Like every fashionista, I love shopping. Who doesn’t?! Especially in London, world’s shopping paradise with million of choices ranging from high street retailers to luxury brands. But London shopping ain’t cheap so I am always on the lookout for good bargains. Today, I am sharing my 7 top tips and tricks to get the best possible shopping discounts both in store and online and save hundreds of pounds.
1.Subscribe to online newsletters
Every high street brand that has a website will offer option of subscribing for their updates and electronic newsletter. There are two advantages to do that. One is brands will often offer initial discount of 10-25% off the first online order when you sign up for their newsletter. Second, you will be first to know about their sales and exclusive in-store events. For example, I get regular notifications for H&M online discount codes and seasonal sales. So I rarely pay full price for my shopping at H&M these days!
2.Get a loyalty/membership card
Another way to become friends with your favorite brand is to get their loyalty card, if they offer one. Or even better – get a loyalty/reward card for big department stores that carry hundreds of different brands. Every time I shop online or in-store at House of Fraser, for example, I get points which accumulate over time and turn into a cash equivalent. So next time I do shopping there, I might have some credit waiting I can apply towards my purchase. Other stores, like John Lewis, also send its members vouchers for exclusive discounts and even treats (like free drink and cake) at their café.
3.Recycle and get rewards
This one is probably one of my favorite ways to save money. Some shops, like H&M and &Other Stories (both are owned by the same company) now accept old clothing as part of their recycling program. At H&M, for a bag (it can be just one item) of old clothing you want to donate to recycling you’ll get a £5 voucher (to be spent on purchases over £30). While in &Other Stories, for the same bag you’ll receive a 10% discount off your purchase. You can also bring empty beauty product tubs to get same discount.
4.Wait for sales
For me, Pinterest is not only an endless source of inspiration, but also a way to organize my wishlists and save money. If I like something, I will pin in to my wishlist and leave it there. It’s a great way to fight off the impulse and see whether your truly want this particular item. Often times (70-80%) I will cool off, change my mind and unpin it. Money saved already! But for those items I am seriously considering to buy, it’s a good way of keeping a direct link to them and monitoring any changes in stock, price, etc. I usually wait until there is a sale, like around Bank holidays or Black Friday, to place an order. Sales are usually good, up to 20-25% off and can save you lots of money.
This is my newest find – online tool Shoptagr, a website that allows you to monitor any changes in price (aka sales!). The layout looks very similar to Pinterest and you get an “S” button on your browser. The website has a database of over 1,000 of the leading shopping retailers. Once you see something you like, you press the button and it saves the item in your Shoptagr wishlist. You can create different folders for various items and choose notifications for any price changes to be sent to your email or mobile. I am testing this platform right now and will let you know how I like it.
UPDATE: I’ve used this tool now for few months and love it! It lets me know as soon as a favorited item goes on sale, which means I am one of the first to grab it on sale.
6.Register for student discounts
If you are a student, take advantage of student discounts. Simply register on Unidays website with university email address. The website generates unique discount codes each time you shop with a particular retailer and you get to enjoy great deals on a wide variety of fashion, beauty, food, technology and lifestyle products and services. When I was a PhD student, I particularly loved discounts on Apple products and computer softwares. And even if you are not registered on Unidays, just showing your student ID will work in many high street shops like New Look, Mango, Office and Urban Outfitters.
Last is a basic but important tip. Never settle on a product until you’ve done your research and found absolute best deal. Sometimes you can get a great discount on a particular item in a department store and sometimes you may find it cheaper to buy directly from the brand. For example, I recently bought a Tory Burch bag from Selfridges, which was offering 20% discount on most of its products. The bag never went on sale on Tory Burch’s website or stores. But Tory Burch has semi-annual sales with 50% discounts on a lot of its last season’s stock, which is much better than what you would find in any department store.
Also, for price comparison I use Google shopping and Shopstyle website. Shopstyle is very easy to use, just put in the brand and product name you are looking for and it will show you where you can buy it and for how much. Have a look at the screen shot above showing my price comparison on a Ted Baker Feline cross-body bag. You can see that one particular website was offering a much better deal on it, potentially saving me around £30.
I hope you found these tips useful and learned something new. Having fun while shopping is a must, but spending too much money is optional!
Happy shopping!!! xx