When dealing with big companies, you have to expect they won’t immediately give you the best offer available.
I have a hypothesis – companies want to make it hard enough to find the good deals to increase their profit margins, while simultaneously having enough deals to attract the consumers who won’t buy without.
This means patience and some work on your part is necessary if you want to secure the best deal for yourself.
I have created this post with the aim of helping to reduce the time you spend finding the best deal. Hopefully, this will give some useful tips and ideas that you can apply when you are trying to find the best deals.
I hope I can give you enough of a glimpse into the mindset I use when searching and buying products on the internet and save you some money and time.
You are not going to get the best deal.
Unfortunately you are going to have to accept you won’t get the best deal. As soon as you buy it, there is likely to be some big discount or ‘product release’- and that’s just the way it goes. Don’t be distressed, and stop worrying about prices after you have committed to the purchase – you can’t do anything about it now.
Some companies do offer a price match guarantee for a certain period after purchase – one of these being John Lewis (‘never knowingly undersold’). This means if the price drops after you buy you can request a refund on the difference. If you can shop with one of these, it definitely can give peace of mind.
Start looking early.
Make sure that you are looking for your product before you need the product. It’s like being in an airport and being hungry. If you had planned in advance and eaten before, it would have saved you a lot of money. Being a captive and impulsive consumer allow companies to increase their profit margins at your expense.
This means if you know you need a new product or service and Black Friday is close by (or some other big discount period), choose a moment to buy when you can make the most of this.
There are many sites such as VoucherCodes and TopCashback that offer rewards for making certain subscriptions or buying certain things. I tend to search these to see if there is a opportunity for cash back from the product that I want to buy. In most cases I actually run a quick Google search along the lines of ‘Discount codes <insert shop or product name here>’. Many of these codes are no longer active but you may find one or two. A word of caution, if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is, so don’t visit untrustworthy sites or download anything that promises rewards unless you are certain that it is safe.
Honey, which I’m sure you must have seen by now (no this is not an advert) is a service which compiles all promotional codes so that you can be sure that you have attempted to get the biggest discount you can. All you have to do is download a browser add on for your browser. Microsoft Edge also has a built in voucher finding service and there are other options on top of these.
Comparison sites are a great way to an initial idea of what deals are available, and compare providers. They tend to list details of which companies have offers, and the specific details of the offers, in an easier way for the consumer to digest.
It is important to be aware that sometimes comparison services offer exclusive deals if you buy direct from their websites. These deals are sometimes very good, but the comparison site will also be getting an ‘affiliate’ award for getting you to buy. The main options of comparison sites are Uswitch, MoneySuperMarket and comparethemarket, and it is worth checking all of these each time you are searching for an offer. Most of the time the deals they have will be the same but sometimes you might find a surprising offer.
This depends very much on the provider. Some companies offer rewards for the referrer, person who has been referred or both. This means that it may be possible for you to get a reward for signing up. If they do offer a reward and one of your friends use the service, then ask them for their referral code. If they get a reward then maybe you can split it and vice versa.
If you don’t have a friend who used the service, this is not a problem since you have the whole of the internet at your disposal. A quick search of Reddit will likely turn up someone who wants to give you a referral code. The only downside of this is if it is a reward for only the referrer then you may miss out, unless you deal with a very generous individual.
The details matter. Make sure to compare the plans that you can see. Ask yourself whether the difference between the plans is worth the cost difference?
There are two key questions that it’s worth asking:
- Are you able and willing to pay a little more for a significantly better plan?
- Are you paying more for very little difference in the plans?
Although I wish it wasn’t the case, it is obvious that companies will try to set up their subscription plans to get the most money out the customer for the least they can give?
Last but not least, as this is one of the most important things to do. Make sure to check the reviews for the product that you are buying. Is the company reputable? What do other customers who have bought the product say? Make sure to check multiple review sites – there have been many cases of companies buying good reviews. One of these being Global Migrate and they are actually being sued by TrustPilot.
If there are no reviews then this is also a red flag. If the company is unknown and you can find no trustworthy reviews, I seriously would advise staying away.