A guide to discount websites

Andy Stevens / 26 February 2020

A simple guide to help you navigate discount websites for money-saving bargains, plus tons of top tips and tricks for grabbing special offers, hot deals and discounts when shopping online.



VoucherCodes

The VoucherCodes website is one of the leading online names to help you save money with daily discounts across a variety of goods and services.

You'll find big high street names, vouchers for restaurants, savings on health and beauty, men's and women's fashion, technology and more.

vouchercloud

Not to be confused with vouchercodes, vouchercloud offers three different and easy-to-use categories of online discounts, depending on your preference.

You can choose to pick up your discount offline with the option of a print voucher or a mobile voucher. With the voucher code option you click through to the retailer's website where you can apply your discount.

Possibilities - discounts for people over 50

Saga’s very own Possibilities free membership scheme offers a tempting smorgasbord of money-saving deals with exciting and wide-ranging offers on dining, travel, hotel stays, health, beauty, home and garden products, entertainment, exclusive events, theatre tickets, cinema screenings and much more.

Take Dining Possibilities as one example of the deals on offer. You can make super savings at loads of your favourite restaurants, including Cafe Rouge, Cote Brasserie, Prezzo, Toby Carvery, Harvester, Carluccio's and many others.

Learn more about Possibilities membership here.

Wowcher

You'll probably recall seeing the eye-catching Wowcher discount website advertised on TV. As is pretty much standard, you'll be asked to sign up with a few basic details or log-in via email if you've used the site already.

What you'll discover is the promise of huge discounts on a genuinely mixed bag of products and services. These cover anything from courses and diplomas to electronic tablets and nests of tables, plus the usual comprehensive range of everyday goods, such as health and beauty items, fashion and home and garden.

You'll also receive cashback in the form of commission in your so-called 'Wowcher Wallet' should you make purchases through the site's list of retailers.

MyVoucherCodes

This leading UK discount site is less brash than some of its competitors, and gives you all the access you want to its selection of high street discounts in a clear and effective style.

If you browse myvouchercodes on your smartphone, for example, you go straight into its selected top 50 best deals. These comprise many price-slashing deals with big high street names, including restaurants, cafes and bars. And sign up by email for access to the site's best free top 50 vouchers, codes and discounts, sent directly to your inbox.

hotukdeals.com

hotukdeals.com has a quick trade-like feel to it, which you might expect more from an online auction website. You'll find a mixed bag of practical high street discounts which could help you make small but useful everyday savings on your shopping.

The instructions on how to claim your discounts are clearly explained, with the necessary vouchers and codes just a simple tap or click away.

topcashback.co.uk

topcashback.co.uk is a polished and well-presented offering which claims to guarantee the highest cashback for users. It's a breeze to sign up and start trawling for discounts, and it includes the likes of utilities, broadband and mobile phone offers among its range of money-saving deals. Getting paid to shop online – what’s not to like?

homediscount.co.uk

More than 20,000 products - many with huge discounts - for home and garden are available in the range of online retailer homediscount.co.uk.

Free UK mainland delivery is also offered, as is a 'price match promise' should you spot an item from the home discount range sold cheaper anywhere else.

livingsocial.com

livingsocial.com is a discount site with a difference, which focuses on offers in your city, town or region. And as the name suggests, there's a social element to these savings; the offer of your choice will be free for you, if you share it with three of your friends via Facebook or Twitter and they choose to buy it too.

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How to get the best deals and discounts

Pay for hot deals with a credit card

If you are buying something worth more than £100, it makes sense to use a credit card, which offers legal protection under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

This law makes the credit card company jointly liable with the shop or provider if something is faulty, or not as described – or simply fails to arrive.

Sale shopping all year around

Traditionally the January and summer sales were the time to bag a bargain. But not any more in our struggling high streets. Retailers are busy trying to maximise profits throughout the year, which means sales, sales and more sales.

Visit lovesales and hotukdeals to find out who's cutting their prices at the moment.

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Stack up your voucher code savings

You can save even more by combining various special deals on a single purchase — a process known as “stacking”. So don’t just pick one of these tips – use them all if you can. The savings just keep on giving when you use a voucher code on a sale item and get cashback. Bargain!

Use a price tracker website

These handy websites will send you an email when the product you want drops to the price you're willing to pay. You just need to register with the site you want to use, add the product's URL and you'll be alerted when the price drops either to your target price or any reduction (depending on the site you use). Try Love Sales and Alertr. They can also let you know when your favourite shops or brands are having a sale.

