Voucher codes are all the rage these days. And no wonder – they can save you a lot of money. But making the most of them can be tricky. To help out, we’ve pulled together the best ways to maximising savings, complete with insider tips and a four-step guide to being clever with codes.
You remember how there used to be coupons for money off things you’d buy at the supermarket? You’d cut them out and then show them to the shop keeper so they’d take them off the total bill.
More recent coupons have bar codes on them so the people at the cash till just scan it to take money off.
You can still get those, usually on products themselves which makes you want to buy another one.
But as we’re shopping online more and more, we’ve been looking for online coupons to get discounts. Happily, that’s what we’ve got! There’re sites all over the net with codes for all sorts of goods and services. Typically they’d allow you to take off 10-20% or even more when you get to the online checkout.
They’re worth having – and usually a lot more generous than the old cut-out coupons.
Here’re some tips that we have learnt over time…
1. Grab free delivery during the sales
Look out for free delivery voucher codes. Retailers often issue free delivery vouchers to drive up online sales when they’re running a big sale or promotion. Delivery often costs over £5, so if you combine the sale savings with free shipping, it’s a substantial chunk of your cash staying in your pocket.
2. Look out for loss-leader codes
Some of the biggest voucher codes are often product specific. Just like loss leader products in supermarkets, retailers often issue voucher codes on popular products hoping shoppers will also buy additional products in conjunction with the loss leader products.
3. Get in quick
The best voucher codes don’t last long. Some of the biggest and best voucher codes we’ve had over the last year lasted just a few days. In certain instances – just a few hours. Naturally, retailers are eager to create a storm of interest with such short promotions, just like the weekend sale events you see on the high street.
4. Bargain clearance offers
Bargain clearance offers are where you can make the biggest savings. Again, these are voucher codes for specific products or product lines at the end of the season, or when a retailer has a lot of inventory to clear out. We’ve seen offers of up to 50% so far this year.
5. Best time to look
We tend to receive the most voucher codes at the start of the month when retailer’s new monthly marketing budgets restart. As such, this is a key time to pick up the freshest and hottest discounts around.
6. Social media bonus
Become fans of voucher code sites on Facebook and Twitter. This way, you’ll ensure you receive all top deals and offers first. Sites will often offer rewards and exclusive vouchers through these channels to encourage people to sign up.
The good news is that you’re already saving money by shopping online. But with a voucher code to cut costs even further, you’re laughing. Now, make sure you use any available codes in the right way with our four-step guide.
Step One: Shop as you normally would
Don’t get carried away. Voucher codes can entice you into buying something you don’t actually want or need. Shop around on comparison sites to get the best price first.
Step Two: Hunt down voucher codes
Once you’ve found a great price, look around for a voucher code.
Always check the expiry date as many of the best codes are only around for a few days.
Step Three: Combine voucher codes
Typically, you can only use one voucher code per transaction. But occasionally, certain retailers will allow you to combine voucher codes to receive even bigger discounts.
The best ones are a % discount combined with a free delivery code. Always check.
Step Four: Do the maths
Many stores will offer two or three voucher codes at any one time, but make sure you choose the right voucher code to receive the maximum discount on your order.
This may involve a spot of math but don’t be put off – first check the P&P costs.
For instance, let’s say you can only use one voucher code and you’re choosing between free delivery and 10% off an order worth £30. The discount gives you a £3 saving. But if the delivery costs £5, you’d be better off using a free delivery code.
It may even be the case that you’d save money by placing more than one order.
For example, you have a code offering £5 off orders over £20. If you’re already planning to buy two items that both cost £20, you’ll save more money if you place two orders – although check delivery costs first.