So, you don’t want to pay full price for anything you buy? That’s smart. And why should you? These days, you have so many ways to get a discount. Here are multiple ways to get out of paying what’s on the sticker with very little effort. We will focus on sport’s items but most of it can be applied to anything, really. If we’ve missed out any, leave us a comment!
1. Join a club or a federation
Clubs usually have partners and sponsors offering discount codes to their members. If you join BTS, you will have numerous discounts: Evans Cycle, BikeBox online, Tri clothing, swimming goggles, Limar helmets and accessories, race discounts and more.
Federations do have sponsors and partners too. With a wide range of discounts to their members, below is an example from the British Triathlon Federation.
Races can be very expensive and put a serious dent on your budget if you are highly competitive. One way to get free entries to an event is to volunteer for it. One day you volunteer, and the next day you race for free!
3. Become a brand ambassador
Brands are looking for micro-influencers. If you have enough followers on Instagram or Twitter, you might get into a brand ambassador program. Be aware of Instagram ambassador scams though.
4. Check social media
Many brand ambassadors offer discounts. Below is an example of a 50% off Sundried products.
5. Comparison shop
You might find the cost of the item you want varies significantly from store to store. Never buy anything without first doing a little research. Google will show you multiple prices from different stores. But remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. So check the store reviews before making any purchases. Here is a popular list of shops amongst cyclists and triathletes: Wiggle, Sigma Sports, Evans Cycle (BTS member discount at the Taplow shop), Decathlon, …
6. Subscribe to newsletters
Many – if not all – online sites will offer you 10% (or more) if you subscribe to their newsletter.
7. Abandon your online cart
Pick out everything you want, put it in your cart, and then skip the final process. Many sites will encourage you to come back and check out with a discount. Just check your email (you may even get an offer code as you attempt to leave the site). After all, offering you 10 percent off is better for them than you not spending any money at all.
8. Look for refurbished items
Most manufacturers refurbished items are as close to new as you can get without actually being brand-new, and they are significantly cheaper. They’ve also been rigorously tested. And if you see “new (other)” in the item’s description, it’s probably just missing a price tag or a small accessory, but the lower price is well worth it.
9. Buy offseason
Shopping offseason can save you big bucks. Base all your shopping on the sales cycles of the stores you frequent. Plan ahead. Buy a tt bike when the racing season is over. Buy swimsuits as the winter draws in. You’ll pay way less for everything.
If you attend an event, wait for the end of it to buy merchandising and equipment, they are likely to go on sale.
10. Shop warehouses and outlets
Warehouse clubs. Outlet and factory stores. These are places where the emphasis is on getting the most value for your money — not paying the full retail price. You’ll be getting the same items, only in bulk or offseason. It’s great if you don’t care about wearing the very latest fashions. For bikes, check Canyon outlet, for clothing, Sports Direct. If you happen to be in France in the Champagne area, plan a day in Troyes and its three factory outlet ‘villages’.
11. Shop second hand
There’s no shame in buying secondhand items. Often, you can find items in excellent condition at 50 percent less than the retail price. For bikes and accessories, check out eBay, Gumtree, and Facebook marketplace or dedicated Facebook groups – Preloved Tri Gear Buy & Sell, Running Gear Buy & Sell, Triathlon Buy & Sell UK.
On eBay, find multiple versions of the item you want and monitor them. Don’t bid too early, wait for the last moment. Fix yourself a limit and do go over. Ask the seller questions if the description isn’t enough (date of purchase, the reason for selling, purchase/maintenance receipt). Only pay cash or through PayPal. And check the eBayer’s profile and reviews.
For Facebook or Gumtree, make sure to check the user’s profile. Ask for proof of purchase if you buy a second-hand bike (lots of stollen goods around) and only use PayPal (if delivered) or cash/bank transfer on collection.
12. Buy when they’re desperate to sell
There are certain times of the month, and the year, that is great for savvy consumers. For example, a car salesperson may have a monthly quota to fill, and you’re more likely to get a great deal on the last day of the month. The same goes for airline tickets, items going out of season, and even gym memberships.
13. Use loyalty programs and cards
There are loyalty programs that offer discounts and points at virtually every store you shop at. On top of the free Haribo you get when you purchase an item at Wiggle, you will get a 5% discount on items when you spend £100 over 12 months and a 12% discount on items when you spend £500 over 12 months.
14. When shopping online, go incognito or use a VPN
This has nothing to do with hiding “delicate” purchases. By going incognito, you aren’t saving cookies during your searches. Dynamic pricing uses these cookies to monitor your searches and spending habits, meaning you could be paying more for certain items like airline tickets and hotel rooms based on your search history. Stop the cookies, and you’ll see the prices drop.
You can go a step forward and use a VPN (Hola VPN is free and work well). By being in a different country, you can save a lot on your holidays trip.
15. Wait for sales
Shopping is just a waiting game that you have to play sometimes. Clothing will go on sale as the season starts to close out. Electronics go on sale when new models come in. Books and blu-rays get discounted once they’re no longer new releases. If you’re prepared to wait, you never have to pay full price.
Many different sites, Google being the main one, offer the option of setting a price alert. Basically, you input the exact item you want, and the lowest price (within reason, of course) that you want to pay. When it drops to that price or lower, you get alerted to buy it.
Other sites offer discounts when major events happen London Marathon, Tour de France, etc.
16. Use group purchasing power
One of the biggest examples of getting discounts for a group is health insurance. However, that idea spreads way beyond health care. Groupon was founded on this very idea, and you can find multiple sites out there offering discounts when multiple people buy the same item.
17. Use first-time customer offers
Almost every online retailer will lure you in with a first-time customer offer. These savings can range from as little as free shipping to a whopping 50 percent off. Just register your email, wait for the offer code, and then shop with your discount.
18. When shopping online, sort prices “discount”
The easiest way to check for deals is to switch from the default sorting (which is usually relevance) to the “discount” price option when you’re shopping online. You will have to dig through the selection to find what you’re looking for but apply filters, including four-star reviews on Amazon, and you’ll find some killer discounts.
19. Take on Strava challenges
Many Strava challenges, once completed, offer a discount: LeCol, Saucony, Runderwear, Nuzest, etc.