Make no mistake, times have changed. Whilst once there was an unwritten rule in place that stated the cost of something was directly linked to both its quality and desirability, this trend has been replaced by a far more palatable, cash-saving dynamic. The age of online thriftiness is well and truly upon us.
Whilst this doesn’t necessarily extend to every avenue of life – for example, pulling out a voucher at the conclusion of a hard-won date might still be considered slightly poor form – this shopping revolution – led by the likes of My Voucher Codes – has shattered the taboo off sniffing out a bargain and proudly displaying it for all to see.
This relatively recent shift in priority is perhaps best demonstrated by the sheer number of websites that offer us landmark treats – from slap-up meals, to spa days, hotels and even holidays – at everyday prices. Even if there are some cynics who believe that the reduction in price of these luxury items perhaps diminishes their prestige value, the sheer number of customers taking advantage of these offers suggests that the pragmatists and realists don’t see the world in these terms anymore – and we are taking full advantage.
Since the global credit crunch in 2007/08, shoppers have flocked to websites offering these fantastic savings in a bid to either continue living a lifestyle that they had become accustomed to, or to find a way to carry on spoiling their loved ones despite the bleak financial situation that many found themselves in – and it isn’t only tied to the retail market.
Combining with this trend has been an explosion in online gaming, with websites such as Spin Palace becoming increasingly competitive, offering both new and existing customers incentives such as free spins, welcome bonuses and doubling initial deposits in a bid to offer the value for money that consumers now view as a right rather than a privilege. And rightly so. Websites such as hip2save.com (which offers vouchers for a wide range of food, home ware and electronic products at knock-down prices) and Living Social (specialising in local entertainment and dining deals) have recognized this demand in the market, it seems only right that the gambling companies also get in on the action.
These voucher websites have become the refuge of the penny-pinchers – and we should proudly take advantage of them without hesitation. The vast majority of us work hard for our money, and given the strict financial constraints that many of us work within, to shop around is very much our prerogative. And as long as we can collect half-price reflexology treatments (thank you Group On!) we will continue to do so.
The future of online bargain-hunting is bright – and long may it continue.