15 Ways to Score the Best Deals Every Time When Shopping Online

We love deals and like to save money online. However, experts keep many tips and tricks secret from the regular consumer.

Getting the best promotions and offers requires work and insider knowledge, and these suggestions will help reduce the chances of overspending at the checkout.

The tips range from basic ideas worth repeating to advanced information, but each will save you money.

1. Look for Seasonal Sales

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January used to be the best time to shop in the physical world. Stores that failed to clear stock over Christmas traditionally applied generous discounts to increase sales in a quiet month.

January savings can still exist digitally, but November’s Black Friday is the optimum discount time. Both options can save money, so look for seasonal savings at specific points of the year.

2. Use Comparison Websites

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It’s possible to compare prices for various consumer products, such as holidays, cars, insurance, and utility bills. Most shoppers already know they can access these portals but may be unaware that they can also compare prices on everyday household items such as food and drink.

Apps such as Flipp and Instacart offer real-time figures on goods, so you can be sure you’re not overpaying. Remember that not every store will have the best prices every time, but these apps are great for showcasing the cheapest outlets on average.

3. Don’t Forget Your Coupons

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Shows that involve extreme couponners tend to exaggerate the possibilities of this hobby. Few stores would let you walk out with multiple trolleys in exchange for a few cents, but coupons save money.

Check magazines and source coupons and promotional codes online. Unlike TV fantasy, reality tells us that small savings are possible, but every cent helps.

4. Leave Items in Your Basket

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Many shopping experts suggest leaving items in your shopping basket but waiting before checking out. The idea is that the merchant will see you haven’t completed the deal and may offer you a discount if you are undecided.

That’s the theory, anyway. This has never happened in my experience, but others confirm that they’ve saved money in this way. The good news is that it costs nothing to try this out.

5. Threaten to Walk Away

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Walking away from a contract has been proven to work, and I can vouch for this. It’s an advantageous approach for a phone or TV contract due for renewal.

The plan is to tell your supplier you are leaving at the end of the contract period as you have found a better deal. While there are no guarantees, the likelihood is that your existing supplier will offer a more competitive plan to get you to stay.

6. Join a Mailing List

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Many online retailers offer incentives to join their mailing lists. While you don’t want to receive unnecessary emails, it’s worth signing up for a newsletter if it leads to a discount on your first purchase.

You can always unsubscribe from the mailing list at a later date if you think it’s not worth your while to remain in the loop.

7. Pick Up Instead of Delivery

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Delivery charges can be significant for some retailers. While the most prominent outlets may offer free postage, most have a shipping charge that can outweigh the value of your discount.

In these cases, check to see if there is a pickup option. The savings will likely be worthwhile if you don’t have to drive a long distance to collect your purchase.

8. Make an Offer

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Some sales websites offer sellers the chance to make products available for sale. Discogs and eBay are just two examples of digital sales floors where some items may be opened to suggestions below the asking price.

You don’t want to insult the seller by offering a ridiculous figure, but it doesn’t make sense to pay the full price in these circumstances. The seller will accept a reduction, so look to negotiate.

9. Look to Haggle

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Even at major high online retailers where offers aren’t welcomed, it may be possible to suggest a lower price. Haggling is traditionally linked to cash purchases in the physical world, but some report success in trying to force a bargain online.

Contact live chat or send an email to customer services. There’s no harm in asking, and you may earn a generous discount.

10. Cashback Options

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Cashback sites are worth looking into, but this type of deal appears in more places than you might think. Several credit card companies and leading national banks now offer a cashback scheme.

The bank cashback deals are easy to follow as you only need to pay with your debit card. You don’t have to access the retailer via a cashback site. The primary point to remember is that you may have to opt into each cashback deal before you shop online.

11. Register With Online Forums

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Online money-saving forums can alert you to the latest deals. Members like to share tips and news about coupons and discounts, so aim to sign up and check in at least once daily.

In the UK, the Money Saving Expert site is arguably the best example of a forum community working together to save money, but there are similar options worldwide.

12. Download the App

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Occasionally, retailers issue an app-only price or offer a discount for those who download the software. Others may launch an app for the first time, another likely period for deals to appear.

Whatever the reasons behind the retailer’s approach, it makes sense to download, as many deals are specific to the app.

13. Write a Review

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Online sales sites are keen to receive positive customer reviews, so some offer incentives. For example, you could receive a discount voucher and a few bucks off your next purchase.

Other retailers have competitions and monthly prize draws for reviewers. Although the chances of winning may be slim, offering your views and entering the draw costs nothing.

14. Head Through to Live Chat

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Live chat pop-ups can be irritating, but they shouldn’t be ignored. Facilities such as these can be a gateway to online savings, and it’s worth testing out how much the website wants your custom.

Firstly, ensure you are talking to a human, not a bot. Make a general inquiry and suggest you’re unsure if the product is right for you. There’s a good chance that a discount may be on the way to help make up your mind.

15. Get it For Free

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Savings are always welcome, but accessing a product for free is even better. Secondhand goods can be obtained without charge through sites such as Freecycle, but there are ways to get new products for nothing.

Free samples and gift cards are accessible, and you can also keep items in return for attending market research sessions or working as a mystery shopper.

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