Advice

How to Shop for the Best Deals

With the cost of living continuously rising and shopping becoming more expensive than ever, finding the best deals on big purchases not only saves you money but stretches it, too. Here are a few tips to help you get the best price for the things you want. 

Clear Your Browsing History

Whether you are looking for Boxing Day air conditioner deals or simply want to buy a new pair of jeans, you first need to clear your browsing history. Retailers use your internet data to see what you are buying and at what price, and search engines also sometimes show stores they think you are interested in, as opposed to all of them. 

Clearing your browsing data and using a VPN or something similar gives you a clean slate and allows you to see all the retailers as well as all of their best prices. 

Online vs In-Store Prices

Always compare the online and the in-store price of an item. Countless retailers offer discounts depending on the method in which you purchase an item; you will often see deals such as “20% off today, in-store only.”

Look for Added Costs

In addition to comparing prices, go through the online checkout process to see if there are any added costs. For large or heavy items, the shipping or delivery fees can often be very high, more money than it would cost in fuel to simply drive to the store. 

Look for Trade-In/Cashback Offers

While this typically only applies to tech products, finding stores offering cashback or trade-in deals can often help you save money on big-ticket items. Some smartphone manufacturer stores or data providers offer a cash discount on a new phone if you trade in your old model. 

Depending on the age and condition of the phone you are trading in, you can easily get quite a large amount of money discounted off of a new device. 

Time Your Purchases

If there is no time limit on when you need to make your purchase, have the patience to wait for certain sale periods. Some of these periods are well-known, such as January being a great time to buy workout equipment since stores try to take advantage of New Year’s resolutions. A good time to buy school supplies would be just before the school year or a new term starts.

Seasonality 

For example, if you are buying clothes, always try to buy your big-ticket items in the off-season. While this isn’t always possible, as some retailers will just stop stocking certain items, purchasing a “last season” coat in Summer or a swimsuit in Winter will often see you save money as retailers want to get rid of their stock in preparation for the next season. 

Download Shopping Tools

There are many shopping tools that will not only allow you to get cash back but are also brilliant at finding discount coupons. Honey is one of the most well-known; when you are on a store’s checkout page, Honey will help you find and apply applicable coupon codes to your purchase.  

Many of these tools also offer reward systems; a percentage of your purchase total gets turned into cash or points that you can then use to get discounts on your next purchase. 

Leave Items in Your Cart

Many people have discovered one interesting quirk: the power of leaving items in your online shopping cart. While this doesn’t always work, many people have seen stores offer coupons or discounts on items in your cart to finalise the sale.

The process is simple: put items in your shopping cart and forget about them for a few days or even a couple of weeks. There is a good chance you will receive a “reminder” email about your cart and a discount code or coupon. 

Take Advantage of Deals

Taking full advantage of a deal isn’t just getting an item at the best price, but it also means using the deal effectively. For instance, if your child is in school and pens are on sale, don’t stop at buying one pack; buy a few; they are going to finish more than one pack of pens, so why not buy more of them at the discounted price?

Secondly, take advantage of add-on deals as well. We have all heard about 2-for-1 deals or “buy two get the third for half-price” deals, but there are many variations of this. A popular online one is something like “spend £30 or more for a free gift or delivery.” While the item itself may not be on sale, you will still be getting a great discount and bonus. 

Create an Account/Join a Mailing List

Finally, a quick and easy step to almost guarantee a discount or bonus of some kind is to create an account for the store you are shopping in/on or joining their mailing list. More often than not, online retailers will offer a first-purchase discount after you sign up for an account. 

As for newsletters, many retailers will periodically include coupons or discount codes within newsletters for their loyal fans.

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