Online shoppers? This is for you. Let me be honest for a second here. I’m really not a fan of the success talks and increased wealth seminars. Look, I realise it works for some people, but for me, it’s just not up my street. The way I see it – there is one bit of advice when it comes to business that trumps it all. And it’s one that is casually overlooked. You can’t get money for doing nothing. Fact. And when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. The casual appearance of get-rich-quick schemes skip over the bit where you will need to work overtime to do it. These schemes also overlook the fact that you are basically entering a long line of pyramid selling that will essentially leave you very little credibility.
But occasionally there is gold out there. And I’ve recently found a few tips that have helped me. Bluntly, I don’t have a massive portfolio of investments (two, in fact. 1 Share in Facebook worth £20 and a few in Sainsburys worth £50 – I’m obviously the wolf of Wallstreet). I have credit cards and a student loan. I’m no genius when it comes to saving money away, but I do like to hunt down the deals for saving money on a day-to-day basis. This may take a bit of getting used to – but these deals have saved us quite a bit of cash over the last few months…
Tip 1. Look for reduced money.
Sounds stupid, right? Well it’s not. Let’s take iTunes for example. I spend on average about £20 a month on either music, tv shows, movies or iBooks. And that’s on a good month. I sheepishly would have to admit it’s usually a bit more than that. That’s money I’m gonna be spending per month. I know that. I’ve budgeted that. Now, as with all online (and most in-store) shops – I can pay for that by debit/credit card, or I can pay for that with gift cards. Gift cards are the key here. Shops want you to buy then as gifts, but I use them for myself.
When I see a sale price on iTunes vouchers, I buy big. Maybe a few months worth (until the next gift voucher sale). Whether it’s only a small % or a few £’s off, it’s money off what I would spend anyway. And it works for just about any shops. You’d be surprised at how many gift voucher sales exist. But often we overlook them because it’s not someone’s birthday coming up.
It’s true for food shopping, clothes shopping and pretty much anything they sell vouchers for. Great right? Brilliant – if you know where to get the vouchers when they are reduced. Otherwise it’s useless.
That’s the next part of the tip. Know what vouchers you want, and always keep your eyes open. There are forums online that will keep you posted on the latest voucher sales. They usually come in the form of supermarkets like Tesco. But then there are the online methods.
A recent tool that I have found invaluable is Zeek. Zeek is a smart-phone app that essentially is eBay for gift vouchers. There’s no bidding, it’s all buy-it-now. But it’s where people go to sell their unwanted gift-cards. Usually with a decent percentage off. Regularly checking back on your favourited brands is key, but often you will find what you are looking for. So, say I wanted to purchase an order via Amazon. I’d go to Zeek first, purchase an online delivered gift voucher (be careful not to get caught out with the hard-copy ones, as they take a week to arrive in the post!!), grab the code and add it as my payment method when I get to the checkout at Amazon. It will often save you a decent percentage off your shop.
The beauty of it is, that when you first download the app, go to the settings and then Promo Codes, type in this code: 2488RW and you’ll get an additional £5 off your first gift card. It’s a no-brainer.
But there’s another tip that you may have heard in passing.
Tip #2: Free money for extra clicks. Cash back.
You may have heard of these sites. They operate to encourage users to purchase online rather than in stores. I’ve used a few in my time and found that this one is the best: Top Cashback.
Visit this site before visiting your online store site to gain money back after you purchase something. Sounds silly, but it works. I have earned nearly £10 in the last month. And it’s not been a big spending month for us. The more you purchase online, the more I would recommend this site/app.
It has some big name sites including Ebay and LEGO (my personal favourites). And, as far as I can tell, they don’t effect the individual store’s loyalty card systems either. Double cash back. Win Win!
Check out my invite link here to get an extra sign-up bonus (it changes regularly, but it’s often about £5 cash back for free): http://www.topcashback.co.uk/ref/sholdstock.
I don’t know if I’m a late-comer to these tips or not, but either way – these are genius ways of saving money online. Especially in the build-up to big events like Christmas. I hope it helps!