13 Online Shopping Hacks That Guarantee To Save You Time (& Money!)

13 Online Shopping Hacks That Guarantee To Save You Time (& Money!)

Why face queues and crowds when you can shop from the comfort of your own home? Online shopping is definitely convenient, but it can also save you money - more than you may have realised!

Today we're sharing online shopping hacks that anyone who buys online needs to check out. These tips will save you time, money and also help you to finally get the product you want in the size you need.

Enhance your online shopping experience today with our handy online shopping hacks!

How to save money on shipping

asos free returns
Do you know how to get free returns?

A hefty shipping cost can really take the edge of your 'bargains'. If, like us, just the thought of shipping costs make you shiver, we have some handy online shopping hacks to help you dodge them.

1. Buy more to save more

Most companies do offer free shipping - if you spend over a certain amount, that is. If you haven't quite tipped over the amount to get this perk, there are two solutions:

  1. Add a small 'treat' to your bag - the way we see it, you may as well get something for your shipping cost. If you need to spend a fiver more to get free delivery, head over to the accessories department. Filter out the products to show only the items within the amount you need to spend to bag free delivery, and shop away. A new set of hair clips, a headband, some reduced slippers - give yourself a little treat and skip the shipping fee.
  2. Buy more than you need, and return it later - if you're nowhere near the amount you need to spend for free shipping, but refuse to pay it, consider bulking your order out. Whilst most companies don't offer free delivery, they do offer free returns. Fill up your basket with an expensive item you won't keep, and simply send it back when it arrives.

Free shipping has never been easier.

2. Shop around for free shipping

Companies like ASOS offer free shipping for most things, so it's worth shopping around before you purchase.

Once you've found what you want, do a quick Google search to see if it's available anywhere else that offers complimentary delivery. It'll take just a few minutes - a small price to pay to save £5 or so.

3. Collect in store

If you're able to, opt to have your order delivered to the store. Most companies offer this service free-of-charge so there's no need to reluctantly pay for shipping.

How to get discounts when shopping online

online shopping hacks
Do you know this trick?

If you're still paying full price for your orders, you need to check out our other online shopping hacks. Below, we're revealing ways to get discounts when shopping online that work nearly every time.

4. Download a browser extension

Don't spend time looking for vouchers - download Pouch or Honey. These are both free browser extensions that pop up whenever you're shopping online. It'll show you the best offers available for that site.

Once you've tried it, you'll wonder how you ever lived without it. Never pay full price for your online shopping again!

5. Be strategic about the days you shop

Did you know offers are more likely on some days than others? Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are the days to shop for your best chance of bagging yourself a discount.

6. Sign up to the newsletter for offers

We know - the thought of receiving countless spammy emails each day isn't exactly appealing, however, joining up to your favourite shop's newsletter can have serious money-saving benefits.

  • Most places offer a sign-up discount that gets you 10% off your first order. Be sure to check before shopping!
  • You'll be the first to know about discounts, offers and future sales - hello bargain grabber!
  • You may also get birthday offers that are exclusive to you.

7. Why you should think about your shopping before purchasing

Giving yourself a while to think about whether you actually want something before clicking on the checkout button has several benefits.

Not only are you less-likely to impulse buy, but leaving your basket full and clicking off the page may result in an offer being sent your way. Many shops will email with a follow-up discount code to coerce you into finalising your order.

How to save money on your online shop

gift cards oliver bonas
Are you paying over the odds?

8. Shop around

The benefits of online shopping extend beyond convenience alone. The ability to shop multiple sites at once means finding the best deal has never been easier. 

Many high-street brands are now stocked in a variety of places, including on ASOS, Next and House Of Fraser. It's worth Googling the name of your product to find the best deal before jumping into anything.

9. Get alerts from Stock Informer

 

This is a great tip if you're wanting to get your hands on a limited edition item or something that's selling out fast! 

Don't give your money to eBay scalpers. Pay the right price by using the website Stock Informer. They track the prices and availability of hard-to-find items so you don't have to. You can even set up email alerts so that you can stay in-the-know.  

10. Cashback sites

If you're not using cashback sites, now's the time to start.

How do they work?

Cashback sites give you a percentage of your online spend back. You must go through the cashback site to get the reimbursement, by searching for the shop in their system. The cashback site will then redirect you to the shop in question, and track your purchase. The sale will then appear on your cashback profile, and you'll be able to access your reimbursement after a few weeks.

