From leaving items in your cart to including your birthday in your sign-up details, these online shopping hacks will change the way you shop online.
A friend of mine once said that she doesn’t buy anything unless it’s at a discount. You might think that means she never buys anything, but you’d be wrong. There are more discounts and deals available online than you might realise – you just have to know how to find and use them. These tried-and-tested tips will help you save at your favourite stores.
We signed up to newsletters, left items in our carts and stalked social media accounts to test these online shopping hacks and tips.
Note that all the discounts and deals provided below are ones that we’ve personally been offered. They may change at any time at each store’s discretion. Discounts may come with minimum spends and limited time periods.
1. Register or sign-up to stores and leave items in your cart without making a purchase
Then, leave the site and watch your inbox. You might get a friendly email the next day or within the next week with a discount code to convince you to complete your purchase.
|Store||Hack: Discounts for items left in baskets|
|SurfStitch||20% off basket|
|The Book Depository||5% off basket or wishlist|
|Urban Outfitters||15% off|
|Beginning Boutique||10% off|
|The Hut||If you’ve registered with The Hut but have yet to make your first purchase, the store might send you a code for 15% off to welcome you back.|
|Wiggle||If you’ve registered with Wiggle but have yet to make a purchase, the store might send you a code for 10% off to get you started.|
|CrazySales.com.au||If you’ve registered with CrazySales.com.au but have yet to make a purchase, the store might send you a code for 5% off to get you started.|
2. Have a birthday or newsletter anniversary
Include your date of birth when signing up to sites and some might give you a nice birthday discount.
|Store||Hack: Discounts for having a birthday or anniversary|
|STA||$50 voucher on your birthday|
|Missguided||10% off on your birthday|
|Princess Polly||$20 off on your birthday|
|Rebel||$10 voucher on your birthday|
|Kikki K||$10/$20 off on your birthday|
|Jetstar||Get a 5% discount for being a newsletter subscriber for a year|
|RedBalloon||$15 voucher on your birthday|
|Mighty Ape||$10 off on your birthday|
|Jetsetter||Get a 5% discount for being a newsletter subscriber for a year|
3. Take advantage of free trials
Many services provide you with free one-month trials. Read the terms and conditions properly so you know when and how to cancel before you get charged! Put a note in your calendar so you don't forget.
|Store||Hack: Free trials|
|Audible||Audible offers a one-month free trial. Beyond this you can get a listener discount.Here's how: Sign up for the first month for free. When you go to cancel, you’ll be asked why you’d like to cancel.|
Choose the dropdown option of “The membership fee was too expensive for me”. To keep your custom, Audible will offer discounts.
For example, $7.45 per month for gold membership for the first three months and $14.95 per month thereafter.
|Ancestry||Try 2 weeks free|
|Stan||30-day free trial|
|Getflix||Try 2 weeks free|
|VyperVPN||3-day free trial|
4. Book it on a deal day
Airlines like Virgin Australia and Jetstar have dedicated "happy hour" sales. Scout prices and flights beforehand and jump on them when the hour of sale comes around. Check out our detailed guide for more tips.
|Store||Hack: Specific day of the week discounts|
|Jetstar||Jetstar deals on a Friday|
|Virgin Australia||Happy hour at 4pm every Thursday|
5. Sign up to newsletters.
Shops tend to sweeten this deal by offering a sign-up or first-purchase discount. These one-time deals are for new customers only and tend to have time periods attached to them, so it’s best to sign up if there’s something you want to buy now. By signing up, it usually means that you’ve given permission to the merchant to send you newsletters and marketing material. You can always unsubscribe if this becomes too much for your inbox.
