It’s a fact of life that times change, and while this is often for the worse when it comes to prices, it’s thankfully for the best when it comes to the power that internet shopping gives us.
No longer do we have to be content with whatever prices the stores are offering on our local high street or in the shopping centre. We can shop around and make sure we’re not getting ripped off! Knowledge is power – the power to make your pounds last longer and go further.
So here’s my top five ways of using the net to catch a bargain and chop your shopping bills:
I’ve written about it before, but it’s so handy it’s worth mentioning it again!
Freecycle (http://www.freecycle.org/) is a site where people advertise the items that they no longer need and wish to give away. You can find all sorts of things on there – furniture, electrical items, tents, bikes, exercise equipment… you name it, it’s on there and it’s all for free!
There are over 500 freecycle networks in the UK – if you’re a Northwards tenant, check out the Manchester network here.
Freegle (http://www.ilovefreegle.org/) is a similar site that’s also well worth checking out for some cracking giveaways.
Shopbots are specialist search engines that search through thousands of websites to find who’s selling the item you’re looking for at the best price.
Moneysavingexpert.com have developed a shopbot to beat them all – they call it the Mega Shopbot! (Check it out at http://www.megashopbot.com/). It searches through lots of other shopbots, so probably gives you the most wide-ranging results.
3/ Compare prices on the go!
If you have internet access on your mobile phone, don’t forget that you can check how much an item costs in one store while shopping in another. This can give you all the info you need to drive a hard bargain and save yourself £££s!
Point out to one shop that another is selling the same product for a cheaper price and there’s a good chance that they’ll drop their price to match it.
As well as the shopbots mentioned above, there are a few different phone apps out there which could help make this easier – such as Skinflint for iPhones or the Best Price app for Android. These have barcode scanners that’ll tell you who’s selling the item cheapest when you scan it in the shop!
You can get great money-off deals at voucher websites. Some of the best ones include:
- http://www.wowcher.co.uk/ and http://www.groupon.co.uk/ – Just pop in your location and email address and they drop you a line about some of the best offers happening near you! If the emails start to get annoying, you can ask them to take you off their mailing lists at any time.
5/ Don’t Shop – Swap!
Why shop when you can swap? Sites like http://www.swapshop.co.uk/ and http://www.swapz.co.uk/ can help you find what you’re after without paying a penny!
What sites do you recommend when it comes to bagging a bargain on the web? Leave your comments below!