Shop smarter-Shop Safer

Know your consumer rights.

Shop smarter.

If your shopping bill has become unmanageable your not facing this problem alone. With food prices rising, wages falling and household bills taking up an ever growing share of the family budget, every pound you can save goes a long way to making ends meet. Whether you’re looking to save money on your weekly food shop or trying to cut the cost of your online buying, follow our tips and hopefully we can help lower the cost.

  • Work out what you spend your money on.

    Seeing where you spend your money will let you know just what you can and can’t afford. Create a spreadsheet and list all your incomings and outgoings. Its probably best to start with your major outgoings and expand from there. Be honest, the more accurate the easier the process will be. As always there are also many tools on the internet that will help you with this and our favourite is the budget planner at MoneyAdviceService.org.uk. We like this one because you don’t even need your own dedicated spreadsheet software, its all done online.

  • Food Shopping:- Make a shopping list.

    This is great if you’re super organised but if not, don’t give up. Try creating a simple weekly meal plan and your shopping list should take care of itself. Its surprising just how effective those supermarket marketing ploys are, you and your shopping list are going to beat every little trick they can throw at you. By ONLY buying what you need you can easily save £20+ per week. Grab your shopping list and get on over to mySupermarket.co.uk. Here you can save even more by letting them doing all the hard work for you. They will tell you exactly where your food shop is cheapest, direct you to their website and add it to your basket just waiting for you to press go.

  • Beware of special offers.

    Vouchers, special offers and cashback deals were invented to make you spend more, not less. Never buy something you don’t need just because it’s on offer.

  • Consider supermarket own-brands.

    Not all own-brand supermarket products these days are inedible boxes of cardboard mush, believe it or not, they can be just as good as the named brand products you have grown to love. Some are just……. quite good. Generally own brand products differ only very slightly from their named brand alternatives and quite often you will find that they are produced in the same factory or picked at the same farm as the more expensive product.

Biscuit

M&S Biscuit Scandal

  • Don’t impulse buy.

    Think carefully before making a purchase – especially if it’s expensive. At the very least sleep on it, it might seem less appealing in the morning. Remember these two questions, “Do I NEED it?” and “Can I afford it?” if the answer to both is no………….

  • Shop around.

    When buying online just remember to shop around, it really is that simple. There are several comparison sites online these days and all make the process really easy. A selection of the more well known ones are…

  • Remember your rights

    As a consumer, you have the right to complain about issues with any goods or services you’ve purchased. You can find out more in MoneySavingExpert’s guide to Consumer Rights.

  • Using your credit or debit card

    If something goes wrong, buying on your credit or debit card gives you greater protection than cash or cheque. Credit cards offer the most protection – as long as the item or service you bought cost over £100 you can claim against your card provider under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act to get your money back

  • Worried about online scams?

    There are plenty of benefits to shopping online. You’ll often get the most choice, the best prices and can shop from the comfort of your own home. However, there are some guidelines you should follow to keep your online shopping experience as safe as possible.

  • Research your retailers. If you’re using a website to buy something for the first time, do some research to make sure it’s a legitimate business. If in doubt, search for their details with Companies House. For financial firms, check that they’re on the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) register.
  • Pay by credit card where possible. Credit cards give you more protection than other payment methods. You can find out more in How you’re protected when you pay by card.
  • Check the website is secure. Before you enter your payment details, you should make sure the website is secure. Scroll down to How to make sure you’re on a secure site for more details.
  • Read reviews. If you’re still not sure about using a website, then search the internet to see what other people are saying about it.

Best Cheap TV?

Id check out amazon’s Prime Day

Looking for a cheap TV, your looking in the right place.

The days of breaking the bank for a 40 inch TV are long gone – today you can now pick up 40-inch LCD TV’s for under £200. If your lucky you will probably find a new 4k LED Smart TV for less than £400 too. If your after a 4k TV now is a great time to upgrade, especially with Netflix, Amazon, BBC and Sky all planning on broadcasting / streaming even more 4K content over the coming months.

So what about a 43 inch widescreen 4K smart LED TV with Freeview HD?

for less than £300

Well we have found one with great reviews that’s available from a well know retailer.

Amazon to the rescue again.

hisense

Hisense 43 inch Widescreen 4K Smart LED TV with Freeview.

Hisense are the official TV partner of Euro2016 and they offer a range of 4K TV’s ranging in size from 40-85 inch. Prices are a steal starting at just £299. If your feeling flush, the 85 inch comes in at a cool £5000.

