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- Frugal Living
Where can I find deals online? - Bargain shopping online.
Shopping online can and will save you money, sometimes as much as 33% off the high street store prices as they don't have the same overheads involved when selling online as they do with having to run a store so can afford to sell cheaper.
The best way to shop online is to use price comparison search engines that find the best price or if you have more time to invest, regularly search to find multiple online stores that sell the product your looking for and do your own detective work.
The thing with shopping Online is that even though many places charge a delivery fee this easily outweighs the stress of traipsing around the shops for hours, plus with the added cost of fuel and car parking prices it is still cheaper. Plus if you're really clever you will use a good voucher code website to get a further discount or money off code.
Earn while you shop
Cash back sites
When shopping online or signing up to banking products and insurances etc, there's a sneaky way to make hundreds of £££ a year using internet cashback websites. They basically give you a % back of what you spend just for shopping through their website for massive companies such as Tescos, Littlewoods etc.
It really is as simple as that, you just sign up and use their links to click through to your desired shop and if they're 'affiliated' with them you will earn money back. There are different amounts available for different companies and all the information will be available before you make a purchase, so you can ensure you get the best cashback. You can track all your earnings through the cashback website.
Links to some Cashback sites...
- Cashbackkings / froggybank (now merged)
How do they work?
Simply sign up for a free account (avoid any that require payment) with any cashback site, log-in and then click on the product you're interested in or website you're going to purchase from. When you make a transaction a cookie is stored and it's recorded through the site. So every time you buy something or sign up to something that qualifies, you will get paid cash for doing so.
Refer a friend
All cashback sites pay bonuses when you get a friend to sign up for their site. Yet you usually only get the bonus if a friend starts earning cashback themselves. Ensure you refer your friend through the correct link via the website.
Use a cashback credit card as well
You can also earn up to 5% extra every time you spend by using a cashback credit card such as Amex Platinum(The two top paying cards are from American Express, which both require a household income of £30,000 to get). Although always ensure you pay it off in full so you're not charged interest. There is no conflict between cashback sites and cashback cards as when you spend money, who ever it is spent with, the cashback credit card gives you some of it back.
Ensure you've found the right product
It's easy to be seduced by £50 cashback for signing up to an insurance provider or credit card, or an extra 5% discount when shopping, But always check you can't find the exact same product for cheaper elsewhere!!!!
Clear your cookies
If you have clicked through to several different sites that collect cookies, which will often include the product site itself, through a comparison site, this site, or another cashback site. It may not track unless you clear your computer's cookies first.
Never rely on the cash
Cashback sites only pay you if they get the money from the retailers or product providers, but there is often disputes, so sometimes they're not paid. There's often problems with tracking. Of course most of the time it's fine, but it's why cashback should be seen as a useful added extra not a wage.
Finding Deals Online...
Amazon is well known for being the main shopping website for deals, it always price matches and usually undercuts all the competition for key items such as, Kindles, X-box and Playstation. There's nothing you can't find at Amazon and it usually can't be found cheaper, most items are delivered free too.
A great way to find deals is to use price comparison websites such as Kelkoo and Money supermarket.com, Then visit any vouchercode page to see if there's a discount code or money off voucher available to reduce it further. If you look around you can usually find something.
How easy is it to Shop online ?
As simple as a mouse click ! The goods and services are usually presented in a catalog style. And all the buyer needs to do is add the goods they want to buy to their basket after which proceeding to the checkout process and paying by credit card.
Is online shopping safe ?
Did you know shopping online with a credit card is safer than paying cash in a store? You are 100% protected against fraudulent charges on your card, including misrepresented items online! If your card is ever billed for a charge you did not authorise, simply call your bank and have them issue a chargeback.
What is a chargeback?
A chargeback is when you are refunded your money for a transaction you did not authorise, did not receive goods for, or were defrauded in some way.
How do I ensure I am shopping safely ?
When buying goods online in a secure environment you will see 2 things happen:
1. The web address (URL) on their site should change from something like http://www.website.com to https://www.website.com. Notice the "s" in "https". This means the page is a secure web page.
2. A small lock icon should appear in the browser window indicating the web page is now secure.
When the web page is secure, all data transmitted is fully encrypted, which means that if anyone is able to intercept the signal between your computer and their website, they will not be able to decipher the data. Data sent through a secure page is almost impossible to crack. So just be sure that the website you are on has encrypted and secured your data and you will always be fine.
Deal finding websites
There are many websites that will find deals for you, the main one being HotUKdeals they have a community of bargain hunters that post all the latest deals and voucher codes available, I never do any shopping online without having a scout on there first. They are famous for finding glitches that have seen shoppers paying 1p for Thorntons chocolates delivered to their door.
You can also find deal hunters on Facebook pages such as Daily Deals UK they post some amazing stuff straight to your feed, I have often found a Christmas bargain in my Facebook feed when I wasn't expecting it.
There are also the voucher code websites we talked about such as Voucher Cloud that you can search by store to find discount codes, free delivery codes and more.
Websites such as MSE (Money saving experts) forums have fantastic money saving guides and tips, they too have a forum where the community post deals and vouchers.
There's also some great blog websites like Daily Deals popping up all over the internet.