Friday 24th May 2024

From phones to credit cards: don’t get ripped off, compare first, buy later

Expert deals finder Will Pointing shows how to avoid getting ripped off and find a new deal in a matter of minutes.

From rising energy costs to eye-watering railway fares, day-to-day life can quickly feel like one big rip off. 

Some eight in 10 people believe there are ‘too many rip-offs in modern life” – in every area from eating out, watching Sky TV to even that unpleasant trip to the dentist, according to a recent study of 2,000 UK adults by phone contract provider SMARTY.

Hospital car parking was voted number one biggest rip off, with expensive cinema food in second place.

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In fact, a quarter of UK citizens are so frustrated they are now even contemplating leaving Britain to find a new home country that is better value for money.

Are you fed up with the prices you are paying? If so, spare 10 minutes of your time before your next big purchase and the tips below will save you some precious pounds.

  • Your Questions Answered: Have you got a burning money question? We want to help! We’ve got a panel of experts on hand that can explain and give guidance to you for your personal finance problems. Find out how.

Use price comparison sites

These sites filter and compare products based on price, features, reviews and other criteria for a range of sectors. This could be financial products such as insurance and credit cards to home services, like Broadband, Gas and TV entertainment.

Comparison sites allow you to get quotes from a variety of companies in only a few clicks and are generally cheaper than going direct to the provider. Some popular comparison sites include CompareTheMarket, uSwitch, MoneySuperMarket, GoCompare and Confused.com.

It is best to search several price comparison sites before choosing which product or service to buy.

Look out for an exclusive offer

Whilst on a price comparison site, take particular attention to the word “exclusive”. This positive term means that the deal is the best in market and worth taking notice of.

The deals often have a duration limit, so review, compare and think about buying quickly.

Google “referral codes”

Most products and services bought online allow people to enter referral codes to gain a discount. What if you don’t know anyone personally to refer you?

Don’t worry, type “>Insert company name< referral code” into Google and you will find bloggers and news sites often promoting active referral codes you can use. Expect a minimum of at least 10% off the main price.

Register with a Cashback site

Cashback sites are a type of reward website that pays its members a percentage of money earned when they purchase goods and services via its affiliate links. Essentially it is free money for buying something you would anyway.

TopCashBack and Quidco are the key cashback players. Please note that you can’t use both the comparison sites offer and the cash back site offer together, so it is worth comparing both for the best deal.

Cashback Apps that are worth downloading

There are some innovative worthwhile cash back apps out there in the market, which are quite low energy once you’ve downloaded the app and registered.

Shopmium is a free App that makes supermarket shopping a bit more fun. It allows you to gain exclusive offers (often free) for everyday new products that you buy at the supermarket. Use ga8yq3 to get a free gift on registration.

Airtime Rewards is another free App that connects to your bank cards. Each time you use your connected card at participating retailers you’ll earn some money back that’ll go towards money off your phone contract (Use PQU98BNA and you get a free £1 bonus).

Remember loyalty doesn’t generally pay as a consumer in the UK, so compare first and buy later to avoid that uncomfortable feeling of being ripped off.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

William Pointing

Mouthy Blogger

Will Pointing enjoys helping people save money online the easy way by using his marketing experience gained at comparison websites and publishing companies. He has been featured in the Financial Times, the Sun and local radio. He also enjoys the outdoors.

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