Product Description & Specifications

TV like never before in glorious Ultra HD 4K resolution. With 4 times the detail of Full HD see every detail with stunningly realistic picture quality and beautifully natural motion. Backed by the power of a quad core processor, powerful TruSurround Audio, futureproof 4K technologies (including HDMI 2.0, HEVC, USB 3.0) and a wide variety of Smart apps you will never want to leave your living room.

Panel Performance

2D to 3D  NO
Aspect Ratio 16:9
Diagonal Screen Size 108cm/42.6 inch
Viewing Angle (H/V) N/A
Dynamic Contrast 4000
Refresh 800
Response Time (grey to grey) N/A
Hisense 3D technology  NO
Panel Resolution Ultra HD 3840×2160

Connecting Interface

HDMI Input 4 (2xHDMI 2.0)
HDCP Support HDCP 2.2
MHL Yes
USB 3 (1xUSB 3.0)
S/PDIF Output Yes
Audio (L/R) Input Yes
Headphone Output Yes
RF Tuner 2
Composite (AV) Input Yes
Component YPb(Cb) / Pr (Cr) Input Yes
SCART 1 (Scart in only)
VGA Input N/A
PC Audio Input (3.5mm) N/A
Subwoofer
Ethernet RJ45 Port Yes

See full specification here on Hisense’s website

Our verdict.

For a bargain TV your not going to find any better in our opinion. Great picture, sound and plenty of connections make this a great option for your taking your first leap into the world of 4k smart TV’s.

Check it out here on amazon…

Update..

At the moment the TV is on a 1-2 month delivery… not the greatest but its still your best bet for a bargain TV. Well worth the wait.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facebook v eBay

A look at selling on Facebook

Local Facebook selling groups are now fast taking over from eBay as the place to find a fantastic bargains and the best bit……NO fees.

Follow these tips to save £££’s when buying or selling on Facebook. Learn how to find the best groups, network and stay safe.

img-full-fb_vs_ebay

Buying & Selling

You would expect items to sell much quicker on eBay just because of its wider audience however, its possible to sell many items instantly on Facebook while they remain unsold on the ‘Bay.

That said, Facebook groups are run by volunteer administrators, so you are unlikely to get any support whatsoever if things go wrong. Remember buyers aren’t always reliable – sometimes they just won’t turn up, or they’ll change their mind.

Selling on Facebook is all about getting that quick local sale, selling to friends and people in or around your hometown.

What Sells Best?

Here’s our tips to what sell fast on Facebook.

  • Popular goods. Facebook’s a good bet for mainstream goods such as games consoles, furniture and spare TVs – things lots of people have, want and can easily collect.
  • Small cheap items. Selling in Facebook groups can be really profitable if your selling small inexpensive items just because your saving on fees and postage. DVD’s, games, baby items & crafts all sell incredibly well if you find the right group.
  • Kids’ stuff. Parents groups are among the most bustling, so this is brilliant for cots, kids’ clothes, Frozen dolls and Jumperoos.

When to use eBay?

  • Rarer items. The chances are you just wont reach your niche market on Facebook. This is exactly where eBay trumps the competition.
  • High-value items. Facebook just doesn’t offer the protection that eBay does.

Find local Facebook groups to find great deals

Thousands of buying and selling groups have appeared on Facebook recently and they can be a great place to find that must have bargain. To get started, search for your area or postcode in the main search box, alongside words such as ‘selling’, ‘sale’ or ‘buy’.

Many areas have several groups – for example, in Manchester there’s Manchester Buy, Sell And Swap, Manchester Buy, Sell, Swap and Manchester & Salford Buy/Sell/Swap/Giveaway

In Liverpool some of the larger better ones are Bargain Bay, Bargain Box, Bargain Bonanza and Buying and Selling in Merseyside.

Some notable groups for finding bargains

Baby & toddler bargain bay

Craft, Craft & More Craft

Safety first! Always be careful

disagreements are rare and most groups are self regulating, banning troublemakers, but be careful. Check profiles of buyers and sellers, trust your gut and only do business if nothing flags up..

For smaller goods, do the exchange in a busy public place – why not outside the local police station?

If they must come to your home, try to do the exchange on the doorstep – don’t be pressurised into letting anyone into your home. Also make sure someone else is in the house when the buyer comes to collect.

It’s a good idea to have a mobile phone in your pocket, keep valuables out of sight, and if you let a collector in, limit their movements to as few rooms as possible.

