison website to see where the best deal is. Sometimes these sites will show you the cheapest option, or the option with a sign up incentive. It’s a great way at getting a look at lots of different sites in one go, so you don’t have to get quotes by going to all the sites individually. It’s really handy for getting quotes for insurance, or internet providers.
If you’re looking for a loan, you can input how much you’re looking for and the term you want to repay it over, and the comparison sites will give you example quotes showing the APR and things like penalties for early repayment. Not everyone will qualify for loans through a comparison website, so you’d be better off looking into loans for bad credit instead as you may be able to find your perfect loan. Another thing to consider when using comparison sites, is that many qualify for cashback too so you could save money by using the comparison website and then earn money for taking out a policy or product which is fab value for money.
My last recommendation for where to find the best deals when shopping online is utilising offer forums. I’m a massive fan of Hot Deals UK as they have almost everything I’ve mentioned above. You can find sales, discounts, free gifts, offers and even freebies on there, and they have a handy app too so you can keep an eye out for offers you’re looking for.
You can even set up notifications that you’ll be notified when a deal is posted, so for example if you’re dying to place a Ted Baker website, you can set up a notification where you’ll be emailed as soon as any Ted Baker deals are posted which is just so helpful. I like checking the hot deals section on Hot Deals UK, as people post if there’s any big sales or discounts they’ve found. It’s such a great site for finding the best deals when shopping online, but there are also instore offers too so it’s a must-have site to check if you fancy saving some money!
I hope you found these recommendations helpful, and they help you to save money when shopping online.