Unlocking Discounts: How to Save Money When Shopping Online With VPN
Have you ever noticed that the price of a particular product or service on the same website can go up if you spend more time on the page or visit it repeatedly? This trick is called price discrimination, and sadly, many merchants turn to such practices to make you spend more money. Moreover, the prices often vary depending on your location and several other factors. The good news is that there’s a way out – a virtual private network (VPN) can improve your shopping experience while protecting you from unwanted monitoring and potential cyber-attacks. Read along to learn how to save money when shopping online with a VPN.
Why use a VPN when shopping online
A VPN is commonly associated with fulfilling online privacy and security goals. It hides your IP address and moves your Internet traffic through an encrypted tunnel, so that third parties can’t snoop on you when you browse the web. Besides, a VPN is a powerful anti-censorship tool that lets you achieve more freedom and use the Internet to its fullest. For instance, you can benefit from such a service when traveling to a country where your favorite websites and streaming services are unavailable.
But what does it have to do with shopping? Let’s clear things up. Here is why it’s worth using a VPN when purchasing goods online.
- To avoid price manipulation. Many online services and retailers analyze your Internet activities or use some personal data you expose to manipulate prices and make more profit. But if you’re using a VPN, they can’t monitor you since your traffic is encrypted and hidden from their prying eyes.
- To stay away from marketing tricks. Apart from price discrimination, there are multiple techniques advertisers and online stores use to make you pay more money for goods. Targeted ads, fake discounts, and many other shady practices can be avoided with the help of a reliable VPN service.
- To shop safely. Online shopping can sometimes be risky. When you share your personal details with unverified stores or conduct money transactions while connected to an insecure Wi-Fi hotspot, hackers can take advantage of your private data and even steal your funds. But if you’re using a VPN, malicious actors won’t be able to interfere with your online shopping activities.
Now, let’s get more specific and reveal how to save your money when shopping online with a VPN.
5 ways to save money when shopping online with a VPN
Here is how a VPN can help you cut your expenses while avoiding online shopping risks and protecting your digital identity.
1. Avoid location-based pricing when traveling
Many products and services cost differently depending on users’ locations. While being little-known among customers, this marketing strategy is, in fact, commonly used by many retailers and other businesses, including the following:
✈️ Airline companies
🚘 Rental car services
🛍️ Online stores and marketplaces (such as Amazon, eBay, and AliExpress)
💻 Software and hardware stores
🎮 Video game distributors (such as Steam)
Now, say you’re a frequent traveler and need to quickly purchase an airline ticket from a country you’re temporarily visiting. But it turns out that, all of a sudden, the prices on the same website have increased. Of course, that may be due to the changed location, since carriers’ charges often depend on regional market specifics. But it could also be because the company knows you desperately need that ticket. Sounds unfair? Maybe, but this is a common practice most airlines use these days.
And that’s where a VPN steps in. You can simply change your IP address by connecting to a server located in your country and significantly cut your expenses. Besides, a VPN makes you anonymous by hiding all your personal details, which leaves no reason for an airline company to increase the ticket price.
2. Overcome price discrimination
Apart from your location, online services and stores may consider a number of other factors when manipulating prices. In particular, if you encounter a sudden change in the price tag, it may be based on the amount of time you spend on a particular website and the frequency of visiting it.
For example, if you open the website of a certain hotel several times, you will disclose your interest in booking a room – and the price will likely increase for you. This technique, known as dynamic pricing, is also common for big online services like Amazon, Airbnb, and Uber.
Another possible factor is the device you’re using when shopping. According to some surveys, Apple users tend to be charged more than those using Windows and Android (there even was a lawsuit against the food ordering company DoorDash because of that).
But anyway, here’s the deal: the less an online store knows about you, the less likely it will manipulate prices. A VPN will hide your browsing activities by encrypting your traffic, letting you spend fair costs on the desired items or services.
💡 Pro tip: Before using a VPN on shopping websites, make sure to clear your cache and browsing history. It may leave a digital footprint allowing third parties to identify you online. Also, you can test if the price does change by visiting the website at different times and/or from different devices. Finally, select the best time to make a purchase and connect to a VPN to avoid unfair marketing schemes.
3. Access special offers and discounts
Suppose you’re vacationing somewhere abroad, and your friend just texted you that your favorite online store is offering some tempting discounts. But then, you realize the website’s not working in the country you’re visiting. To make things worse, the sales will be over by the time you return home.
And again, a VPN comes to the rescue. When masking your IP address with its help, you change your virtual location to the desired country (whether the US, the UK, Germany, Canada, Australia, Greece, Turkey, or else). This way, the website you’re visiting can’t detect where you actually are – as well as your Internet service provider (ISP), Wi-Fi owners, and other third parties. As a result, you can access the desired store and buy the goods of your choice wherever you are.
Disclaimer: VeePN is a VPN service not intended to be used for conducting any illegal acts. Please remember to check whether there are any restrictions in your particular country before doing anything potentially questionable. Please be informed that if some action is illegal without using a VPN, it will also be illegal with its use.
