In case you didn’t know, you’ve possibly been overpaying for everything you’ve ever paid money for!
Negotiation is a part of life and it makes many people deeply uncomfortable. It makes me uncomfortable sometimes and it’s one reason why I would rather keep a car until it dies on me than trade it in every two years for a newer model. When it comes to buying and selling – you need to be an informed consumer and watch out for the tricks of the salesman. You should be able to get a discount on pretty much everything you spend money on – even things like Solicitor fees.
But if you don’t like to haggle like you are in the souk, another option is to use a cashback website like Quidco or Topcashback. If you sign up to Quidco you’ll get £10 and I’ll get £10, for TopCashback you’ll get £5 and I’ll get £15 as introductory bonuses. These might change. Pretty crazy yeah – being given money to save money!
The idea is that when you buy something, the seller/intermediary/advertiser/portal gets paid for doing their job (getting you to buy) and with Quidco or Topcashback they pass this money back to you. I normally check who has the higher rate between the two and select them, for example when travelling I check if on Trivago who is the cheapest and then book through say hotels.com who might have 8% on one site and 10% on another. It’s a little time consuming but it ensures a better price.
The cashback rates vary from 1% on purchases (eBay) to over £100 on products like skyTV and life insurance & ~10% for hotels. I even got £250 back on a mortgage I was going to talk out anyway – lucky me. The chances are that you could have paid less if you don’t already use Quidco or Topcashback – and they have between them millions of users and save consumers millions a year.
This post is called Cashback King because I have just made a total of £10,000 from Quidco or Topcashback. Think about that, £10,000 – that’s money that I have now that could easily be in someone else’s bank account. When you are in a shopping centre and see those guys from Sky trying to flog expensive TV – the money they would get as a commission for signing you up can go straight to your pocket.
My cashback journey started in 2005 and it was relatively simple. I started a new job and moved to a new city. I needed gas, electricity and phone/broadband and my brother put me on to Quidco. I found that I could save a bit of money here and there and it made sense to change insurance, utilities, bank or pretty much anything that you need to sign up to and have a monthly direct debit. Loyalty does not pay!
I’ve kept it up – and before I spend any money online, I what cashback I can get. I does take a bit of effort and it’s definitely easier to just pay more – but it ends up costing you in the long run. The cashback and discounts that I’ve received over the years have put me in a much better position financially – and I think that if you need to pause for a moment before you buy something, you maybe make a more sensible purchasing decision and often I’ll delay/postpone making a purchase even with a 10% discount.
One risk with cashback is that you let the Cashback Tail wag the Buying Dog – and you end up spending more than you would have otherwise – just because you can get free P&P if you spend £XX or there is a 24 hour flash sale or whatever. But you are all adults and are responsible for your own actions.
So, after almost 13 years and £10,075.82 of cashback (that’s £790 per year pro-rata) I am very happy with the whole process – and I look forward to £20,000. It’s funny how the odd £10 or even 10p can add up – it’s the Aggregation of Marginal Gains that The Escape Artist talks about. It’s makes up for me missing out on a PPI bonanza.