Words by Charlotte Burns from LottyEarns
The high street is dying. People aren’t shopping in their local town centres anymore, choosing to shop online instead. There are more options, you can get the items delivered to your door, and it’s often cheaper if you know how to get a discount.
Of course, most of us know that we should wait for a sale and especially Black Friday to bag a bargain, however, there are other tricks worth knowing about which will help you save money while shopping online.
1. Buy midweek
Believe it or not, the day you buy can really make a difference to the price you pay. Brands often roll out sales and discounts midweek, to boost shopping sales during quieter periods.
If you’re hoping for a cheeky 20% off ASOS code for example, you’re more likely to get it on a Tuesday – Thursday than on a weekend when everyone is shopping anyway. If you can wait until the midweek to shop, do.
2. Sign up to email newsletters
If you feel like you’re always missing out on sales and deals, or only discover them when all the good stuff has gone, it’s very much worth signing up to your favourite retailer’s newsletters.
You may want to create an account just for this, because you will be spammed with at least weekly newsletters by each retailer, but it’s so worth it for the deals and the discounts you will get.
Plus, when you sign up, there are often new joiner discounts you get as a thank you, such as 10% off your first order at H&M or 20% off at Gap.
3. Leave items in your basket
Playing hard to get with the brands you love, can really work in your favour. If you see something you’re into, put it in your cart and step away for a day or two. Retailers hate the unclosed sale, so may email you with a voucher code to sweeten the deal and get you to commit.
However, this trick only works if you have an account and you are logged in when you leave the item in your cart. Naturally when it comes to limited time events like Black Friday clothing deals, you’re going to have to bite the bullet – otherwise risk losing out on your sweet bargain forever.
4. Tell them when it’s your birthday
A cake isn’t the only perk you can get on your birthday, big discounts on items you’ve been eyeing up is another.
When you sign up with a retailer and it asks for your date of birth, don’t ignore it or put in any old numbers, because many brands will personalise their marketing and give you a birthday voucher or discount.
The best bit is generally, they tend to be bigger than the average discount it gives out. You have to spend your birthday money somewhere, right?
5. Check for a cashback deal
Let’s say you wanted to buy something from Topshop. If you were to click on Quidco first, then go through to Topshop via the site – you’ll get from around 3 – 5% of what you spend back in your account.
Quidco reckons that the average shopper gets £300 back every year, just shopping how they would usually. It’s a money-saving habit worth picking up.
6. Join deals-based Facebook groups
There are professional deals hunters on Facebook who spend their days searching for deals, sales and glitches and sharing them on the groups they have created. These groups have thousands of people in them, all keeping an eye out for a bargain which they then share with the group.
If you do have a Facebook account, it is so worth joining these groups because glitches and voucher codes tend to be very short-lived, so you’ll want to know about them as soon as possible.
7. Get a student discount
Flash a student card, and you open the door to a whole new world of brilliant discounts. But you don’t have to be a student to get a student discount… if you know a little trick.
You can sign up to an online course for around £10 using a site such as Wowcher, which then technically makes you a student, meaning you can apply for an NHS card, getting you access to the best discounts all year round. It’s totally legit, and worth it as most people get the initial cost back within a few shops.
8. Clear your cookies
It’s probably not going to surprise you to hear that retailers want as much money out of you as possible, and sometimes they use a sneaky trick called dynamic pricing to do it.
Brands know where you live, how much you’re likely to earn and spend, and how interested you are in a product. If you’ve been looking at a certain dress for example, and live in a nice area, it’s likely to show up as more expensive than if you lived somewhere else and had never clicked on it before.
To get a less biased price you should clear your browsing history and cookies in particular and switch to incognito mode to make the most of anonymous browsing while shopping online.
9. Don’t forget the outlets
You don’t have to go to Bicester Village or McArthur Glen to get a discounted bargain, as there are brilliant store outlets online – especially on eBay.
If you’re after designer gear, it’s worth signing up to Secret Sales, Fashionista and Brand Alley to get 70% the RRP. Taking a quick look at our Black Friday designer deals edit might be a good shout, if it happens to be that time of the year.
If you’re more about high street brands, in the eBay outlet section, you’ll find boohoo, Superdry, Office, L’Oreal, Ann Summers, Debenhams, Figleaves, Hobbs, Jack Wills, Jaeger, Karen Millen, Kurt Geiger, M&S, Next and Very – with items starting from just a couple of pounds.
So before your next online shop, it’s worth putting a few of these into practice. It might be the deciding factor in getting that dress or not…