Online shopping can be a huge money sucker if we're not being hyper-vigilant about our spending. With that in mind, we came up with a few tips to help you save money on your quest for the best deals the web has to offer.
1. Get the day of the week right.
Wednesday, Thursdays, and Fridays are popular times for websites to launch sales and roll out discount codes. Start your shopping then for the best deals.
2. Get social.
Many online retailers offer exclusive discount codes to their social media followers. Make a note of your favorite brands and make sure you are following them to be rewarded.
3. Play the waiting game.
If you are already on a site's database and you're after that dream purchase, add it to your basket but don’t go to checkout. A few days' later, chances are you’ll receive an email from the retailer offering you some money off.
4. Stick to sites with free shipping both ways.
If your site doesn't offer free shipping then forget it. Sites with free shipping both ways are extremely useful for buying clothes since you can buy a few sizes of the same item to check what fits then return the ones that don't at no extra cost.
5. Use a credit card.
If you're as good as gold when it comes to paying off your credit card bill, you're better off using it when online shopping. Refunds are processed a lot quicker than with a debit card.
6. Make an online shopping list.
We've all done the impulsive online shop with a cheeky glass of wine, but to cut back, try treating online stores like any normal store. When it's in your basket think, "do I really need this? Or could I get this cheaper somewhere else?
7. Beware of sales.
Lots of online retailers will inflate the price of an item to make it look like you are saving more money than you actually are. If you are really desperate for the sale item, pop it in your basket then do a quick scour to see the original, price elsewhere to check that the deal really is as amazing as it seems.
8. Sign up for newsletters you like, but filter.
Clear out your inbox and only subscribe to retailers you honestly buy from, but change the alerts on your phone so you don’t see them regularly. That way you won't be as tempted to shop. Create a folder in your inbox specifically for these shopping emails, then when you know you need something online, peruse it at your will.
9. Create alarms for flash sales.
This is particularly useful for booking flights as they go instantly. Set a reminder on your phone for the exact time of the sale so you don't miss out.
10. Filter prices low to high.
Just like shops tactically shelve their most expensive items at eye-level, online stores will push up their more costly versions of a product. Filter prices low to high and if applicable, monitor the budget to fit within your price range so you never see anything you can't afford.
11. Make the most of e-commerce sites.
Online stores that have everything all in one place can save you money in the long run and you'll save on shipping.
12. Be thinking online even when you're offline.
Many stores are trying to boost their online trading so will offer exclusive codes in store for you to use online. Keep your eyes peeled for these.
13. Click and collect.
If you live or work near to your online retailer's nearest store, opt to have the item sent straight to the store. This is often a cheaper (if not free) delivery option for hardly any hassle.
14. Try your luck.
Many sites have online chat windows pop up now when you first log on. Instead of closing it immediately, just ask if they have any discount codes or special deals available today, someone should get back to you straight away with a deal that might be otherwise hidden.
15. Don't forget your loyalty card.
With some retailers you will have the option to use your loyalty card points on your purchase, it's just not made as obvious as when the checkout assistant asks you for it in store. Make sure you check it out though as you could be earning double loyalty points just by purchasing online.
This article was written by Yours editors. For more, check out our sister site, Yours.