Here are the best times for internet bargains

Man sits at open laptop with screen full of icons internet shopping Mac
Internet shopping is easy with a laptop, tablet or smartphone

Online prices now change like airline fares do – based on supply and demand – and you can take advantage

Did you know that internet prices can be cheaper, depending on the day that you buy? If you are looking for a new camera lens or fridge then this weekend could be the time to do it.

Saturday is the cheapest day of the week for camera lens and fridge purchases but avoid Thursday for lenses and Friday for fridges as they are dearest then. Unsurprisingly, DIY products are priciest at the weekend.

The surprising facts have been found in figures released by the e-commerce and distance sales federation Fevad, which also revealed that internet shopping accounted for €76billion in France last year, or 10% of all sales.

Savvy shoppers already know that many of the best bargains are available online – just look at how many of them opted to shop online during the Soldes, with 65% buying at least one product via the web – but internet prices also change day by day.

Sites now use similar pricing to airlines, called dynamic pricing, and prices go up and down depending on demand – and even depending on competitors’ prices and the weather.

Fewer people want camera lenses on a Saturday so the price falls … same for fridges and the argument is the similar for other products. Here is a list compiled by price comparison site Idealo:

Smartphones – cheapest online Sunday, dearest Thursday

Televisions – cheapest Sunday, dearest Friday

Reflex cameras – cheapest Wednesday, dearest Friday

Loudspeakers – cheapest Friday, dearest Wednesday

Power drills – cheapest Monday, dearest Thursday

Video games – cheapest Sunday, dearest Saturday

Trainers – cheapest Friday, dearest Sunday

However, if DIY goods are dearest at the weekend, why are drills at the most expensive on Thursday… Idealo says that it is because guaranteed delivery means buyers can be ruining their walls on Saturday afternoon, so buy drills on the Thursday.

However, internet shoppers need to keep their eyes open and several giant online shops have been fined a total of €2.4million for dodgy deals – including Amazon, Zalando, Vente-privée and H&M.

The DGCCRF consumer fraud agency said it had been checking internet pricing on 11,000 sites for several months and had caught companies advertising false promotions… a total of 15,000 offences where goods were advertised at sale prices that were actually the same as previously.

Amazon, Zalando and Comptoir des Cotonniers paid a total of €15million fines, while H&M, GrosBill, Darel and Netquattro are challenging a total €490,000 fine against them. Vente-privee.com and Showroomprive.com are still under investigation.

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