Updated: May 4
Even before Covid-19 restrictions forced us all to shop online, Irish people had embraced the idea of shopping from their sofas.
And with great deals, faster deliveries, and free returns policies now commonplace, buying this way is here to stay.
So how do you become a savvy shopper when buying online?
These tips to save money online show you how:
1. Use multiple email addresses to take advantages of free trials or sign up deals
Many digital products offer great new customer deals to get you on board. Their hope is that you’ll like it enough to want to stay at a higher premium, will forget to cancel, or just not want to go to the trouble of cancelling the service. However, if you’re savvy, it doesn’t take long to use different email addresses to join and enjoy their special rates all over again. Some will require you to use a different debit / credit card with the new email address.
2. Always look for a discount
There are several ways you can find a discount online:
Do a google search for <’Brand’ + promo code> or <’Brand’ + discount code>. For example: Littlewoods Ireland + discount code.
Owned by Paypal, Honey is a browser extension that automatically searches many of your favourite shopping sites for discounts. Once you visit a website, Honey notifies you if there is a deal available
Browse online deals sites like Pigsback.com, Groupon.ie or checkout SavvySpender.ie discounts section.
Before you make a purchase, do a google search for the product you're about to buy. Click on the 'shopping' tab and you will see a price comparison across different stores that sell the product.
3. Use online cashback sites like Topcashback.
These sites help you get cash back on your purchases. Then at any time you can transfer the money to your bank or Revolut account.
4. Use a multi-currency account like Revolut to avoid foreign exchange conversion fees completely
An advantage of using a Revolut card is that allows to you avoid paying currency conversion fees on up to €1,000 worth of online purchases per month. Revolut customers can hold a number of different currencies within the one card. In a given month you're not charged for exchanging up to €1,000 into other currencies during weekdays. Weekend conversions are charged a fee.
Based on our research (May 2021) if you’re buying on Amazon.co.uk you would save about €18 on a €1,000 purchase by paying in sterling using Revolut as opposed to letting Amazon convert it - there was a similar saving versus Irish banks. Remember to check that your Revolut GBP account is topped up before making the purchase. Transferwise offers a similar service.
5. Ensure you’re comparing like-for-like when doing online price comparisons
Watch out for any hidden fees e.g. VAT, penalties for not paying by a certain date, or expensive delivery charges.
6. Using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) can help you get good deals
Many software-based online services charge different prices depending on the country the buyer is from. Irish buyers typically gets charged more than most countries in the world. A VPN can help you get the best deal by disguising the country that you're browsing from so that it tricks the website into thinking you're overseas.
7. Take a look at things like returns policies of the site
This is especially important when it comes to clothes as items will often not fit or suit properly. A costly or long money-back returns policy may hit your monthly cashflow.
8. Use Trustpilot to verify whether the site is too good to be true
You may find some great site with amazing deals. But can you trust them? This is where Trustpilot comes into its own by sharing experience previous customers have had with them.
9. Know your consumer rights.
You can request a 'chargeback' if you've paid using a credit or debit card to purchase something that arrived damaged or not as described. Find out more here.
You have more rights than you think and you can discover them here.
* for more details visit: https://www.revolut.com/en-IE/legal/fees#exchange