When you enter a site, the prices you see will most likely be different when checked from a different country. The main reason for this to happen is due to the websites base their prices on the user browser history and location.
They will craft deals specifically targeting you and also increase the rates if you have searched the item couple of times. Another trick is to charge higher rates for people accessing from high-income countries.
Price discrimination is not new and with a VPN, you will be able to save couple of bucks.
However, before getting into the details of saving money let’s quickly go through the most common ways that websites track you. (It will be worth it!!)
We all love cookies (the chocolate chipped ones) but the function of cookies in the internet is a bit different. Imagine you are accessing the website abc.com for the first time, you accidently close the tab and open it again. You might feel that when opening it for the second time it loaded faster. If so, that's due to the cookies.
Cookies are necessary parts of websites which are saved on your browser and when you access the site again, it will load with the use of the cookies. However these are also used to track your activity.
That’s not all! Some cookies cannot be removed even if you delete the cookies from your browser.
An IP address is a unique identification number in the cyber space. Websites will receive your IP address and check your activity on the site.
Yes! They will see where you’re coming from, which pages you were in and what you did on their site. The IP shows your location and once they get that, you will be targeted with prices purely based on that.
When you go into a website, your web browser (like Google Chrome) sends a bunch of information to the website server. A part of this information includes the website you’re coming from.
For example, imagine you’re browsing through Facebook and you see a nice post by BuzzFeed and click on it. Well BuzzFeed now will know that you came from Facebook.
This is known as the HTTP Referrer.
Sounds sketchy right? The first thing that might come to your mind will be that this is something that hackers would do to snoop on your activities. But mouse tracking is much more common than you realize and there’s a legitimate reason as to why (Grand reveal below).
Mouse tracking is used to distinguish between humans from bots. This is why the annoying CAPTCHAs exists to recognize if its a human or a bot.
Alright! Now let’s get down to the tips on saving money using a VPN.
1. Cheaper flights
Have you ever searched for a flight online? If you did, then most of you have searched from couple of websites in order to compare the prices. After some research you fix your website and when you go to buy it, surprise!! The prize has increased.
This happens because travel agencies know that there are many deals out there, and if you miss the chance; price will increase. That being said prices don’t tend to goup within an hour or two but they keep track of the number of visits to the website.
Once they see that you have searched the same route couple of times, the prices tend to increase. This urges a person to complete the purchase before it goes up again.
This is where a VPN comes into save the day. Since the VPN masks your IP address and location the website thinks you’re a new customer searching for the same route. Therefore the site provides the initial reasonable price for your flight.
2. Car rentals
Because of the internet there are many car services out there providing renting services. While there are many places to rent from, each of those websites has different ways of providing prices.
For example some companies will charge a higher rent for “rich countries” while having a lower price for other countries. However this rule is not followed by all companies. The truth is that, the prices are meant to change depending on the location a user accesses the website (thanks to the IP address).
This can be avoided by having a VPN. You can check the prices from numerous locations and pick the cheapest one.
3. More streaming content
Yes, some countries are not given access to view certain content online. For example YouTube has been banned in the past by several countries. Check this video to see which countries were behind it.
Another example is Netflix. The movies and TV shows you see on Netflix differs depending on the country you’re accessing it from. For example the US Netflix has way more content than any other Netflix on the planet. You get less content but for the same subscription – that doesn’t sound right.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) will put these restrictions and limitations out the window. You can pick different location on your VPN and enjoy the content that should be freely available to you. However take note that not all VPN providers work with Netflix, so taking a reliable VPN like VPN Surf will be worth your money.
You can save a lot of money when getting software or subscriptions. Most subscriptions have different prices based on locations and sometimes regional offers come up.
A few examples:
- Microsoft office has different prices based on where you access it. For USA, UK and India (among others) have different set of prices.
- Spotify, also has different pricing methods depending on which part of the globe you access it from.
All this is possible with a VPN. You will be able to save loads of money ;)
5. Time restricted content
There are sites online like sports events, where you can view the content free with a daily limit and then to continue watching you will have to pay.
With a VPN you can enjoy the complete content for free. Just change the location and continue from where you stopped. Saves your money and time.
6. Online gaming
Just like the car renting deals, the online gaming industry also changes the price depending on your location. In USA a game can cost 50 dollars but in Sri Lanka it will cost 37 dollars (just an example). So if you have a VPN, simply change the location and you will get a cheaper deal.
On final notes
While people generally use a VPN to stay safe on the internet, and be anonymous, it’s also a potential tool that can save you a lot of money when shopping online. VPNs are not super tech-savvy and you can use it with just a simple click.
Why pay for cooperation’s more money just because you’re not in the correct geographical location to be entitled for the cheaper price?
Before you go here are some extra tips:
- Use a VPN and try multiple locations
- Delete your browsing history and cookies
- Use incognito or private mode when searching for things to buy
- Experiment with dates for your trip
Do you have any more ideas that can help save money? Tell us in the comments below. Happy surfing!!
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