Thursday, 16 June 2016

Making myself High Street Happy in collaboration with Quidco*

You may remember my post last month, which I did in collaboration with Quidco, talking about the things that make me High Street Happy (you can find it here). Well, they very kindly gave me £50 to go and make myself high street happy with, in one of their affiliated retailers, and asked me to chat to you about what I bought.

In case you didn’t catch my last post and aren’t quite sure what I’m talking about, let me explain. I’ve been using Quidco for a few years now, but always assumed it was purely an online thing. But I was wrong! Quidco High Street is a cashback scheme, which allows you to earn money back on your shopping in more than 5300 retailers nationwide, with over 40 different brands. If you don’t have a Quidco account already, head over to the Quidco website (here), click ‘Join Quidco now’ and follow the instructions. Through this link, you can also earn £10 bonus cash back!

Once you’ve signed up, all you need to do is register your card on the website, then when you shop at one of their retailers, Quidco tracks your purchase and pays you cashback as a percentage of your purchase. Once the retailer has confirmed your purchase, the cashback will be deposited automatically. From there, you can transfer it to your bank or PayPal account or ask to have it paid as an Amazon gift voucher. There are a huge variety of retailers on the list, from Argos to Debenhams and Mothercare to JD Sports. You can find the full list on the Quidco website.

So, what’s the catch? Well, there isn’t one! There are no hidden costs. Quidco makes money from a combination of the fees from Quidco Premium accounts and the commission that retailers pay them for directing traffic to their sites. I’ve found the online version so useful, and often use my cashback to either treat myself to something nice, or save it for Christmas to help me buy presents for friends and family. So I’m really excited that I can now use Quidco on the high street too!

I was very excited to do some shopping, so went into town with my Mum last weekend, in the hope of being able to treat myself to something special. I always pride myself in being honest on my blog, so I think it’s important that I tell you the whole story, good and bad, rather than sugar-coating everything. Unfortunately, I found the experience a little more stressful than I’d hoped. Before we went out, I had a look on the Quidco website to make sure I knew which retailers were taking part in the cash back scheme. I identified a few of my favourite shops to check out, including River Island, Debenhams, Hotel Chocolat and JD Sports.

We started in River Island, who are currently offering 5% cash back if you pay with Visa. After browsing the rails and finding one pair of trousers to try on, which ended up looking awful, I left the store feeling pretty disappointed. ‘Never mind’ I thought; I still have other shops to look round. So we made our way over to Debenhams and started looking round. I wanted to check what the cash back rate was in Debenhams (2% plus one gold coin if you’re interested), so had a quick peek at the Quidco app on my phone. I noticed there were some terms and conditions underneath, so thought I’d better just see what they were. One of them says, “In-store cash back will not be paid for purchases made in concession stores e.g. department stores,” so I was a little confused about what this meant. After tweeting Quidco, who were very helpful, I found out that you only get cash back for items bought from a Debenhams branded counter. So, things from beauty counters and clothing concessions like Oasis, Ted Baker and so on don’t count. I thought it was important to make this clear, as I’ll be totally honest and admit I don’t always read terms and conditions (and know a lot of people don’t!) so it’s something you could easily miss.

Trying to find something in Debenhams that wasn’t a concession was pretty tricky, but in the end I decided to treat myself to a new perfume, as they are paid for at a Debenhams counter. After spending more time than I care to admit smelling all the different scents, I went for a bottle of Prada Candy Florale which came in at £42. It smells so beautiful and delicate, and will be perfect for the summer months. With Quidco in-store cash back for Debenhams at 2%, I’m set to get back 84p. It may not seem like much, but imagine using your registered card every time you shop in an affiliated retailer – it will soon add up!

As I hadn’t quite spent my £50, I decided to head over to Hotel Chocolat to see what could tempt me. I’d seen on the app that they were offering 4% cash back if you paid with a Visa card, and luckily enough, that’s the card I use! I was actually very good, and instead of buying something else for myself, I picked up a delicious looking box of chocolates to give to my Dad on Father’s Day. You know you’re on to a winner with Hotel Chocolat – I’ve tried a lot of their goodies, and am yet to be let down. I’m hoping my Dad won’t mind if I pinch one or two chocolates from his box! I paid £22.50 for the chocolates, which means I will get 90p cash back. Again, not a huge amount (although surely better than nothing!) but it will soon add up.

Despite it being a little stressful trying to work out what I could actually get cash back for in Debenhams, overall I think the concept is a good one. There are plenty more high street stores offering cash back with Quidco, including some of the following:

·      CaffĂ© Nero (1%)
·      H. Samuel (5%)
·      Blue Inc (6%)
·      Officers Club (8%)
·      Cotswold Outdoor (8%)
·      Vodafone (3%)
·      Joy The Store (5%)
·      Thomas Cook (£15 if you pay with Visa)
·      Liberty London (5%)

I’m hoping that as the scheme grows, more and more high street stores will sign up to be part of it. But even now, there is still a good selection with some great cash back offers, and who can refuse getting a bit of extra money with no catch?! It’s incredibly easy to sign up to both Quidco online and to register your card for high street cash back, and is something I couldn’t recommend enough.

I think, especially at the moment, it’s really important to support our local high streets. It’s very easy and convenient to buy things online, and believe me; I’m guilty of turning to the Internet over going out shopping. But with more and more high street stores closing, I do worry that we are gradually losing something that’s at the heart of a lot of communities. Although I doubt I’ll ever turn away completely from online shopping, I’m hoping now I know about Quidco High Street, I will make more of my local high street stores.

*This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Quidco, but all opinions are my own

Do you use Quidco already, or does Quidco High Street sound good to you? I’d love to hear what you think about shopping on the high street!

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  1. Cool concept! I love highstreet stores :-)


    1. They're great aren't they! Don't know where I'd be without them :) xx

  2. Ohh, I've never heard much about Quidco before but now I'm definitely considering signing up! And I totally agree about supporting our High Street shops, I do shop online, but I do love looking round shops still and more and more seem to be closing nowadays :(.
    Also, good choice in your perfume pick, I absolutely love that scent! Enjoy it :).

    Clara x

    1. It's such a good concept - I've been signed up for a few years so far and it's amazing how much the cash back soon adds up! Yeah it's such a shame that so many High Street stores seem to be closing these days :( I just hope things will start to improve, as I love a good shopping trip! Ah thanks - it's a gorgeous scent isn't it! xx