Many of us shop online, hunting for the best deals and offers from the comfort of our own homes in the hope that we’re getting the very best deals. We like to think that we’re one step ahead of the game, but online retailers have a few sneaky tricks up their sleeves when it comes to getting us to part with our hard earned cash.
Did you know that online retailers vary their prices according to where you’re visiting their website from? Sneaky, but true.
Why prices vary depending on where you live
So, why do they do this?
Online retailers know that some areas are wealthier than others, so they’ll take advantage of this. If you live in an area where the average wage is high, then you can expect to find that the prices you see when you visit a website are generally higher than those displayed to somebody living in a poorer area. These businesses know how much you can afford to spend, and they’re not afraid to exploit that.
But, don’t despair, if you’re finding that you’re always been shown higher prices, there is something you can do about it. Saving money is something I’m passionate about, so discovering this crafty little trick was like gold dust.
Hide your location with a VPN
It’s incredibly frustrating when you realise that you’re being over-charged, and you might initially think that there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it. After all, these websites have teams of very clever technical people behind the scenes, making sure you’re being taken exactly where they want you.
Thankfully, you CAN get one over on these sites by changing your IP address so that you appear to be visiting from somewhere else. You can do this by using a VPN.
What is a VPN?
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network.
A VPN is a way to increase your privacy whilst you’re online – something that many of us are keen to do. VPNs can mask your location, making you appear to be accessing the internet from anywhere you choose by changing your IP location. This is where a VPN comes in really handy when you’re trying to save money online.
How to save money with a VPN
You can save a tonne of money using a VPN, and perhaps one of the biggest areas this really shows is the travel industry.
When you’re booking a flight, your IP address plays a big part in how much you pay. If you use a VPN to browse the website from a less affluent country, you will probably find that your flight prices come up much cheaper. This is because the airlines know that they can’t charge their top amounts here, people just won’t be able to afford it.
It’s also worth trying to access the site from the flight provider’s own country, this often works well too.
Top tips when using a VPN to save money
When you’re using a VPN to save money, there are a few things you need to be sure to do each time you use it in order to get the best deals:
- Clear your browsing history.
- Clear your cookies and cache.
- Select the country you want to appear to be visiting from.
- Activate your VPN before opening up your browser.
- Deactivate any website trackers within your browser.
- Visit the sites and make notes/screenshots of any prices.
- Clear your browsing history.
- Clear your cookies cache.
- Close your browser.
- Disconnect from the server.
Following these steps gives you the best chance of really masking your location, and therefore the best shot at saving some money when you’re shopping online.
*This is a collaborative post.