Voucher codes are all the rage these days 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? So you would cut them out and show them to the shop keeper and they would take them off the total bill?
More recent coupons have barcodes on them so the people at the cash till just scan the bar code to take money off.
You can still get those – usually on products themselves wanting you to buy another one.
But as we’re shopping more and more online, we’ve been looking for online coupons that will give us money off. Happily, that’s what we’ve got! There are sites all over the net that give you codes for all sorts of goods and services to take off 10%, 15%, 20% and 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 are some tips that we have learnt over time…
1. Grab sale time free delivery
Look out for free delivery voucher codes when there’s a big sale on. Retailers often issue free delivery vouchers to drive up online sales when they are running a big sale or promotion. As delivery can often cost over £5, combined with a sale event savings can be substantial.
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 in the hope that shoppers will also buy additional products in conjunction with the loss leader products.
3. Get in quick
The best voucher codes don’t last for long. Some of the biggest and best voucher codes we’ve had over the last year have lasted for just a few days, in certain instances even 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 regularly see on the high street.
4. Bargain clearance offers
Bargain clearance offers are where the biggest savings can be made. These are voucher codes again just 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 will ensure that you receive all top deals and offers first. Often, sites will 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:
The key is not to get carried away – don’t be enticed by a voucher code 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 a code
Once you’ve found a great price its time to 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 codes
Usually, 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 so 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 maths but don’t be put off – first check the P&P costs.
e.g. If you have a code saving you 10% on an order worth £30 – that works out to a £3 saving – if delivery costs £5, you would be better off using a free delivery code if it was available and you could only use one code per transaction.
It may even be the case that you would save money by placing more than one order.
e.g. 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).