FIND SE­CRET SHOP­PING VOUCH­ERS ON­LINE (shhh!)

You can’t hag­gle when you shop on­line, but you can get money off if you know how. Mike Plant re­veals the apps and web tools that will bag you a bar­gain

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In Is­sue 508’s Fi­nal Straw (page 74) our res­i­dent Mr An­gry Ken Rigsby, be­moaned the lack of tools for find­ing the best deals on­line. But as long as you know how, find­ing a bar­gain on­line isn’t as hard as you might think. Here we re­veal sev­eral bril­liant apps and web­sites that will get you the deals you’re look­ing for, whether you’re after a new PC or a new vac­uum cleaner.

MONEY-SAV­ING APPS Ho­tukdeals

An­droid: www.snipca.com/25755 IOS: www.snipca.com/25759 All the bar­gains you’ll find on Ho­tukdeals are sug­gested by its mem­bers. If you cre­ate an ac­count (tap the menu icon, ‘Log in’, then ‘Cre­ate an ac­count’ to sign up) you can sug­gest deals your­self. Once a deal has been pro­posed the mem­bers of the site vote for or against it. The ac­cu­mu­lated votes will ei­ther make the deal hot (a bar­gain) or cold (worth avoid­ing).

Find a bar­gain If you’re look­ing for a par­tic­u­lar prod­uct, let’s says a Dyson vac­uum cleaner, tap the search icon (mag­ni­fy­ing-glass icon), type dyson, then tap the green search icon on your on­screen key­board. You’ll see a list of deals (ex­pired ones will be greyed out) with a ‘Get deal’ but­ton. Tap this and you’ll be di­rected to the re­tailer. Each deal has a tem­per­a­ture, the hot­ter the bet­ter. If you want to hide the ex­pired deals, tap the fil­ter icon (to the right of the mag­ni­fy­ing glass), tap the ‘Show ex­pired’ slider, then tap Ap­ply.

If, for ex­am­ple, you want to keep an eye on Dyson prod­ucts for a po­ten­tial fu­ture pur­chase, you can fol­low the Dyson group to see any rel­e­vant deals quickly with a sin­gle tap. Tap the menu icon (three lines at the top left), ‘Find groups’, then the ‘+’ to the right of Dyson in the list (see screen­shot right). If the prod­uct you’re in­ter­ested in isn’t listed, search for it us­ing the search icon (top right).

To view the Dyson group, go back to the main screen, tap ‘All deals’ (at the top), then tap Dyson. To re­move groups from this list, tap the Menu icon, ‘Find groups’, the Fol­lowed tab, then untick ev­ery­thing you want to re­move.

Idealo

An­droid: www.snipca.com/25756 IOS: www.snipca.com/25761 Idealo lets you com­pare prices across mul­ti­ple on­line stores. It also has a bar­code scan­ner so you can quickly com­pare the prices of items in a high-street shop with those on sale on­line. The first time you open the app you’ll see a ‘Where would you like to shop’ screen – select the UK.

Find a bar­gain Use the search field at the top of the app to search for spe­cific prod­ucts, or tap the bar­code icon to the right of the search bar to use the bar­code scan­ner. Tap the prod­uct you want in your search results, then – if prompted – tap the ver­sion of the prod­uct. When we searched for a Moto G4, for ex­am­ple, we had to choose be­tween a white and a black model. You’ll then see all the sites sell­ing that prod­uct (with low­est price first). For a more ac­cu­rate price, move the ‘Incl. De­liv­ery’ slider to the right. To go to a deal tap the To Shop but­ton.

If cur­rent prices are too high, tap the alarm-clock icon (top right) to set an alert. En­ter your ideal price, move the ‘Incl. De­liv­ery’ slider to the right, then tap Ac­ti­vate. You’ll now re­ceive a no­ti­fi­ca­tion should the prod­uct be­come avail­able at your cho­sen price or lower.

Voucher­cloud

An­droid: www.snipca.com/25757 IOS: www.snipca.com/25762 Voucher­cloud is the app equiv­a­lent of cut­ting out and keep­ing vouch­ers that you can use at your lo­cal shops and restau­rants, or on­line.

Find a bar­gain When you first open the app it will ask per­mis­sion to ac­cess your

lo­ca­tion. Tap Al­low, and when the app loads, scroll down to the ‘Of­fers near’ sec­tion, then tap Map. You’ll see a map of of lo­cal shops and restau­rants that of­fer voucher deals (see screen­shot above). Tap one to see details of the of­fer. You can also use the mag­ni­fy­ing glass at the top right to find vouch­ers for spe­cific shops.

