27 Christmas Shopping on a Budget tips
Do you want to find the best online shopping deals? Take the guesswork out of finding the best online shopping sites with these simple and easy tricks.
Here are 27 top tips just for you, including how to compare prices at speed, spot hidden sales and receive price drop emails.
Find the cheapest online prices quickly
Using cool tools like shopbots help you get the best online deals quickly. They trawl through the chosen sites and bring up the cheapest products for your selected product.
Of course, they only search selected stores, so it may pay to click around, to make sure these really are the lowest prices you can get.
Free Delivery at Amazon
An ongoing offer I tell everyone about is the Amazon Prime Free Trial. You get unlimited next day delivery on your items for a while month. If you then don’t want to continue, you just cancel before the month ends.
Previous customers, like myself, have been offered this deal twice, so it’s worth looking out for their emails.
Check eBay for local bargains
Whatever you’re looking for, Xbox, bikes or books, looking locally via eBay really can help reduce the price.
You can search by postcode, and collecting the item can cut down on delivery costs too.
Buy from China
Dollhouses, iPhone cases, and even handbags can be shipped over, all at rock-bottom prices.
There’s nothing wrong with importing them, but just check who you’re buying from, reviews and how long it will take to ship.
Online Discount Outlets
No need to drive miles out your way with the kids, snap up the best deals using these online sites, which include some very big names, like Argos and Mothercare.
Get More for Less
It’s fun online shopping, but getting stung for the delivery hurts.
Compare how much delivery is, and if you’re just under it, add an item to get free delivery.
So, if your kid’s bike is £49 but free delivery doesn’t come in till £50, by a pack of pencils or pens for a £1, to push you over. They’d make a great stocking filler, but also save you the delivery charge.
Join the Club
If you like designer brands, then sign up to their email lists. Many offer their customers exclusive deals that never hit the shelves.
There are loads of FB pages knocking around that will help keep you up to date with the latest codes and deals. Our Facebook page Money Saving Mums group are one, but search around and they will pop up.
Get someone to negotiate with you
Check out Flubit, a site that aims to negotiate discounts for you.
You can use the site to see if any of its partner stores can beat Amazon.
The only thing to watch is if you buy through it, you have no come back with Amazon, as you didn’t buy through them technically, so sorting out issues isn’t always easy.
Check the department stores
Think John Lewis and Debenhams. If your designer shop doesn’t have any sales or discount codes running, then check if the department store does, it still counts.
Most department stores have regular blue cross sales or discount codes that can be used with their partners.
House of Fraiser, Next, and Asos all fit into this too.
Wait for bargains
By doing a simple Google search on sale dates from last year, you can normally predict what they will be this year. Most stores run a calendar, so their sales are around the same times.
Get your shopping list ready and pounce when the sale is on.
Your Email address is gold
Sign up for all the big online shopping retailers and save. Think Dorothy Perkins (that gives you 10% off your first order) or Gap, all for just giving them your email. Simples!
Club Card points
While it’s true you can spend them instore on food and toys, if you look around, then these same points could be worth triple their value online.
They can be used on a bunch of things, like meals at Pizza Express or on Goldsmith Jewellery.
Credit Cards aren’t the devil
If you have one that offers you cash back, then use it. Not only are you getting money back on what you wanted anyway, but for purchases over £100, they offer you protection.
So if the shop suddenly goes bust and you haven’t picked the new bike up yet or the hoover you’ve been wanting for Christmas, then your provider will cover it.
Sign up for free and when you purchase something through them, you get an amount back. Many people make hundreds a year by doing this, and it’s a simple way to save money on your online purchases.
Using price alert sites like Love Sales are handy, as you get to add items you want, set a price you’re willing to pay and it will ping you an email when the price drops.
You do need to register first and pick a retailer, but it’s a simple way to know if your desired online purchase has dropped in price.
It’s not what you know….
It’s who you know. Do you have any students in the family that would lend you their NUS Card? Many online retailers accept them and offer anything from 10% to 50% off!
Anyone working for the NHS? Stores like Dorothy Perkins offer people who work in the healthcare service a good discount, as does EE, and other mobile phone networks too.
Armed forces? A Defence Privilege Card is available for anyone serving, it does cost a fiver, but offers a range of discounts across many retailers.
Is it cheaper aboard?
If you want a higher value item, then it may pay to ship from a foreign online shopping site.
Watch out for custom prices though and any added tax you may have to pay when it arrives in the UK.
Look at the Discounters
Aldi and Lidi deliver too. They offer great wine deals and will ship it right to your door.
Come join our Aldi Mums UK Facebook group to keep up to date with all there latest offers.
When it comes to perfumes or candles, anything smelly really, you can normally find a cheaper online shopping site that sells a dup.
Think the Aldi candles vs Jo Malone.
Watch out for price glitches. It’s a common mistake that people think that if they pay for something and it’s a mistake, that the shop has to honor it. They don’t. You can try your luck and they might let it go through, but most will just cancel the order and refund your money, slowly, of course.
Bonus Point Weekends
Boots are good for this. If you have an Advantage card, then it’s best to wait for their bonus card weekends to buy. For example, normally over Christmas, they offer 1000 points for an online £50 spend.
Fight those failed deliveries
There’s nothing more annoying than staying in all day with a pent-up toddler to find that your item wasn’t delivered as planned.
You can fight back and even ask for compensation for loss of time.
Arm yourself with the knowledge and go get them!
Check a site is the real deal
It’s all of our worst fears.
Do your research first. If you’ve never heard of the site then Google for feedback, read the site and get a feeling for them, so most of all trust that not all small sites are crooks.
Just because you’re behind a screen doesn’t mean the price is really the price.
Find the live chat and ask away. Put the item you want in your basket and sign out, and watch the emails come in asking what they can do to help you buy. That’s your chance to swoop in and ask.
- Cheap Toys Online: The Very Best the Web Has to Offer in November 2017
- 23 Discount and Clearance Outlets: Here’s How to Find Bargains from the Best UK Brands
- 7 Money Saving Tips for Christmas: Act Now to Slash Costs
Play the Stores at their own game
Many retailers offer gift vouchers or major discounts if you sign up for a card through them. Do it, but remember to ALWAYS pay it off in full as many have very high-interest rates.
It’s not always cheaper online
Ok, so most of the time it is, but there are some stores that do split online and in-store sales. Shop around, get a benchmark price online and visit your local town, you never know, you may just get it cheaper.