Shopping online has rocketed in popularity over the last few years and it has been found that in 2012, online spending in the UK alone was over £68 billion! The UK has the highest proportion of adults who have shopped online with six in ten adults having bought something in the last twelve months – higher than the US, Japan and Germany.
There are big savings to be made on products and services when you shop online. By using group buying sites like Groupon and Living Social, you can take advantage of bulk buying prices by teaming up with hundreds of others you haven’t even met!
There are also some very smart ways to make money when you buy online. First of all, there are sites which give you cash back on the purchases you make through them. For example, TopCashBack in the UK and Ebates in the US give you a % discount and also % cash-back which you can save up and get a bulk payment of cash when you reach certain levels. You can sign up for free, or an annual subscription is available for more seasoned shoppers.
If you do your grocery shopping online, using a supermarket with a loyalty card scheme can help you rack up the points very quickly. Tesco give Clubcard points on all purchases, even those made online. Points can be redeemed for vouchers you can spend in-store or online – You get 1 point per £1 you spend – or you can redeem the points for vouchers to spend at other places, such as theme parks or restaurants. Tesco let you trade £1 worth of Clubcard points for as many as £3 or £4 worth of vouchers, which is a great saving. There are lots of places for which you can get vouchers, including Pizza Express, Butlins, and also for transport such as Euro Tunnel.
Cash-back credit cards are a very good idea for disciplined spenders. Cash-back credit cards give you tax-free cash back on purchases made using the card. Some cards only give cash-back on certain items like petrol, or energy bills, so it’s best to shop around to see which card would suit you best. Some charge a monthly fee, but carry better % cash-back rates so you need to calculate how much you’d be spending each month and work out which card would be best for you. To get the most out of these cards, you need to put as much of your usual spending on as possible (fuel, groceries, bills) and make sure you pay back the balance in full every month, or you’ll accrue fees and cancel out all the cash-back you’ve built up!
You can also make money for charities each time you shop. Use a site like GiveAsYouLive.com and they give a % of their profits to charity for every purchase you make through their site. Retailers such as B&Q, Tesco, GAP, and ToysRUs are signed up as well as dozens more, so if you want to give to charity, then you can do it while shopping.
The internet has made shopping so much easier and better value, you’d be crazy not to take advantage by finding a discount and getting some money back to make your life that little bit easier.