1. Don’t Buy it Straight Away
When you find something you want, don’t buy it straight away. Instead, add it to your shopping basket and sit on it for a day or so. This might sound weird but many retailers will come running after you if you put things in your basket and abandon it.
This is because retailers monitor their shoppers’ activities so they’ll see this and prompt you to complete the order with an email, along with a discount code to motivate you to buy it. Or, the price might drop further. Either way, most retailers will try their best to make you buy from them as soon as possible, so be strong and don’t hit buy straight away.
2. Always Search for a Promotional Code Before You Hit Buy
Using promo codes doesn’t make you a cheapskate, it makes you a smarter online shopper. Before you hit “buy now”, always remember to scan the website for any codes (make sure they’re valid for sale items because not all of them are). There’s often promo codes offered if you sign up to a retailer’s newsletter.
Then, head to Google to search for any additional codes. Social media, especially Twitter, is also a good place to look as many users often generously share any codes they’ve found.
3. Try and Be Loyal to Websites
Many websites offer better prices and exclusive discount codes if you sign up to their newsletter or follow them on social media. So, if possible, always sign up via these channels. It’s worth getting the odd promotional email in your inbox or seeing a sponsored ad on your Instagram feed if you’ll be getting early access to sales or an exclusive members-only discount code.
Many retailers also have loyalty schemes. A typical scheme might allow you to collect points with every purchase which then add up to various levels of rewards or early access to discounted lines. The more you spend, the more points you’ll get and the better the rewards.
The point of schemes like this are to entice you to keep shopping with a particular retailer but it’s great because you also get rewarded for your purchases. So, it’s best to build up loyalty with online stores and try to stick with them during sale time because you’ll be more likely to get the best discounts with them.
4. Compare Prices
If you’re buying anything that’s not exclusive to a specific seller, such as gadgets, holidays or insurance, make sure you look on other websites to compare prices. Once you’ve got a good number of websites with a decent price range, contact them to see if they can price match for you. In most cases, if they want your money, they’ll give you a discount.
Alternatively, you can go ahead and buy from the places that offer the lowest price. The point is, you should always research prices before you buy online because there’s usually at least one place that can offer a lower price than the first one you find.
5. Shop Incognito (Privacy Mode)
Many online shops display prices differently, depending on the user who’s browsing. For example, they can usually track your location, IP address, what device you’re using and whether you’ve looked at that page before. This can lead to them adjusting the prices, usually making it more expensive than before. Online holiday websites are notorious for this.
Navigate around this by browsing via a different browser and going incognito. This way, websites don’t know who you are or whether you’ve visited before and will show you the default prices.
6. Switch to Ultra Speedy Broadband
Online shopping revolves around the internet so it makes sense that a fast and reliable connection will enhance your experience. There are several key reasons for this, including:
- The website and all its elements load quickly. This is particularly important during sale season because the sale sections of the website usually contain masses of content - from hundreds of images and clothing items to flashing gifs and other gimmicks. Fast internet means the webpage and all its elements, such as images and videos, load quickly and without crashing so you’re not left frustrated.
- You can access exclusive sales before anyone else. Exclusive sales are exclusive for a reason - only special, loyal customers get a look in. This often means you get the first look at the sale before the other “less special” shoppers do, but there’s a time limit. Fast internet ensures you can get the most out of this exclusivity by browsing this sale smoothly and quickly snapping up purchases before anyone else.
- You can buy items before stock runs out. Leading on from the above point, fast internet means you can buy the products you have your eye on before stock runs out. It also applies for websites such as airlines, travel websites and ticket sales operators, who reserve your order for a specified amount of time. A fast internet means you can buy before this timer is up and your stock is released back out into the open.
- You can open multiple browser tabs at once with no issues. Whether it’s opening pages in new tabs so we’re not redirected from the main search page or we’re comparing prices, doing research or reading reviews, many of us like to open more than one tab at once when we shop. Fast internet allows this to happen - quickly and seamlessly.