I love a Bargain and the internet is full of them.
I would definitely call myself a savvy shopper and the internet makes it so easy. All it takes is time and patience and a little bit of knowledge to do your research.
Many people are sceptical and quite rightly so as there are many scams and cons out there but there are also REAL ways of making and saving money too.
It is always important to do your research and look up reviews.
If it's too good to be true then it probably isn't true so YES be CAREFUL.
It is good to be sceptical and remember the golden rule.
It is best to shop with a CREDIT card as this is SAFER than a debit card.
Here are my golden rules before buying anything online and I will explain more in my articles.
Firstly find and identify the product or item that you would like to purchase. For something like electrical items it is probably best to check out the reviews and there is no better place than the internet for that information. I find amazon a great resource for this as there are usually lots of reviews on most electical and technology items or simply search for the make/model plust the word review. www.reevoo.com is quite good too.
Once all of that is decided the fun begins. Note extra caution is required if purchasing from an unknown supplier. Take notice of my points 4 and 5 below.
- Can I receive Cashback via a cashback site or points such as Nectar.
- Is there a current Coupon or Discount code that I can use.
- Find the best price.
- Is the site SAFE or FAKE
- Are the goods Real or Fake. (Reviews on the goods or website(seller).
Note, sometimes cashbacks are not compatible with Coupon or Discount codes. ie: you can use one or the other so work out which is best value to you and check the small print.
On a large cashback, I would not take the chance of losing it by adding a discount code too unless I was certain that both were compatible. I often take a chance on smaller purchases as it is no big deal if I lose it.
There are many sites on the internet that pay you discounts and cashbacks on your internet shopping.
One of my favourites is quidco.com They have been around for about 5 years and I have received over £200 in cashbacks via quidco from my usual online shopping.
Basically, you sign up and become a member.
You will be paid when your earnings reach a certain threshold. This varies depending on the cashback site. There may be a small membership fee payable from your earnings.
Before buying anything online or even offline, login to your account and check to see if you can get a cashback. You will be surprised at what is on offer. The largest cashbacks can often be from those companies that you wouldn't expect to be there, such as Insurance Policies, Utilities, Phones (landline and Mobile), Gas, Electricity etc: NOTE the transaction must be completed online.
If you do a lot of online shopping as I do, you will be surprised at how the smaller amounts adds up over time. Try to remember to logging and click via a cashback site to make your purchase. It really is something for nothing. A proper Freebie.
You do require a little patience at times as the cashbacks can be slow in paying and on rare occasions there can be problems in receiving them, although in my opinion I have usually got mine eventually.
Rule of thumb, look at a cashback as a bonus. On a large cashback amount, maybe check the forums on the cashback sites to see how quickly they company pays up or to see if anyone is having problems and keep an eye on your account and be prepared to chase up if necessary.
I received £100 cashback from O2 when I bought my sim only deal so it really can be worth quite a lot.
Here is a printout of my own quidco account.
Coupon or Discount Codes
There are also sites that publish discount or coupon codes that can be used to receive discounts, usually applied via the shopping basket, just before you pay. No need to join as these codes give an instant discount to your shopping before payment.
Before I buy anything, I usually do a quick search for the company or website name and discount or promotional code ie boots discount code.
Best if you narrow your search by date as you are more likely to find a current in date code. There are also lots of well known sites that issue voucher codes and you can join their mailing lists or just check their websites when you are ready to shop online.
Here is a small list of some sites that I find useful.
Hotukdeals.com is a brilliant site if you are looking for a bargain or indeed if you find a bargain you can let others know about it too. It is more like a forum but you can also search for voucher codes there too. Very useful site and I use it whenever I am in the market to buy something.
No self respecting blog about saving money can be written without a mention of moneysavingexpert.com. and Martin Lewis. Martin is the guru of money saving information for everyone both on and offline. The website is a resource and wealth of information on anything and everything to getting a good deal.