I have a bit of a reputation among my friends as a bargain hunter, I refuse to pay full price for anything online. Let’s face it, everyone wants to save money shopping online – there is nothing more satisfying that getting a bargain. Now that I am a stay at home mum, I do as much of my shopping online as possible as opposed to going to actual shops… anyone who has a toddler on tow will understand why! Once I have identified the product I want to buy (clothes, electronics, toys… literally anything), here are the 3 steps I go through for every single transaction to make sure I am paying the lowest price:
1. My #1 tip to save money shopping online: I ask myself if I can buy it second hand
This totally depends on what I am buying… a new toothbrush? Erm, no thanks. I’d like to be the first owner please. But a dress, a book or a toy? Definitely, especially given the savings that are to be made. Not only will you save a fortune, but it also saves things going into landfill so our planet will thank you. The obvious place to start is eBay, but if it’s a bigger item e.g. garden furniture or a large toy such as a Jumperoo then local listings on Gumtree are always worth checking out. Did you know that you can also collect Sainsburys Nectar points on your eBay purchases? I didn’t until Mel told me – read more here.
2. I find the best deal
If I’ve decided that I don’t want to buy the item second hand, my next port of call it to go to Hotukdeals and do a search to see if anyone has listed a special deal for the item in question. If you don’t see any deals that catch your eye, I would highly recommend setting up a keyword email alert which is really easy to do – once you have searched for something you will see a box on the page as follows – you then get an email any time someone lists a deal:
I would also do a search on Google Shopping to see if there are any low price deals that haven’t made it to Hotukdeals.
3. Once I have identified the best deal, I look for cashback and discount codes
I have been using TopCashback since 2013 and at the time of writing I have earned nearly £1,300 just from buying things I would be buying anyway. You would be surprised by how many retailers give cashback, even eBay. It has been one of my greatest tools in my constant quest to save money shopping online.
Bonus step: if it’s something that I am buying for myself, like a new pair of jeans I have had my eye on, or a bottle of perfume, or a new tub of moisturiser, then I always ask myself if I have a special occasion coming up (birthday, Christmas, anniversary). Then I can offer it as a suggestion for people who may be looking to buy me a gift. Trust me, most people will be delighted to get you something that you actually want instead of just socks (again). It may sound obvious to some, but in the past I have become so used to just treating myself as soon as I want something and now it is so much nicer actually waiting to unwrap something. There is a lot to be said for delayed gratification!
Hope this article has helped you to save money shopping online, if so, I would love it if you would let me know in the comments.