Every month we spend some time scouring the internet looking for ways to help you make savings and hopefully improve your personal finances. In this blog we are taking a brief look at saving money when shopping online.
It’s safe to say that the way we are shopping has changed. There was a time when everyone went to a high street or shopping outlet to get the things they needed, but today a huge percentage of us now do it all online. From clothes and make-up to food and drink, it’s now common place to order online and receive your products the following day or week.
The Benefits of Shopping Online
This has both its issues as well as its benefits. One of the main issues is that you are not able to get your hands on the goods the second that the transaction has taken place. Another issue is that, especially in the case of shoes and clothing, you cannot be entirely sure that the item you have ordered will fit the way you had expected. This then means you have to send it back and await a replacement item to arrive, or you need to order three of the items, one in the size you initially expected to fit, one larger and one smaller, just in case. You then need to send back the ones that aren’t needed and await a refund.
The benefits are that the range of products you are able to access is far larger than the high street could ever stock. You are also able to compare prices without having to run around each of the vendors checking who has what and at what price.
Another key benefit is that you actually have more rights when shopping online, by telephone or when ordering from a catalogue than you do when shopping in store. This is due to something called the Consumer Contracts Regulations.
They give you a legal right to decide to return most goods back within a fortnight for a full refund (including outward delivery costs), even when there’s no fault with the items. You’ll need to notify the vendor within 14 day and will often need to pay for the return delivery yourself but you then will have a further 14 days to actually return them, giving you 28 days rather than the usual 14. You can see the Consumer Right Act 2015 here, alternatively the team at the Money Saving Expert have broken it down into a more concise version which you can view by clicking here.
Adversely, with most products that are bought in-store, you generally only have a right to return them if they are faulty.
Finding the Cheapest Prices when Online Shopping
As touched upon already price comparisons are far easier when shopping online. Google itself does this very well, as does a few of the major shopping portals like Ebay and Amazon, but how do you compare food prices without opening each website and clicking between them all for each item?
We found that mysupermaket.co.uk does all the hard work for you. The website claims that it can save you up to 30% on every food shop.
Get a Code by Abandoning your Shopping Basket
To do this you will need to create an account for whichever retailer you are looking to purchase from. This is so they will know where to send the code. You then put the item you are after in your basket along with a few other items. You then shut down the web page and leave it for a couple of hours.
Many retailers will try and entice you in to revising your decision not to purchase by sending you a code giving you a small percentage off your order. This is by no means guaranteed but it’s worth a try if you are serious about making that particular purchase anyway.
Explore Outlets Clearance Channels rather than visiting the Outlet itself
It may be surprising to know that many retailers such as TK Maxx, Argos, B&Q and many more have clearance sections, some of which use EBay with which they sell off their discounted goods online.
Just type the outlet you were considering into a search engine followed by the word clearance after it and have a quick look prior to making the full price purchase you were initially considering.
Look for Voucher Codes Prior to Making your Purchase
There are many voucher code websites out there that specialise in staying up to date with the latest discount codes available for a huge number of retailers. Again, use Google or another major search engine and type the words voucher codes. You should then be served a number of sites with which you can find a potential discount for the goods you were looking to purchase.
There are so many ways of saving money when shopping online. You just need to be savvy and have a good look around online prior to making your purchase.
We hope the above information has helped you reduce the amount that you are spending and has ideally helped to improve your personal finances.