|Store||Hack: Sign-up to the newsletter / be a first-time customer|
|THE ICONIC||$10 voucher for email sign-ups|
|Showpo||$10 off for email sign-ups|
|Peter Alexander||15% off for email signups|
|Adidas||15% off for email signs-up|
|Dissh||10% off for email sign-ups|
|Pacsun||15% off for email sign-ups|
|Miss Holly||$10 store credit for email sign-ups|
|ASOS||$10 off your first purchase for email sign-ups|
|JayJays||10% off for email sign-ups|
|Urban Outfitters||15% off for email sign-ups|
|Freez||$10 off your first purchase for email sign-ups|
|Dangerfield||10% off for email sign-ups|
|Oasis||15% off for email sign-ups|
|Joe Button||$10 off your first purchase for email sign-ups|
|WorkwearHub||$10 off for email sign-ups|
|Sweaty Betty||10% off your first purchase for email sign-ups|
|SwimSpot||15% off for email sign-ups|
|LivingStyles||$15 off for email sign-ups|
|ModelCo||25% off your first purchase for email sign-ups|
|Masters||10% off for email sign-ups|
|Icon By Design||$25 off for email sign-ups|
|Zanui||$25 off your first purchase for email sign-ups|
|Smiggle||10% off for email sign-ups|
|Ted’s Cameras||$10 off for email sign-ups|
|Baby Goes Retro||10% off for email sign-ups|
|costumes.com.au||10% off for email sign-ups|
|MyDeal.com.au||$10 coupon for email sign-ups|
|Clearly Contacts||10% off and free shipping for email sign-ups|
|Snapfish||No discount here, but every new sign-up gets 60 free 10x15 prints|
|Lime Tree Kids||10% off your first purchase for email sign-ups|
|SABA||10% off for email sign-ups|
|Van Heusen||$20 off your first purchase for email sign-ups|
|Book FHR||5% off for email sign-ups|
|Amber Sceats||$10 gift card for email sign-ups|
|Beserk||10% off your first purchase for email sign-ups|
|Whiteport||10% for email sign-ups|
|Nailpolish.com.au||5% off your first order|
|Coles||Free delivery of your first order|
|Happy Tummies||Free delivery of your first order|
|Canningvale||$20 off your first purchase for email sign-ups|
|Antoine & Stanley||10% off your first purchase for email sign-ups|
|Jeff Banks||$20 off your first purchase for email sign-ups|
|Ennia Lingerie||Up to $50 off your first purchase for email sign-ups (dependent on your spend)|
|BNKR||15% off your first purchase for email sign-ups|
|Ettitude||$10 gift voucher for email sign-ups|
|RY||$5 off your first purchase for email sign-ups|
|Yogee Toys||5% off your first purchase when you sign up for Playtime Membership|
|Toosh Foods||15% off your first purchase for email sign-ups|
|Go Lights||$10 off your first purchase for email sign-ups|
|Alive Skin + Hair||Free delivery of your first order|
|Rockport||15% off your first purchase for email sign-ups|
|Printvenue||25% off your first purchase for email sign-ups|
|Risque Boutique||$10 off for email sign-ups|
|Styletread||$10 voucher for email sign-ups and for answering a question|
|Hallenstein Brothers||20% off for email sign-ups|
|GetWinesDirect||10% off your first purchase for email sign-ups|
6. Look out for other site-specific deals.
These can be anything from return credits to free services.
|Store||Hack: Other great hacks|
|THE ICONIC||Return an item to get 110% credit on your next purchase.|
|Anthropologie||Use the free personal shopping service. Anthropologie lets you tell it vaguely what you want, and it will send over looks and suggestions, sometimes with free express shipping.|
Two more hot shopping tips, because you can never have too many
- Customer service not up to scratch? Say it on social media. If you’re unhappy with a merchant’s customer service, be vocal about it on social media. Stores tend to be extremely responsive via Twitter or Facebook. If you have a legitimate complaint, a discount could be in it for you.
- Enter competitions. As a reward for entering competitions (and to add you to their subscription list), some stores will email you a code as a thank you. Don’t unsubscribe yet if they don’t. When they announce the winners, they may offer you a consolation prize in the form of a discount code. (Then, you can unsubscribe if it’s not of interest to you).