Now, more so than ever, it is easy to score a bargain when shopping. The rise of ecommerce and online shopping means we now have a plethora of online retailers, vying for our business and turning to the easiest method to win hearts; a reduce price.
Not only are we seeing substantially cheaper prices when buying online, we are seeing the rise of discount coupons and flash specials that results in even cheaper prices. Add to this that most websites are moving towards a free postage model, we are getting items at incredibly low prices home delivered.
Here is how you can source a bargain online, get a significant discount and obtain new goods at far below the recommended retail price. Praise be to the internet gods I say!
How to find the cheapest price online
The trick to getting a bargain online is learning to research well. You need to spend a few minutes (or in some cases, hours) searching Google for retailers that sell your particular product.
Start with the generic product name and begin your hunt; once you find a few options, feel free to start searching for very specific product models and names to narrow down further retailers.
An example of how this would work is:
- Search one: Canon DSLR cameras (generic)
- Search two: Canon 650D DSLR camera (exact model)
This will often lead you to specific retailers of which you will need to make the assessment of whether or not you trust them.
I often pay a little more to simply buy from a more reputable retailer.
You can also use comparison websites to source multiple retailers
You can also use specialist websites that compare multiple online retailers on a single page. This means you can lookup a product and see prices from often 10-20 different retailers at once.
A great way to get a snapshot of online pricing and the difference in prices you can expect to see.
- GetPrice.com.au this site will help you compare just about any item you can buy online. Please note that the retailers pay per click to receive traffic, so it doesn’t mean to say that this site will contain the best possible price online. Always be sure to do your own product searches as well to compare.
- Shopbot.com.au is very similar to GetPrice. It simply compares multiple retailers at once to help you assess the price of a product. I tend to prefer Shopbot as it contains less ads and more product information.
Remember that while these are great comparison websites for new products, there would of course be a heap of cheaper products if you started to look at second hand items also (more on that later).
How to source discount codes, coupons & deals to lower the price
Now that you have sourced a few options to buy your product at a bargain price, it’s time to ‘search and source’ any particular discount codes or coupons that you might be able to add into the checkout process to again lower the price further.
I tend to do a simply Google search for ‘retailers name coupon’ or ‘retailers name discount code’ to see what I can find. Often you will find a code or two that will entitle you to a percentage discount or perhaps at minimum, a flat fee off or reduced shipping.
Sites to source discount codes & coupons for check out
There are however some great websites you can use to source discount codes and bargains, here are my favs:
- OzBargain.com.au a community of vigourous money savers that post bargains, freebies and deals online to help others source cheap products. Often if the deal or coupon exists, it will be found here. The trick is getting the deal before everyone else does and causes the shop to cease the discount!
- Retailmenot.com one of the first discount code library’s that ever existed. This site tends to have a great variety of coupons and codes but often they are expired. Worth checking out though.
Fun fact: Try coupon stacking to get multiple discounts
If you do manage to find a discount code, try and enter multiple codes one after the other. Some websites allow coupon stacking; this means for instance that if you found a 5% off coupon + a $12 off coupon, you could add both and receive each discount added to your order (a huge saving!).
How to buy the deal or product in the most cost efficient way
OK, so now you have sourced a bargain, loaded up on discount codes and are finally ready to make payment and get the hell out of this frugal spiderweb!
To get just that extra bit of money saving out of the process, here are a few ways you can get even more money back by simply choosing particular methods of payment.
Starthere.com.au is a cash back website that lets you buy from a select variety of retailers and receive a percentage of the spend back. This works because the retailer pays Starthere a percentage of all sales and Starthere simply share the percentage with you.
So for example, you might get 2% back from an order on Bonds.com.au. So an order of $100 might see you make an extra $2. Not a lot, though it does all add up when you are using coupons and other discount codes.
Use a card that earns Frequent Flyer points
Another option to get a little more money back is to use a credit, debit or prepaid card that earns you Frequent Flyer points with each purchase.
These points can often be redeemed for gift cards at Woolworths or other retailers. Why not use a card that earns you points to check out with the retailer above?
It might only get you a few points but it all adds up. We did this a fair bit and recently received a $250 Woolworths gift cards; essentially it gave us a weeks worth of shopping for free.
Alternative ways to get bargains when shopping online
Now that we have covered the process of obtaining big discounts on new purchases online, I figured we may as well cover a few alternative ways to getting a great deal online.
Buy refurbished products online instead
Retailers such as Apple often have a refurbished section on their website that see’s near new products sold for significantly lower prices, inclusive of a warranty. The only thing wrong with the items is that they were once ‘faulty’ in some way and have since been refurbished.
Buy second hand products to save money
You could also steer clear of all ‘new’ purchases altogether. This is a great way to get a bargain and instead you could focus on sites like Gumtree and eBay to source second-hand goods.
Choose the day of the week you purchase wisely
We have previously discussed that some websites and in-store retailers will discount depending on the day of the week. You should really read about which days of the week things are cheapest.
Opt to not buy online and deploy a range of in-person haggling tips
Why not stay true to the old school and simply shop in-store, in-person only? You then have the power to ignore all of the above and stick to the tried and tested art of haggling, demanding a discount and simply shopping around for the most frugal option.
How do you get bargains online?