Whilst cashback for clothing sites is usually fairly small, if there are no other discounts on offer, they do provide your bank balance with some spending relief. They're particularly useful for electrical purchases, utilities, and even holidays! Check out TopCashback to find out more.

11. Use a credit card

If you have both a credit and a debit card, it's best to use the former when shopping online. Credit cards are refunded more quickly than debits, so if you're a regular returner, pick your payment method wisely next time you shop.

How to get what you want in the size you need

urban outfitters delivery
Shopping success!

12. Shop around

We've said it once, and we're saying it again. One of the most-basic online shopping hacks is something many of us forget - shop around.

Found a gorgeous dress that's out of stock in your size? Google it - it may be available on other sites that stock various brands. If all else fails, head over to eBay or download the app, Depop, which both sell second-hand goods.

The dress you've got your eye on could be the item someone else is ready to get rid of. Not to mention, you'll be able to get it at a discount price!

13. Join the waitlist

Online shops know how frustrating it is when the item you want's out of stock, so many offer a 'waitlist' option. You'll be able to select the size you want and get alerts when it's back in stock - just make sure you're quick!

Consider yourself a savvy shopper? Share your online shopping hacks with us in the comments below.
Author

Stephanie C

Editor

Lover of all things fashion & foodie...I look to satisfy my tastes without obliterating my budget. Wannabe interior designer, I'm an avid cushion cover maker and charity shop hunter.

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  1. Author Lesley Bound on June 29, 2018 at 7:32 am

    The cash back websites are brilliant, I've had over £50 this year on goods I was going to buy anyway like travel. I also just got £15 back on the annual travel insurance policy I was going to buy direct from the provider just by clicking through to them through Top Cashback, so worth checking this out before you buy. They often give bonus amounts at times like bank holidays.

    1. Author Stephanie C on June 29, 2018 at 12:43 pm

      Hi Lesley, I started using cashback sites myself last year and can't shop without them now! Thanks for sharing your successes with them :)

    Reply
  2. Author Family Deals Weekly on September 4, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    Websites that offer a discount on products are also the best alternative, sometimes they do offer surprising money saving deals.

    1. Author Joanne A on September 4, 2018 at 2:43 pm

      Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  3. Author John on November 21, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    Thank you for such useful stuff!

    1. Author Joanne A on November 22, 2018 at 9:48 am

      You're welcome, John! Don't forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to keep up to date with all our newest tips.

    Reply
  4. Author Sarah Turner on July 3, 2019 at 12:47 pm

    A list of useful tips. I will definitely keep them mind while doing online shopping. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Author Joanne A on July 3, 2019 at 4:03 pm

      Glad to hear it, Sarah!

    Reply
  5. Author Leila on March 28, 2020 at 9:38 am

    ZEEK went bust quite a while ago so shouldn't be on your list, Thanks

    1. Author Joanne A on March 30, 2020 at 9:49 am

      Hi Leila! Thanks for pointing this out. I've added a new tip in its place.

    Reply
  6. Author Lilach on March 28, 2020 at 9:24 pm

    Don't know why you shared this today, like - 3 we cannot do. And most stores are empty when it comes to certain items (e.g. toilet paper), and they also limit the number of items you can buy at one go. And when it comes to certain items that only sold in certain stores and not in others as well as reduce to clear items, you will not find them online, since not every store do the delivery they got dedicated stores that do delivery. They don't have all the products that other stores got, and they will not offer you reduce items.

    1. Author Joanne A on March 30, 2020 at 9:30 am

      Hi there! You might not be able to follow the steps now, but you can always save the ideas to use when everything is back to normal. It would take a long time to update all of the content on our website to fit the current situation, which could change again in a matter of weeks. We hope you understand!

    Reply
  7. Author WILLIAM HOLMES on March 30, 2020 at 8:27 am

    You say, "Buy more than you need, and return it later ....Fill up your basket with an expensive item you won't keep, and simply send it back when it arrives." That's just plain dishonest - for shame!

    1. Author Joanne A on March 30, 2020 at 9:26 am

      Hi William! You can always check the website's policy to see if they have any rules against this kind of behavior. I'm sure they'll be glad to get your custom - they might not have if you're put off by postage costs.

    Reply

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