Find the cheapest prices

There are tools that will sift through online retailers’ products and prices for the cheapest deal. Dubbed ‘shopbots’, these search whichever category you want, from clothes to books or cosmetics.

Sites such as kelkoo.co.uk, and 123pricecheck.com are examples of such sites.

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Live chat for discounts

Many of us automatically close the live chat window that pops up at times when we are online. But you can use this to ask if there are any discounts, and some stores are handing these out to shoppers who ask for them. You can haggle in person, but you can also do this to slash the price of what you’re buying online.

If you’re told there aren’t any discounts on offer, state you are a loyal customer – and you might be offered money off as a gesture of goodwill. It might seem cheeky, but it may work.

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Check outlet stores

You might know outlet stores as the ones that are miles out of town, and a hassle to get to. However, you can search these stores online to work out what you want, at the right price and at a decent discount.

A quick online search should flag up outlet stores for some of the biggest brands.

A bit more on cashback websites - what you need to know

Sign up to cashback sites for free, and go through them to buy what you need. 

You can make hundreds of pounds a year by using sites such as Quidco and topcashback – with some purchases attracting a decent percentage cashback for your efforts. If you’re buying a pricey item, this makes the cashback extremely worthwhile.

However, always check the cheapest deal first to see if you’re truly getting a bargain.

Sign up for secret sales

Some big brands hold ‘secret sales’ that they advertise to particular customers. So it’s worth seeing if your favourite clothing designer, for example, offers a free membership club. 

Ask in store if you’re unsure how this works, and when you will get alerts for online flash sales. These typically last several days.

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Know when to shop

Timing is often key to getting the best deal on particular items.

Retailers change their prices throughout the year, as demand changes for different items. For example, back-to-school sales in September aren’t just for students. You can pick up bargains on printers, laptops, tablets and mobiles during this month.

Consider when buying a particular item might be cheaper. For example, buying a lawnmower in winter will probably see prices slashed, because most people shop for these during the summer, pushing prices up.

Sign up to newsletters

When shopping on particular sites there will be an option to sign up to the store’s newsletter. You may worry these will clutter your inbox, but they also flag up discounts and promotions.

It’s worth signing up to see what’s on offer, as you can always unsubscribe later on.

Use loyalty points

Many of us have a bulging wallet full of loyalty cards, but how often do you make use of the points racked up on these? You might be surprised how much of a discount you’re saving up. Use them.

Make sure to enter your loyalty scheme details when shopping online so you build up points as you go. Some of the biggest schemes include Tesco Clubcard, Nectar and Boots Advantage.

Read our guide to paying safely online

Sign up to social media

If you are social media-savvy and more specifically a Facebook user, it’s worth using Facebook Marketplace, for buying and selling new and used items, both locally and further afield.

Facebook is also home to myriad local buying and selling groups – and there are guaranteed to be several in your area and beyond.

You can also follow your favourite big brands, as many flag details of their latest online sales and deals through social media channels. If you’re a Twitter user, brands also tweet vouchers and coupons you can use to get money off.

And social media is another route for signing up to online newsletters - as mentioned above - plus alerts published by brands you like, to ensure you’re first in the know via email when the best offers are being promoted.

Don't fear those targeted adverts

You’ll also notice an ever-increasing range of targeted adverts on social media and on your favourite websites, seemingly popping up when you browse. These, you’ll note, often miraculously relate to your interests and can appear somewhat intrusive. But they are also a rich source of many great deals and exclusive offers, so it’s worth investigating the ones which interest you as you see fit.

Check out ebay, Amazon and charity sites

So you’ve spotted a camera you want, but it’s expensive. You go online to search for a cheaper deal, or an older model. But what about checking out the big guns, ebay and Amazon? Certain big brands use ebay to run their own clearance sales. These may offer great deals, provided you aren’t bothered about a little scratch or mark here and there.

Meanwhile Amazon is, well, Amazon. Safe to say, its online marketplace dominance precedes it.

So, more prosaically, what about charity shops online? Some of the biggest charities' online shops such as Oxfam stock lots of popular clothes and other items at cheap prices. They also hold sales, with even better deals on offer.

For more tips and useful information, browse our money articles

Visit Saga Magazine for articles, guides and tips on a range of topics including gardening, food, money and health.




The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.