4. Compare prices to choose the best deals
It’s often difficult to tell if the price has actually changed based on your location, age, and shopping interests (such as the frequency of visiting a website). But a VPN lets you do it hassle-free – just connect to several remote servers to change your IP address and see whether it makes any difference. Luckily, changing your virtual location takes just a few simple steps – stay tuned to learn more.
Now, let’s do a simple experiment. Here’s the price of an iPhone 14 Pro Max when connected to a server in the Netherlands:
And here’s the price of the same smartphone when connected to the US-based server:
A drastic difference, right? Of course, here it depends on the local market’s specifics. But in some cases, it may also be indicating price discrimination – and you have every right to avoid it.
5. Protect your transactions on public Wi-Fi
This may not seem as obvious a way to save money when shopping online as the previous tricks. But online hacks, breaches, and cyber-attacks are common these days – and if you happen to fall victim to one, it will definitely cost you. In 2022 alone, Internet users lost nearly $8.8 billion to fraud. And some of the most widespread risks are associated with unprotected public networks.
Whether buying a gift for your friend while sitting in a nearby cafe or purchasing tickets while staying in a foreign hotel, you risk losing your funds due to payment fraud. How come? Well, a hacker may compromise you by conducting a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack. In this case, a malicious actor puts themselves between your device and the network it’s connected to and gains unauthorized access to all your activities, including online payments.
Want to learn more? Check out our recent post on how to stay safe when shopping online. And here, let’s just say that a VPN is your best bet to protect your Internet payments. Thanks to multiple security features and reliable data encryption, it prevents many public network risks, including MITM attacks, phishing, PayPal scams, and more.
Apparently, shopping online with a VPN is beneficial in many ways. But not all VPNs will do the job effectively. So let’s explore how to choose the best VPN to save money and stay safe when shopping online.
How to choose a VPN for online shopping
When choosing a VPN for a better shopping experience, pay attention to the following factors:
🤝 Credibility. Prioritize trustworthy VPN service providers with a proven track record. Keep in mind that free VPNs are often unsafe since they tend to collect customer information and sell it to third parties (such as marketing agencies) to make a profit. As a result, you risk losing your digital privacy instead of strengthening it. So it’s better to prioritize reliable paid services that follow a transparent No Logs policy (don’t collect and share customer data).
🌐 Server network. Select a VPN that offers a vast network of servers in multiple locations. The more servers a VPN runs, the better performance it offers. Besides, you will gain more Internet freedom, being able to visit your favorite stores wherever you go.
🔒 Privacy and security features. Look for a service that offers all the essential features to protect you online and shield you from potential risks while shopping. In particular, a good VPN should provide an ad-blocking and anti-monitoring function (like VeePN’s NetGuard), as well as Kill Switch and DNS leak protection to prevent sensitive data exposure.
⚡ Connection quality. Although any VPN will slightly slow down your connection speed because of the data encryption process, the difference will be almost unnoticeable with a powerful solution like VeePN. That’s thanks to the modern VPN protocols it uses, including WireGuard.
💁🏻 Support. Pick a VPN service that provides helpful and effective customer support with several troubleshooting options available (like 24/7 live chat and email support).
Considering the above, we recommend VeePN – one of the best VPN service providers on the market checking all the boxes we mentioned. Here is how to improve your shopping experience with our reliable VPN.
How to use a VPN when shopping online
Take the following steps to start using a VPN to buy things cheaper online.
- Sign up for VeePN. Create a VeePN account and select the most suitable pricing plan.
- Download and install the app. VeePN is compatible with most platforms and operating systems. Just choose a VPN for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, or else, and install it on your device.
- Connect to a server. Open the app and select the preferred server location out of 89 options in 60 countries worldwide. Once you connect to a server, your real IP will be replaced with an anonymous address. Note that for best performance, you can use the Optimal Location feature that will automatically connect you to the fastest VPN server nearby.
- Turn your VPN on. Tab the On button at the center of your screen. From now on, your VPN is up and running.
- You’re all set! Enjoy safe online shopping with a VPN, avoid hidden marketing tricks, and access the best deals available.
Try VeePN now – check whether our solution works for you with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
FAQ: How to Save Money when Shopping Online with a VPN
How safe is online shopping?
Online shopping can be unsafe, especially when you buy goods or services in unverified online stores or while connected to an insecure public Wi-Fi. But you can protect your private data from being compromised and shield yourself from potential cyber threats with the help of a reliable virtual private network (VPN). Read this article to learn more.
How can I save money when shopping online?
You can save money when shopping online by avoiding price discrimination and other marketing techniques online stores use to make you pay more for the desired goods or services. The prices may change due to your location, age, the time spent on a website, and more. To prevent this, you can hide your Internet activity and shop anonymously with the help of a VPN. Check out this article for more information.
Why is it cheaper to buy online?
Online shopping is often cheaper due to the following reasons:
- You can save money by choosing the best deal among multiple options available.
- Online stores might offer cheaper items since they can avoid many expenses of physical shops (such as shipping from warehouse to display products).
- You can avoid tricky marketing schemes with a VPN to save money when shopping online.