I’m known as Secret Squirrel amongst my friends because I can generally find stuff that they can’t. So I thought it might be about time I gave away a few of my secrets so you can find some fantastic bargains yourself.
Find those bargain buys
1. Don’t be afraid to haggle
If you are looking to buy something online, it’s always worth firing off an email to the site to ask if they have any discounts available if you were to purchase it from them or pop into online chat if they have it. If you’re in the high street, ask the Manager for a deal. You could get offered anything from a freebie to a significant discount. You don’t know unless you ask.
2. Price-match the competition
If the item you want to buy is for sale in either Boots or Superdrug when you’re out shopping, check to see if they are within walking distance of each other. Then ask either to price match the other one. 9/10 times they will. Try it with other companies.
3. Don’t buy in bulk unless you know the facts
Lots of supermarkets these days have bulk versions of popular ranges, and people generally think that the more significant the packaging, the better value. Wrong. Supermarkets know you feel like that, so play on it. Take a calculator with you and work out which is best. You’ll be shocked at the results sometimes.
Not in the usual aisle
4. World foods first
If you are looking to buy spices, always check the “World Foods” aisles (also marketed as “Asian Foods” or “Asian Groceries.” Tesco has one of these, and if I want any spices, I always go there first because it’s where you find cheaper brands than Tescos own. Take for instance harissa paste. Tescos own brand for 90g is £2.00 (£22.23 per kg), but Al’fez version in the World Foods aisle is 100g for £1.95 (£19.50 per kg). Who said store branded is always cheaper?
5. Check out discount clubs
Sites like Groupon tend to have offers on everyday things as well as exclusive deals to save when eating out, or going on holiday. Always check them to see if they have published an offer on what you are looking to buy.
6. Amazon Warehouse Deals
Amazon is a one-stop shop for a lot of people. But one thing that most people don’t realise is that if they have a deal on an item, and there’s a warehouse version (generally the box is a bit damaged) the deal still applies. For instance, say Amazon has 20% of all CCTV, and you’ve spotted one in your price range. You also see one where the box is damaged that has a good discount. It’s that one that you buy. You’ll get it cheaper as the box is damaged and still get the 20% off. It’s like coupon stacking. I mean, who cares if the box is a bit scuffed for a bargain price?
End of the line
7. The digits have it
If items are marked up with a 1, 7 or an 8 at the end of the price, then they are ripe for price cuts. When you see this, it generally means a discounted item or end of the line stock. Don’t take that figure as a given. Go and ask for more money off. They want to get rid of it remember.
8. Don’t go when there are crowds
Quiet times are best to bag a bargain. The sales assistants need to reach their sales margins, and they are more likely to give you a discount when they don’t have 100s of other customers trying to buy the product at the same time.
9. Don’t give the game away
Don’t ever go up to an item looking desperately relieved. Tell the assistant that you are “considering” a purchase rather than grabbing it off the shelf and running to the till. Take your time looking at several different brands of the item before settling on the one you want. Ask for demonstrations if you have to. Don’t always buy the first thing you see.
Last but not least
10. Use Google
I’ve lost count at how many times I’ve used google search to bag a bargain. All you need to do is type in what you’re looking for with the word “discount” or “promo code”, and all you need to do is check to see if it’s valid or works. It’s not rocket science and can throw up some real corkers. You can even tailor it to what you want by adding the percentage of the discount. So it will read “item wanted 30% discount.” Easy but hugely successful. Give it a go for yourself.
And if after doing all that you don’t get yourself a bargain, there was never one there in the first place.
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