How to save money on online shopping Which? members reveal their money-saving tips
14 May 2015
Internet shopping has brought every kind of retailer into our homes.
Prices are often lower on the web than the high street, but there are ways to make even bigger savings.
We know because every month we survey thousands of Which? members to find out how they save money on bills or everyday purchases.
You can see the full range of our members' money-saving by subscribing to Which? Money magazine.
But here we show you the tips and tricks members told us about when we asked them how they saved money on their online shopping in December 2014.
The 1,710 who replied saved £47 on average over a six-month period and they did it by methods such as using promotional vouchers, monitoring price movements and taking up group-buying offers.
Here's a selection of their best ideas.
Collective buying power is the principle behind websites such as Groupon and Wowcher, which offer discounts on products and services if enough customers are interested.
You can even compare the best deals on group-buying comparison websites, such as buyometric.co.uk, allthedeals.co.uk or dealzippy.co.uk.
Which? members saved an average of £100 on six months worth of online purchases by doing this.
Promotional discounts voucher codes are found all over the internet, so it's always worth searching for a deal before you click 'buy.'
Specialist discount websites, such as hotukdeals.com, myvouchercodes.co.uk, vouchercloud.com, are a good place to start.
You can sometimes get your hands on e-vouchers on the retailer's own website. Some will even offer you a discount simply for 'liking' them on Facebook.
Which? members saved an average of £40 in six months using these promotional codes.
Find out more: Cashback websites - another useful tool for getting online discounts
Sales and special offers come up all the time, so it's hard to know whether a deal is good value.
Some online discounts are being compared with a higher recommended retail price, which is rarely actually used, meaning the offer isn't as astounding as it appears.
Thankfully, there are some useful online plug-ins to help you track prices from your favourite retailers.
Camelcamelcamel.co.uk is a great website for tracking prices on Amazon. You can even set up email alerts so that you're made aware whenever a certain product drops below a specific price.
Which? members saved an average of £46 over a six-month period utilising price-tracking tools.
Find out more: Best time to get a deal - learn what time of year that certain products go on sale
You don't always need to pay sky-high delivery costs to quickly get your hands on a purchase.
Many members suggested removing Amazon's default first-class delivery option and choosing free delivery instead, as items normally arrived within a day or so anyway.
If next-day delivery is important to you, and you regularly buy a lot of items, calculate whether it's worth signing up for Amazon Prime, which offers this as part of £79-a-year service. Alternatively, if you just need one item delivered fast, you could sign up for a trial of the service and then cancel it.
Many retailers will offer free postage if you spend over a certain amount on their products, so check whether it's worth spending a small amount extra to qualify for a delivery discount.
These tips helped Which? members save an average of £20 every six months.
Find out more: Know your delivery rights - when and how to complain about dodgy deliveries