Always ask to be paid in cash rather than by bank transfer or cheque. If someone has your bank account details, it increases the risk of fraud against you. With cheques, you’ve no guarantees they will clear. PayPal is secure but only if you choose the “paying for good’s and services” option, don’t use “friends and family”, if anything goes wrong your unlikely to get your money back.

If your buying, the preference is probably to use PayPal’s “good’s and services” option but sellers will sometimes insist on cash payment for obvious reasons. This is the ONLY alternative payment method we would suggest but make sure you have inspected the item thoroughly before handing over any money. NEVER pay up front in cash.

Give people 24 hours to buy

Give people 24 hours to buy

Frustratingly, some buyers quickly post to stake their claim, and then never show any interest again. This is definitely one of the most frustrating aspects of selling on Facebook.

To help, put a clear deadline in your ad, along the lines of ‘will offer to the next person down if collection time not agreed within 24 hours’. and don’t rush into anything expecting it to be sold straight away.

It’s not all about selling

A lot of items are given away for free, you just need to be a member of the right group and keep your eyes peeled.

The best way to search for give-away groups is by searching for them in your Facebook search bar. Just enter “free” followed by location.

Liverpool “I’m Free”

 

 

 

 

Shopping Secrets….

Find those hidden sales

Retailers try every trick in the book to take your money and regular sales, believe it or not, are designed to do just that. Sales are often used to increase walk through or sell unwanted stock in time for next season’s must have but to benefit you have to be quick. With our savvy tip’s you will never miss out on that next great bargain.

Decipher hidden discount codes on store price tags.

Store tags. They’re not just there to look nice. In preparation for sales, shop staff usually scribble numbers, letters or dots on price tags. Its a sale, the retailer isn’t going to re-tag every item is it? Take a close look and if you spot anything on the tag that resembles this, Id hold off, It may just about to be reduced in the next upcoming sale.

codes

We’ve seen comments online that this is system is likely used at Next, Monsoon and River Island.

So while inspecting the tags won’t guarantee a bargain, as don’t forget, the item could always sell out, it sometimes pays just to hold that extra couple of days.

Check the numbers.

Large retailers sometimes use price codes to secretly communicate to staff which models need to be shifted quickly to make way for new stock.

numbers

looking online the key to these codes lies in the last digit of a price. While most prices end in 9, if one ends in 7 or 8  it usually means that model has been discontinued. If the price ends with a 1, the item is often especially old clearance stock.

Haggling on the internet?

Many online retailers now offer an online chat feature. Use it to you advantage and haggle to your hearts content.

Now we would suggest asking a couple of questions about the product your interested in before maybe suggesting you can buy somewhere else cheaper or just stalling over the price.

This wont get you the biggest savings but the chances are you may get a discount code or some other incentive to buy there and then.

Every penny counts.

Amazons super saver delivery.

Amazon offer a free delivery option for spending £20 so make sure your purchase efficiently.

Delivery costs anything from £1.50 to £6, but this clever tool at Super Saver Delivery scours Amazon for filler items to boost your purchase up to the £20 minimum.

Good times…

 

Are you ready for Prime Day?

It’s coming…. 12th July

One of the best places to find a bargain these days is on amazon.co.uk and with the 2nd annual Prime Day coming up we cant wait to see what bargains are available.

primeday

Amazon Prime Day will return on July 12 this year.

The second annual event is set to be the biggest-ever and will feature thousands of deals across nearly all departments and categories on its website, ensuring there is “something for everyone”.

Sadly, the deals are reserved for Amazon Prime members only but don’t worry If you aren’t a member, you could sign up for a free 30-day trial to take advantage and then cancel your Prime subscription before the fee kicks in. Free 30 day Prime Membership

So what deals will there be?

Amazon is keeping many deals secret until Prime Day, but it has revealed there will be 80% more Marketplace sellers involved on the day.

Amazon has provided a sneak peak of a few Prime Day deals from these sellers:

This year’s event will also have toys on offer throughout the day, it will be easier to sort through and track deals with the Amazon App and there will be offers through Amazon Video.

Last year, video games, headphones and electric toothbrushes were the most popular categories for UK shoppers.

Prime members in the UK will be able to start shopping the special ‘lightning deals’ at midnight with new ones popping up as often as every five minutes.

