Shopping online has a lot of benefits and can save you a lot of money. For one, you don’t go walking down aisles tempted by everything you pass. It’s much easier to get exactly what you want and nothing more. Also, it’s easy to compare prices, and you don’t have to get everything from the same store. It’s no wonder the proportion of people using online shopping is only getting bigger.
However, retailers can use your personal details against you in a way that they can’t do in person.
Here’s how they do it.
The price is not always right
Online retailers are able to adapt their prices according to who is accessing their sites. One common example of this is that the device you’re using has an effect on what they charge. Many retailers want you to use their mobile app, for example, and offer cheaper prices there. It’s also beneficial to them to grow their mobile presence, as a lot of online shopping is being done via mobile.
But it’s not just the device you’re using that makes a difference. Your location is incredibly important to them. Because of different currency values and costs of living, the same item will be priced differently according to country.
Without changing any other factors of your search or the URL, being in a different location will allow you to see different prices. It is possibly true that some retailers assess other details to try and figure out your socioeconomic status, but that’s not easy to test.
So how do you make sure you get the cheapest price? Using this simple hack, you can always get discounts on your shopping.
Use a VPN to change your location
A virtual private network (VPN) has many functions. The most important is that it improves your online security by making you harder to track and encrypting your data. It does this by routing your connection through another server.
Since you’re being routed through another server, you could get better deals online with a VPN. You simply make it appear that you’re in a different country altogether.
A good VPN will have servers in multiple countries. That means you can test from multiple locations. Once you’ve changed location, you’ll have to reload the page and convert the currency to your currency. In some cases, you may have to clear cache so that the website doesn’t just give you the same version you were looking at. This is not normally the case, but if you’re getting the same prices (in the same currency), try it.
This should be a side-benefit
The truth is that this should not be your reason for using a VPN. A VPN has an incredibly important security purpose – to prevent identity theft. Identity theft is a real problem, only made worse by how much we use the internet.
If you haven’t got a VPN, take this opportunity to get one. You’ll be secure, and get the benefits of finding the best online shopping deals.