Food shopping and energy bills are at the highest they’ve been for more than 40 years – figures from the ONS show annual prices jumped 16.9 percent in 2022. Consumer Expert Tom Church has come up with a great way of finding cheap reduced-to-clear food on eBay that could help people save up to 75 percent on the cost of their food shop.
Britons could save a substantial amount on the cost of their food shopping by swapping their usual supermarket for eBay.
Shopping for their food on eBay could help them save up to 75 percent – a significant saving that could help people through the cost of living crisis.
Tom, co-founder of money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk, said: “Not many people know about this, but food, toiletries, health and beauty products are commonly sold for bargain prices on eBay if you know where to look.
“I have been using a small retailer called Discount Dragon for a while – this store provides food which is close to or after its best before date. However, you have to spend £20 or more to qualify for free delivery.”
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Tom said although this was initially an obstacle, it inspired him to look for shops on eBay selling similar items without needing to spend a certain amount.
He added: “There are actually dozens of eBay stores in the UK which sell food that’s reduced to clear. It’s been reduced because it’s either near its best before date, or is past it. Many of us may think we need to strictly follow best before dates, but this is just a guideline. Eating non-perishable food close to or just after their best before is usually fine.
“So what kind of food can you buy? Just a few examples are – chocolate, crisps, cereal, coffee, tea, soft drinks and pet food. You will also see supplements and beauty products, but I would advise not to buy these if they are expired. You would be doing so at your own risk.
“When you’re looking for food to buy on eBay, there are some special search terms you can use to get the best results. I discovered that the best words to use are – best before, BBE, BB, out of date, OOD, short date, short dated, expired and clearance. You put the name of the product you want before one of these words. For example, you would search for Pringles out of date or Cadburys expired.”
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The consumer expert said it’s a great way to save money but it’s important not to get carried away.
He continued: “When you’re buying items like this on eBay, you are typically buying in bulk – it’s like doing a Costco shop, but for cheap and expired products. I compared prices with the individual, in-date item prices and realised you can save a lot of money using this method.
“I do recommend exercising caution and not going overboard. It can be very tempting to purchase a pack of 100 chocolate bars for yourself! Useful items I have bought include coffee pods. I have now made a habit of buying pods in bulk on eBay stores like this, as personally I cannot tell the difference between pods which are in-date and those which are a year old.
“In the supermarket, you will spend quite a bit on Starbucks or Nespresso pods, whereas I’ve found that you are only paying a quarter of the price when you’re buying expired pods on eBay. Other items I’ve been picking up include salt and pepper, crisps, chocolate, honey and limescale remover. Everything I’ve bought has been perfectly usable or edible.”
People can save even more money by making use of eBay voucher codes – they can sign up for vouchers and discounts via email by going to the eBay customer service page.
Tom added: “I’ve also found that adding an item to your watch list can result in getting a special offer sent to your inbox.
“This method is great for finding good deals, but don’t lose sight of what actually counts as a decent offer. You may think a price is good, only to find that you could have saved more elsewhere. So do your homework and compare prices with other sellers, as well as how much the item would cost to buy new.
“You can use the Latest Deals supermarket price comparison tool to find the best supermarket prices, and there are also platforms such as Amazon Warehouse which can feature sellers with similar items. Shop around before making a final decision – there are a lot of options out there!”