As well as access top Prime Day deals membership benefits also include:

  • Unlimited one-day delivery on millions of eligible items in the UK
  • Unlimited same-day delivery (evening delivery) on eligible items to certain postcodes
  • Access to Prime Video, allowing unlimited video streaming of 15,000 TV shows and movies
  • Unlimited photo storage on Amazon Cloud Drive with Prime Photos
  • Exclusive access to Prime Music to stream or download tracks and albums
  • Access to Amazon Pantry to purchase groceries
  • Access to the Kindle Lending Library where you can borrow one of over 500,000 titles per month
  • Download a free new book title every month from Kindle First
  • Early access to Lightning Deals
  • Exclusive special day of shopping discounts each year with ‘Prime Day’
  • Ability to share delivery, Prime Instant Video and Kindle Owners’ Lending Library book benefits with others in your household

In the meantime: Every day leading up to the sale amazon are having pre-sale sales…and we’re betting you love sales just as much as us.

See the current deals here

 

ebay bargains.

Learn to grab a bargain on eBay.

Finding a deal on eBay is a bit like rummaging through a massive jumble sale – but there’s help at hand. Here are our five tips to make your search for bargains as quick and easy as possible.

Ebay-logo

Misspelled Items: If a seller lists an item such as “Sansung” or “Playstaion” it may not appear in any of the regular eBay search results. This can lead to fewer bidders, and lower price.

Luckily there is a website to help you search for just this type of thing, fatfingers.com. You will likely get the best results by searching for brand names.

Search Local: Some eBay sellers will only give you the option of collecting the item in person. That’s useless for the majority of eBay bidders – but it could be perfect for you if you’re their neighbor. Thankfully there is also a great website for finding these listing too, Local Bargain Finder hunts for deals in your area. Just enter your postcode and what you’re looking for.

Last Minute Shopping: Last Minute Auction lists auctions on eBay that will end within an hour – and where the bid so far is less than a pound. Just choose the category you’re interested in and look for deals.

Get Listing Updates: If you’ve searched on eBay for an item, but haven’t found the price you want, you can track the search using this tool. You can then choose to receive email alerts.

Shop Around: Don’t assume eBay is always cheap or even good value. There are many alternatives around today, all offering secure easy ways of satisfying your bargain hunting bug.

eBay Alternatives

http://en.shpock.com/

http://www.preloved.co.uk/

https://www.gumtree.com/

https://uk.webuy.com/

 

How to find the best bargains online.

Do you really need a WiFi Toaster?

Product: This might sound quite simplistic but the easiest way to save a few pounds while shopping online is to know exactly what you want. Look at the features offered, can you do without them, do you really need that four slice Wi-Fi toaster? Making these decisions before hand will save you a pretty penny as you will avoid paying for all those unnecessary mod-cons.

socialtoasterappliance

Research: The internet is your friend and use it fully to your advantage. There are a host of websites out there that offer comparison services for savvy shoppers and our only advice would be to always use more than one. Comparison websites ONLY offer products from companies that pay them in one form or another, usually on a commission basis but the upside is that they will usually offer price comparisons from the companies you know and love.

Don’t forget the little guy: By far the best thing about the internet (as far as we’re concerned anyway) is that you quite literally have access to stores word wide, large AND small. Even your local shops will likely have a web or Facebook page. Don’t forget them. The chances are you will get access to shops you didn’t even know were on your doorstep. If your up for a little bargaining you can always get a great deal from these smaller outlets.

Do’s and Don’ts:

Do:- Make sure the company offering the lowest price is reputable. Remember, if its too good to be to, it probably is.

Do:- Only ever buy online from a secure website. Look out for the little lock symbol in your address bar and ensure the website offers a secure connection.

secure2

Do:- Always check to see if there are extra charges or fees. These include but are not limited to, delivery, booking fees and taxes. These can add up significantly and could end up making your cheap looking bargain quite expensive.

Don’t:- Try sourcing non branded products online, its quite easy to end up with a surprise that’s just not what you wanted. This is just trial and error so proceed with caution if its something you HAVE to do.

Don’t:- Assume will always find an item cheaper in store, especially during sales.

The best price comparison sites

Larger comparison websites

www.kelkoo.co.uk
www.pricerunner.co.uk
www.shopping.com

Smaller comparison websites

www.dealtime.co.uk
www.shopzilla.co.uk
123pricecheck.com/
comparisonmagic.co.uk/

Specialists

www.fixtureferrets.co.uk – ‘ferrets’ out the best grocery promotions at major stores
www.quaffersoffers.co.uk – low prices on a good selection of wine and beer
www.findadvd.co.uk – a huge range of DVD, CD and videogames over a number of sites
www.trolleydolly.co.uk – price comparisons on big range of branded grocery items
www.pricegrabber.co.uk – a specialist in PC goods and consumer electrical equipment