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Study reveals hidden discount codes for online shopping

25 February 2016 - 10:48 by David Aiken

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Many people already know about the available of voucher codes which can be used to get discounts when carrying out safe shopping online. But, in most instances, these offers are widely publicised by retailers and only available for a limited time period.

However, a study conducted by This Is Money has revealed that there is another way to wangle a discount on e-commerce orders, with a fifth of the retailers covered being found to offer shoppers exclusive codes via web-based customer service platforms.

Researchers managed to receive discount codes while chatting with customer service representatives of both Marks & Spencer and Schuh, with the former earning up to 20 per cent off online purchases, while the latter resulted in a 10 per cent discount.

Even the retailers which did not provide a code directly did point researchers towards web pages on which offers were available, meaning that most firms seem perfectly happy to help customers get a discount if they ask for one.

A growing number of sites that offer shopping online also have a chat function which lets visitors ask questions and get a quick response. But it seems that people can also use these platforms to effectively haggle with a retail representative, just like they might be able to do on the high street.

One piece of advice that experts have for consumers is to get in touch with retailers via their online chat service if they have a voucher code which does not work. Asking for a replacement code will often help people find out about the latest offers and discounts, even if the older sales have expired.

While not every site will give customers discount codes via the chat function, it seems that those seeking real bargains online would be well advised to try their luck before they buy.