Some people lie about their actual birthdays. It’s not vanity driving these deceptions – it’s cash. By pretending to be celebrating the big day, like, thus very day, Millennials know they stand a good chance of scoring the best bargains online. And we all know that Millennials – digital natives that they are – can teach us an online trick or two.
Recent research shows that more than one in four percent young people gives a fake birthday to get a better deal when signing up for newsletters on e-commerce sites; many ask for that date as part of the subscription process. The research, by Mindshare, analyzed more than 1,000 responses to understand how 18- to 34-year-olds shop.
In our own unscientific research, we uncovered a few other fake-birthday tricks. It doesn’t matter if you’re 26 or 68, a birthday’s a birthday, and retailers want your loyalty.
“Restaurants sometimes tell you to sign up on their app or website to receive coupons, and when it’s your birthday, they give you a voucher for a free meal via email. So even when it’s not my birthday yet, I sign up and say it is so I can receive the coupon, hence making me seem older, like I just turned 26,” says Jennie, who’s actually 25.
“Honestly I’ve never lied about my age to get a deal and I don’t really know anyone who has. But wow, I should start doing that!” Mary, who’s 25, told us.
The downside of the fake-birthday trick? 58 percent of Millennials say they’re inundated with promotional emails.
Here are some non-birthday tricks that Millennials use to cheat the system.
Save on Products and Services
The Mindshare study looked at other hacks (aka tricks) that Millennials use online. These include:
- Share an Amazon Prime account ($99 per year, but only$49.50 each when split between two). You can do the same with live-stream subscription accounts, including Netflix and HBO Go.
- Clear Google search histories to get the best price on an item. Your search history in Google lets a site know if you’ve already seen a price on a specific item on that site. By clearing your history, you prompt the site to give you fresh information – the lowest current price. Follow these steps to clear your search history.
- Leave items in an online shopping cart. Many retailers have “abandoned cart” systems that automatically send customers a nudging email offer for the items they “forgot” to check out.
- Play the waiting game by holding off on purchasing an item until it goes on sale. You can sign up on a free price-tracking site to set an automatic sale notification. One such service is PricePinx. Sign up for an account, enter the URL of the product you want to buy and wait for an email alerting you to a price drop.
All of our sample Millennials use hacks to save money on travel. Want to know how? Here goes.
Save on Travel
- When it comes time to book your ticket, wipe your browser history clean. When you do this, a travel website can’t see if you’ve been researching fares, and thus is more likely to offer you cheaper ticket options. Here’s how to clear history in Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Chrome.
- Book travel tickets on Tuesday — that’s typically when prices drop.
- Use a travel site that tells you whether fares are likely to go up or down over the next several weeks. Hopper is the newest and brightest. Kayak also offers “farecasting.”
- Get price drop alerts on fares. Hopper offers email alerts for price drops on any number of flight routes and days you want to set. If you use the app, you’ll get the alert wherever you are and can act fast to grab the deal.
What are some online saving tips you or your favorite millennial use (ask and share in the comments section below)?