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The top five places you should be bargain hunting!

If your shopping habit is out of control, taking part in paid surveys and seeking out the bargains could help get your spending under control. It’s a truth universally acknowledged that everyone loves a bargain. Whether you’re sticking to a strict budget, or just looking to get a bit more bang for your buck, there’s little else like the buzz that comes from stumbling across an excellent deal. We’ve put together a list of the top five places to go shopping and grab a bargain, to help make the search that little bit easier.

Outlet centres

Outlet centres are either physical shops or online stores that allow manufacturers to sell their stock directly to the customer, thereby cutting out the retailer and passing the savings onto the consumer. Many outlet centres now describe themselves as ‘luxury’ or ‘designer’, meaning you can expect to find upscale brands selling their goods at much lower prices than you could hope to find anywhere else. A quick browse of the Bicester Village outlet centre website threw up big names including Alexander McQueen, Givenchy and Ted Baker, giving you some idea of the kind of high-end fashion lines you can expect.

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Price comparison websites

Most people are familiar with price comparison websites when it comes to buying things like car insurance, but there are actually many more out there than you think, comparing prices on everything from petrol to groceries. Shopping.com is a great place to start, allowing you to search for pretty much any product you can think of and narrow down your shopping options to the cheapest deal. If you want to find the cheapest food shop, try mySupermarket.com. Simply fill your basket with your weekly shop, and the website will compare prices from each of the big superstores to find the one that will be cheapest.

eBay and other online marketplaces

As of the end of January this year, eBay had a whopping 170 million buyers. It’s phenomenally popular way to shop and, despite the proliferation of brands now selling through it, still a great place to grab a bargain. Though 81% of items sold through eBay are new, you can still get some incredible second-hand bargains if you search via the ‘auction only’ function, which means you are buying from individual people, rather than an online eBay store. However, eBay isn’t the only online marketplace available. Sites such as Etsy, Bonanza, eBid, Craigslist and Gumtree all offer fantastic bargains, if you take the time to look.

Charity shops

Once upon a time charity shops were the preserve of old ladies, full of dusty knick knacks and unfashionable clothing. Fast forward to 2018 and charity shops are a big part of mainstream shopping culture, and a very popular destination for bargain hunters. Though this has pushed prices up a little, you can still find some excellent items for a fraction of the cost of high street stores, and those with eagle eyes may stumble across some designer pieces that have slipped onto the racks unnoticed. One little-known tip for charity shoppers is to look for items that have had their labels cut out as some high street stores are happy to donate end-of-range clothes to charity shops, so long as they remove the labels.

Discount code mobile apps

There are so many shops, restaurants and entertainment providers offering discount codes that it seems crazy not to take part, but sifting through the internet to find them can be time consuming work. However, downloading a discount code app makes it super simple to find what you need, and allows you to do it on the move. In fact, mobile apps are better than the web for discount codes because they can use your location, ensuring you can pinpoint exactly where the best bargains are. VoucherCodes is one of the best known, featuring local and national discounts on places from Domino’s Pizza to The White Company.

Looking for a little extra cash to go shopping with? Sign up now to take part in paid surveys and market research.

Paid Market Research

User Experience Testing 101

What is user experience testing? Whilst it may sound a little on the technical side, and has various other names including user testing, usability testing and UX testing, it’s actually a straightforward concept that involves testing to understand what people do, and why they do it. It allows researchers to really get to the bottom of everything a consumer thinks and feels when using a website or app, and how good or bad their experience is. If the overall experience is poor, confusing or frustrating, consumers will be more likely to look elsewhere. This means it’s vital for brands to nail user testing to make sure experiences are as seamless and enjoyable as possible. Here are some guidelines on what you can expect if you take part in paid market research for user experience testing.

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How does user experience testing work?

If you take part in a user experience test, you will be observed whilst undertaking various tasks on a website or app. You may be watched firsthand by a researcher, or specialist software will capture your behaviour on your browser, allowing for a more relaxed and natural experience. Testing in this way is incredibly important because it offers businesses vital insights about your likes and dislikes, what you are buying and why – and, most importantly, why you might leave a website empty-handed and head straight to their competitors instead. All of these insights are hugely valuable, as user experience can make or break a company now that so much of our lives are conducted online.

How long does it take?

Though it might seem like navigating around a website will be the matter of a few minutes, the researchers will want to gain a thorough understanding of your behaviour, and look closely at at the way you interact with a website or app, so the research will usually take between 30-60 minutes (as well as being useful for the business, it can also be a fascinating insight into your own behaviour when online!). If you are travelling to a venue to take part in the research, you should also factor this into how long it will take. However, a number of UX tests now take place remotely, which means you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your own home to take part!

Why should I take part in paid market research?

As with all paid market research, you will receive an incentive as a thank you for taking part. This could range from £10 to £100 depending on the amount of time it takes, and will be paid in money, vouchers, cheque or bank transfer (your incentive will be confirmed before you take part). However, user experience testing isn’t just about the money! Taking part in research like this is a fascinating look at how businesses and brands hone their user experience to make it as smooth as possible, and allows you to make a genuine contribution. For example, you might love a particular brand but find their website really hard to use. Taking part in a usability test gives you a chance to share your feedback and change this for the better. In a nutshell, it’s about telling big brands how you feel about their site – what’s good, what’s bad and what they can improve on.

If you fancy getting involved with user experience testing, this type of paid market research could be perfect for you. Register with us today and have your opinions heard!

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