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Deal Hunting: How to shop online for the cheapest price

Information verified correct on October 27th, 2016

Stop spending your time hunting for bargains and start spending your time shopping the best online deals. Here's how:

Online shopping means the world's best shops and bargains come to you. Finding those bargains however is a whole nother ball game. You could literally spend HOURS trying to find the cheapest price for that dress or phone. Who needs that when you could be spending it out on the verandah with a beer in hand? No one, that's who.

That's why we're sharing some tips and tricks of the trade to help you find those bargain buys, get more bang for your buck and still have time to enjoy the sunset.

You're welcome, shoppers.

1. Never underestimate the power of coupon codes

Online stores love offering coupon codes to help customers grab a bigger bargain than advertised. If you don't see one being advertised on the shop's website this doesn't mean that one doesn't exist. Have a browse through our deals page to see if we have codes for the shop you're looking at. Alternatively, hit up Google and search for coupon codes or promo codes for the store.

What is a coupon code?

A coupon code is a ticket consisting of a code of numbers or letters that you enter on a retailer website when placing an order to qualify for a discount on your purchases. So, when buying products online, always look for coupon codes, promo codes or gift codes and benefit from reduced prices. The discount codes are usually entered and activated in most websites prior to making the final payment for your order. The majority of coupon codes are case sensitive. For instance, if you find a code such as ‘FINDERC0D3’, you would capitalise all the letter when entering it before check out. There is also a difference between zeros and the letter ‘o’, so try not to get them confused.

  • What do you do when a link or a code does not become active?
    Sometimes online shops stop promotions abruptly. If you encounter a problem where the coupon code you clicked on does not reduce the price then contact the merchant direct through social media or its contact page or try another coupon code.
  • Keep gift certificates safe and remember where you’ve put them
    One of the benefits of shopping online is the issue of gift certificates by some shops for spending a certain amount of cash on your purchases. Gift certificates are also very popular as, you guessed it, gifts. Around Christmas and your birthday, if you receive gift certificates make sure you remember where you put them as most of them have expiry dates.


2. Keep an eye on daily deal websites

Even when looking for basic coupons, do not forget to search on group coupons sites such as Groupon and Scoopon. You will save a big chunk of your hard-earned cash when you make use of their best deals during the peak holiday season. You should also keep an eye on websites offering daily deals such as CatchOfTheDay. Remember to check on a daily basis so that you stay updated.

3. Save it for a sale day with wish lists

Like something but are willing to wait to see if the price will go down soon? That's where wishlists and baskets come in. You can keep checking back on the basket to see if the price of your item changes or let the merchant do the work for you. If the price of your item runs low on stock or goes on discount some will email you to let you know.

4. Keep up-to-date with your favourite stores

If you have favourite store, sign up to its mailing list and follow them on all social media channels. This might sound like you're going to get spammed with emails and posts but generally you'll receive updates on new styles and looks as well as coupon codes and sale details by being part of the "in" crowd. Impulse buying is never bad when the sale is this good.

5. Use browser extensions to compare product prices

You can check for the best prices using various deal sites but you may not get the most out of your shopping. It’s easier to use browser extensions such as PriceBlink and InvisibleHand, since they scour the Internet for the lowest prices to enable you shop with confidence knowing that you have found the best deal possible.

InvisibleHand automatically looks for the lowest prices when you search for them. PriceBlink will also give related coupons and mail-in rebates for over 4,000 merchants when you view a product.

You can also use the Qantas Frequent Flyer toolbar to earn Qantas Points that can be redeemed for discounts on certain products.


Go the extra mile to find the best prices

If you want to purchase a specific item, finding its best price from a price comparison website such as GetPrice can help keep you save. To ease the process of finding the right item you want, enter as much information as possible in the search area of the price comparison website. If you enter the exact details of the product you are looking for, the search results will be limited to the product. For instance, entering HP ProBook 650 G1 Notebook PC - ENERGY STAR, F2R75UT, will give more specific search results of the item you are looking for. To widen your search results, try not to give too much information. If for instance your intention is to compare the prices of different HP ProBooks and not one specific type, then that’s all the information you will have to provide on the search area.

6. Look out for the small stuff

Sometimes you can find the best prices on a product, but your savings get whisked away by high shipping and handling costs. If you find that a shop advertises free shipping but charges extraordinary high handling fees, then you may want to find another alternative that will save the damage on your wallet. Think about the following when shopping:

  • Does the company charge restocking fees?

Some online stores charge restocking fees which is the fee charged if customers are not satisfied with their purchases and return the products. If you want to surprise someone close to you with a gift and you’re not sure about their size of preference, remember to check if the store charges restocking fees. If so, it is better to try another retailer that doesn’t charge this fee.

  • Go for stores offering extended or free returns

Some online retailers let customers return items for free within a certain time frame if they are not satisfied with their purchase. Look around for these offers so you have a contingency plan if you’re not happy with your purchase. Remember that you can save on your everyday purchases with’s great online shopping offers and coupons. We post up the latest deals to help you save on a range of fashion, tech, travel, dining, homewares and many more.

Stephanie Yip

Stephanie is a journalist, avid traveller and all-round bargain hunter. If there's an online coupon code, deal or cheap flight available, she'll know about it. And she'll let you know about it, too.

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