Sto­card

An­droid: www.snipca.com/25784 IOS: www.snipca.com/25785 If you’re weighed down by mul­ti­ple loy­alty cards in your wal­let, why not keep them on your phone in­stead? Sto­card lets you save dig­i­tal cards for stores and com­pa­nies such as Waitrose and Bri­tish Air­ways. To start adding your cards, sim­ply tap the ‘+’ at the bot­tom right, then scan the bar­code on your card. The next time you’re at the check­out, tap the rel­e­vant store in your app, then scan the bar­code shown on your phone’s screen.

Find a bar­gain Sto­card isn’t just stor­age for your loy­alty cards. Tap Of­fers to see all avail­able dis­counts as­so­ci­ated with the cards you’ve added to your app.

MONEY-SAV­ING SITES & EX­TEN­SIONS The Fork­lift

http://uk.the­fork­lift.net This bril­liant web­site sifts through thou­sands of cut-price prod­ucts avail­able from the Ama­zon Ware­house dis­count web­site.

Find a bar­gain The first thing you’ll no­tice is how quickly the prod­ucts listed on the site are ro­tated. This gives you only a few mo­ments to make a de­ci­sion. But if some­thing catches your eye, you can click the Pause but­ton (top right), to freeze the page be­fore the prod­uct dis­ap­pears.

To nar­row the choice of items to only those that in­ter­est you, click Fil­ters (on the left). Here you can set the price range, per­cent­age sav­ing, cat­e­gory and con­di­tion (new, refurbished, and so on) of the prod­ucts. By de­fault, ev­ery cat­e­gory is se­lected. If you only want to see cer­tain cat­e­gories, click the Tog­gle All Off but­ton to de­s­e­lect all, then click those you want to select (see screen­shot above). You can also use the ‘Key­word fil­ter’ search bar to fo­cus on spe­cific prod­ucts.

The Pouch

www.join­pouch.com Re­cently fea­tured on busi­ness re­al­ity TV show Drag­ons’ Den, The Pouch is a voucher-find­ing ex­ten­sion that searches for dis­count codes when you visit an on­line store. Though only avail­able for Chrome, Fire­fox and Sa­fari browsers at the mo­ment, it will soon be an op­tion for Edge users.

Find a bar­gain Visit an on­line store, then click the Pouch’s ex­ten­sion icon to see any avail­able dis­count codes and vouch­ers. If you see a dis­count code you want to use, click the Copy Code but­ton, then paste the code into the store’s dis­count code box be­fore you buy.

The Camelizer

Chrome: www.snipca.com/25770 Fire­fox: www.snipca.com/25771 The Camel­camel­camel browser ex­ten­sion ( https://uk.camel camel­camel.com) lets you view the pric­ing his­tory of thou­sands of prod­ucts on Ama­zon UK. You can also set up email no­ti­fi­ca­tions so you’ll be in­formed when a prod­uct you’re in­ter­ested in dips be­low the price you spec­ify.

Find a bar­gain Click the browser ex­ten­sion (camel icon) while you’re view­ing a prod­uct on Ama­zon to open a chart show­ing the prod­uct’s price fluc­tu­a­tion over the past year. Keep an eye on the green line, which rep­re­sents Ama­zon UK’S price. The other lines rep­re­sent prices from Mar­ket­place sell­ers – both new prod­ucts (blue) and sec­ond-hand (red). These are less use­ful as an in­di­ca­tor be­cause they may or may not in­clude ex­tras like de­liv­ery. The green line’s low­est point in­di­cates the low­est ever price of a prod­uct – a good com­par­i­son for the cur­rent price. To cre­ate a no­ti­fi­ca­tion, en­ter your email ad­dress, type your ideal price in the De­sired box (to the right of Ama­zon – see screen­shot left), then click Cre­ate Price Watches.

Tai­lor Ho­tukdeals by adding spe­cific groups of prod­ucts to your ac­count

Find voucher deals for shop­ping and eat­ing out with Voucher­cloud Quickly clear The Fork­lift’s se­lected cat­e­gories us­ing the Tog­gle All Off but­ton

Use The Camelizer to cre­ate price track­ers for any prod­uct on Ama­zon

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