You can scour the internet for hours on end trying to find out how to get cheaper deals online, but what’s the best method? In this blog we’ll give you the tools to find the products you love for the lowest rate.
We’re a nation who love shopping online – in 2017 the value of online retail sales in the United Kingdom was estimated at £67.38 billion.
Of course there are a lot of positives to shopping online – you can do it in your pyjamas, you’re not being hassled by pushy salespeople and you can read reviews before you decide to buy.
But the best thing about internet shopping is that there are more bargains to be had if you use the right tips and tricks. Read on to find out how to get cheaper deals online:
Get cheaper online deals with a fake shop
It might seem a bit of a waste of time doing your shopping without buying anything, but it could save you some money in the long run.
It could also help explain why the average shopping cart abandonment rate is so high – almost 79 percent of online shopping carts were abandoned by shoppers in 2017, according to e-commerce data company Barilliance.
If you sign in before filling your basket and then leave the website without making a purchase, there’s a chance you’ll receive an email with an online deal trying to tempt you back. This could be a discount, free postage or similar.
It’s by no means foolproof and may only happen occasionally, but if you’re thinking seriously about how to get cheaper deals online then it’s certainly worth a go.
Go incognito to bypass tracking
Now this is one that divides opinion.
Some people believe that because websites are able to track your browsing habits and know when you have searched for something, they will then increase the price next time when you come back to book it.
It’s not been proven that this is definitely the case – but we have our suspicions, particularly when it comes to booking flights or train tickets online, for example.
If you do try it, we’d also advise making sure you’re not signed into your google account on a normal, non-incognito browser, as otherwise there’s a chance you’ll still be tracked.
Either way, you’ve got nothing to lose by trying it out as it takes very little time – and if it works it could be a great way to get a cheaper deal online.
Set up price drop alerts to get items at their cheapest
If you really want that new 55-inch TV but can’t afford it without a discount, signing up to price drop alerts will make sure you are notified as soon as it reaches a price you can afford.
If you’re a fan of Amazon, a site like CamelCamelCamel can help you grab a bargain by letting you know when any items you’re tracking are reduced. Other similar options include PriceAlert and LoveSales which aren’t limited to particular brands and give you a great chance of getting the best possible deals as soon as they become available.
Do the maths for which retailer is truly cheaper
Sometime online shopping requires a bit of maths – and a bit of patience – to make sure you get the best possible deal.
Those shoes you’ve been looking for might seem cheaper from one shop, but if you add on their extortionate delivery costs then they might not actually be much of a bargain at all. Spend some time shopping around and where possible avoid paying for postage.
It’s also worth thinking about whether you might be likely to buy something from the same shop in the near future – in some retailers if you spend £30 on two separate occasions there’s a chance you’ll have to pay for delivery, but if you cross the threshold and pay £60 once, you could save anything up to £8, so planning ahead really makes a difference.
Similarly, if there’s an online shop you use frequently, think about signing up a special delivery service. Asos, for example, offers Premier Delivery, which gives you unlimited next day or nominated-day delivery for just £9.95 a year – a pretty good deal considering it’s usually £5.95 each time.
And remember, plenty of online retailers now give you the choice to pick up your items in store or at a locker for a much smaller fee (or sometimes free) – which also gives you the added bonus of not having to sit in and wait all day for your things to be delivered.
Haggle for a better deal
Most people think haggling is only for market stalls but in fact it can be a great tool when it comes to getting cheaper deals online.
You’ve probably seen more and more retailers add a ‘live chat’ function to their websites – and it’s expected to grow as much as 87 per cent in the next 12 to 18 months, according to SuperOffice research.
But rather than ignore live chat or only use it when you’ve got a problem, it can also be a quick and simple route to grabbing a bargain. If you’ve seen an item on a preferred website but think you can get a better deal elsewhere, starting a real-time conversation to ask whether they can offer any discount may just pay off.
Finding a good deal online could also help you get a bargain in person. Just because something is called an ‘online exclusive’ doesn’t mean you won’t be able to get it cheaper in store. For example, if you see a holiday package you want to book online, it’s certainly worth ringing around or popping into a few travel agents to see whether they can offer you anything better.
Use your email preferences wisely
We all know how annoying it is when you receive constant emails from a shop you bought something from once, 15 years ago. But if there’s somewhere you shop regularly, there’s a chance you will want to know when you can grab cheaper deals online – and emailing customers is often the way retailers alert customers to upcoming sales.
That doesn’t mean you should be resigning yourself to 15 emails a day in the hope you’ll be sent one offer code a year. Make sure you log into your account and set your notification preferences to stop messages flooding your inbox – something that should hopefully be easier since the introduction of GDPR earlier this year.
How to get cheaper deals online: A summary
Whether you’re looking for trainers or train tickets, it’s worth spending a bit of extra time to check whether you could save any money before you buy. By using an incognito browser, setting up price alerts and not being scared to ask for a better deal, you significantly increase your chances of getting a bargain, so you’ve got nothing to lose by giving our tips a go.
For more advice, check out some of our other blogs.