For the first time ever, shoppers are going to the web for most of their purchases. According to an annual survey conducted by comScore (SCOR, +0.62%) and UPS (UPS, -0.44%) shoppers now make 51% of their purchases online, compared to 48% in 2015 and 47% in 2014.
Because of this major fact I thought why not share my online money saving secrets with you!
When I shop online I now expect to get discounts and offers because it’s built in my head “I can get this cheaper online”. And it’s true I can! I always use cashback websites mainly Quidco and Topcashback.
You’re probably wondering what the hell is a cashback website and why would I even use it?
Well cashback websites are basically sites that pay you when you click through them, go to a retailer’s site and spend money. Using Topcashback or Quidco to shop can build you £100’s over the year if you use them right, and they let you cash out and pay instantly to your bank, PayPal or they’ll send you an amazon voucher. (If you choose to take a voucher instead of cash you will usually get an extra 8% on top: more savings) As a customer of their site I can personally confirm they are 100% safe and reliable.
Why do they give cashback?
Topcashback and Quidco give cashback to us because they receive a commission from the merchant for directing you to their website. Basically they get paid and pass a proportion of their commission onto us ‘the shopper’.
So, how do you use it?
You simply shop your favourite brand. E.g. ASOS and boom 12% cashback on your spend.
However, some of the biggest savings are on “essential” buys…such as Mobile phones, sims, Broadband, electricity & gas. These often offer up to £100 cashback.
As a student I would always use it for my WIFI, buying clothes, shopping on ebay, amazon and all the other retailers. I also recently planned a trip to Paris for my boyfriend’s birthday and used it for hotel bookings (lastminute.com), flights (EasyJet) and of course Disneyland tickets! BOOM over £30.00 went into my account just for clicking through their site, it’s that easy.
Quidco also has a feature that allows you to register your bank card with them and it gives you cashback when you use that card in selected stores (only the shops on their list of retailers), allowing for more cashback on your spending.
ClickSnap is another way to earn cashback. You simply shop in participating supermarkets and keep your receipts to redeem the grocery offers that Quidco provides. For example, if you go to Tesco and buy PROPERCORN perfectly sweet 90g you get 90p cashback (A current offer they have on their website). A point to note is that the ClickSnap deals change regularly, meaning they have a time limit but there will always be something to your taste that you would like to buy and get cashback on.
I personally have added the two websites Topcashback and Quidco to my browser so even when I’m on google or a retailer’s site the cashback sites can tell me if the website I’m currently on has cashback, meaning I’m never missing out on a cashback deal. This happens by giving Topcashback and/or Quidco permission to have pop ups to inform you on the cashback of ‘New Look’ for example. The pop up will ask you to click through them to their site then they will re-direct you back to New Look and track your spending to give you cashback.
Another useful website is Qmee, it pops up ads based on the keywords you search into Google. For example I could search hats and on the left of the screen several websites pop up in a sidebar that sells hats. By clicking on these Qmee gives me 10p and 15p per click as well as offers and money saving coupons. So after 3 years using this extension I have now £11.00 built up with Qmee which required no effort at all. Easy money, a site that I’d highly recommend.
And last but not least don’t forget Unidays, Student Beans and Student Money Saver, all great student sites that you should definitely have a look through for finding great discounts, offers and voucher codes. All of these sites offer constant discounts on your favourite brands, helping your money go that bit further, to buy mostly useless stuff and more clothes that we all don’t need.
So, to sum up if you’re a discount, money saver, code finding student like me who wants to save some cash online, then I suggest you check out all the recommended sites above and find out what suits you. Trust me you’ll save a lot of money online with these sites, because we all have our inner shopaholics who just can’t stop themselves from buying. But who can blame us? All these tailored Instagram and Facebook ads make it impossible for us not to spend, so beat the system and check them out.
Shannon (The wanna-be money saving expert)
Shannon Doyle is a final year BSc in Communication, Advertising & Marketing student at Ulster University. She can be contacted on Twitter: @shannond_761 and Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/shannon-doyle-28b827109