Online Shopping Secrets

Online shopping secrets

When shopping online, many consumers believe that they already know how to get the best deals and discounts on their shopping baskets, with options such as coupons and vouchers a well-known way to get the products that you want for cheaper. However, there are many subtle tricks and tips that you can use to get the most out of your purchases. This guide will explain some of the simplest ways to change your buying habits in order to become a savvy online shopper and get the best prices possible.

Sale Periods

Although you may be used to sale periods in store, sale periods online are much more regular and can move at an extremely fast pace, with concepts such as flash sales and limited time offers becoming more popular. During these, prices will see an extreme drop, usually more than in stores, but this sale will only take place over a matter of days or even hours. These can help you to get discounts on products that are not applicable in store and which are based online-only. However, you should make sure that you are aware of when these sales are happening by checking the retailer’s website on a regular basis to make sure that you are able to get the best time-sensitive deals first.

Extra Discounts

Websites are also partial to offering extra discounts on products than it is possible to find in store as an extra incentive for those that choose to buy online. For instance, if a product in the store sale is priced at 50% off, online this item could have an extra 10 or 20% off which could drastically affect the product’s affordability, especially if the company offers free delivery. However, you need to check the terms of delivery before you make a purchase, as delivery costs can mean that you will be saving less than you expect. What’s more, there may be many more items in the sale online than in store, meaning that checking for your favourite products online could give you even larger discounts.


Many online stores will offer clearance sales where you can buy last season’s or out of date products for a fraction of the price. If there is not a separate clearance sale section to browse on the website, you can find clearance products by looking for prices that end in 7, 8, or 1, as these usually signify that a product has been drastically reduced. You can also find clearance products by shopping outside of the brand’s main website and by checking on third party clearance and outlet websites which may list your desired product at a reduced price even if it is out of stock on the brand’s website.

Abandoned Carts

Although abandoning your cart may seem counterproductive, many companies are working to reduce the impact of abandoned carts on their revenue by offering discounts to those that have left their cart full without continuing to the payment phase of purchase. To do this, you need to have an account with the company in question and ensure that you have signed into this before purchase. Then, all you need to do is fill your basket and close down the tab. Many companies will send you a personal email (reliant on the company having your email address details) which will offer a significant discount on their stock or the products in your basket, and which you can use to reduce the cost of your purchase.

Newsletter Subscriptions

If you are looking for deals from a specific company, you should sign up to their newsletter. Although many customers limit the number of newsletters that they subscribe to in order to cut down on spam mail, subscribing to an email newsletter means that you will receive the latest updates and information about a company. Not only this, but as an incentive to continue your subscription, many retailers offer significant discounts for their subscribers or on the products that they advertise in their newsletter if you purchase the product through the email’s links. Another advantage of newsletter subscriptions is that you can remain aware of the latest deals effortlessly, with information about these being delivered straight to your inbox. If these are being delivered into your spam folder, you should add the business as a contact to ensure that you receive these emails immediately.


Many retailers also offer the opportunity for customers to set an alert which will notify them when a product that they want comes back into stock. This can be a useful device if your desired product keeps selling out before you have the opportunity to purchase it, or if you were unable to find the product in your size or colour. If you are looking for a product that is out of stock, you should also make sure that you check back on the website regularly, as many out of stock products come back into stock due to refunds and customer returns.

Loyalty Cards

Most loyalty schemes are completely free to join and relatively easy to sign up to both online or when you make a purchase in store. Loyalty cards make a great option to save on your purchases from brands that you frequent as this allows you to save if you are a regular customer to certain retailers. Loyalty cards often operate on a points-based scheme, where each purchase that you make online or in store equates to a certain number of points which can give you a discount or a free item after they accumulate. Other benefits range from receiving information about exclusive discounts or events for loyalty card holders, and many schemes offer a birthday promotion which offers you money off or a free item during your birthday month.

Use Live Chats

If the company that you are looking for a discount from offers a live chat service on their website, or you have the opportunity to speak to an employee online, do this. Live chats are a great window to allow you to haggle for a lower price with an employee directly. Many employees will be briefed to help you to make a purchase, and you can use this to your advantage by attempting to reduce the price of certain items through direct communication. This is especially useful if you want to ask questions about the products, are concerned about faults, or have a discount code that is not working, as many retailers will offer discounts, vouchers and promotional pages to help those who ask via their live chat systems.

Price Comparison Sites

Although you might already use price comparison websites to look for car and house insurance, there are also many price comparison websites which can help you to make your online shopping simpler. These websites find the best deals and promotions on the products that you are looking at, as well as a comparison of the quality of the product, as well as reviews. This is especially advantageous for more expensive investments such as gadgets, where it is vital that you choose the product that is right for your purposes and lifestyle. In fact, some comparison services can be downloaded as applications onto your computer, which can scour the web for the best prices and vouchers for any product that you look at to check that you have found the best deal before you make any purchase.

Social Media

If you want to be the first to know about any promotions or discounts available from your favourite store, it is vital that you follow all of their social media accounts, such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. These are the direct point of contact between businesses and their clients and so this is often where companies will release the first details of any flash sales or deals that they may be having. This also means that you can get the latest information without visiting their website or checking their emails, which may often be classed as spam by your email provider.

Clear Cookies

One of the more technical ways that you can get great deals on your online shopping list is to clear the cookies on your browser history. The information that cookies store about the way that you the internet and the web pages that you look at can lead to companies increasing the prices of their products when you view their website, determined by your browsing history. This is because many websites implement a system of ‘dynamic pricing’, whereby the cost of products are based on demand- the more you look at a certain website, the higher these prices will be.

Delivery Services

To get the best pricing possible, it is also important to take into consideration the cost of the delivery service that you choose and how this affects the pricing of the product that you are buying. Although a product may seem cheap, many companies will disguise the true price of products in their shipping costs, which can add a large amount onto your total bill. You can reduce this by buying in bulk to receive minimum shipping rates, choosing options such as Click and Collect and delivery to store, and shopping from websites whose free shipping is an integral benefit of their buying online.