SAVVY shopper Geri Saks, 30, has a full-time job but she earns more than £600 extra every year by referring her friends to shops she already uses.
The London-based sales director, who’s originally from Estonia, says she’s been using referral schemes for a couple of years now.
Geri makes more than £600 a year in freebies and cash
Geri is one of many people benefiting as more and more companies offer “recommend a friend” schemes, where you refer a pal to buy a service and you both get a cash bonus or freebies if they sign up.
In fact, one single referral can you get up to £100 worth of rewards.
Geri told The Sun she gets £50 back on makeup and between £50-£100 on clothes each month through referral fees, although the totals can vary too.
“I spend a lot each month and loads of my friends shop at the same companies so we team up and refer each other,” she said.
“Fast fashion brands are great for now, I’m a real advocate.”
She recommends fashion brands such as Missguided and Pretty Little Things, which both give money off for you and your friends if you pass on a code.’I love buying products, so it’s a no brainer really’
Meanwhile, Nima, 28, makes between £400-£500 a year by referring friends and family, but this is including free flights he gets with his Avios points too.
“I love buying products and refer friends, so it’s a no brainer really,” the digital marketer, who’s also based in London, told The Sun.
“I deliberately use brands with referral offers, but I’d never refer a brand that isn’t good.”
Nima makes up to £500 a year through referral fees
When ride-sharing app Uber was still relatively new, Nima referred at least 100 people over a few years, of which 60-70 people then actually used it.
At the time Uber gave £10 in Uber credit to existing customers who referred new ones, which meant Nima earned a whopping £600 worth of free Uber rides.
Today Uber’s more common so finding people who haven’t yet signed up to the app is difficult, so Nima says he’s using other companies such as flower business Bloom and Wild and glass company Glasses Direct instead.
He’s made £150 worth of freebies and rewards by referring people to these two companies in the past 18 months.
Glasses Direct currently gives customers a £15 Amazon voucher if you refer a friend who then buys glasses from the brand, while they’ll get £30 off their order.
Bloom and Wild currently gives you £5 off each purchase for each friend you refer, while they’ll also get £10 to spend.
Risks of using referralsREFERRING your friends to retailers you already use to get a bonus may seem obvious, but there are some things you need to keep in mind.
Don’t switch only for the referral fee: This is because the costs may be higher at the company you switch to. For example, if you’re switching to an energy supplier, make sure you’re still getting the best deal overall before your pals convince you to sign up
Don’t shop only because you’re getting a discount: If you are, it can’t be considered a good deal either. You should only splash out if you actually need the items, or you’re also likely to just spend more
Collect proof of the offers and your orders: This is helpful if the retailer refuses to pay out the rewards, even if you’ve followed the terms and conditions. If that happens, contact the retailer’s customer service. Usually they’ll also have specified how long you can expect to wait for, so make sure to contact them if the deadline has passed and you still haven’t received anything
The tactics the two are using are nothing new, but “refer a friend” programmes are becoming increasingly common.
It is especially popular with apps and online retailers, usually because “referral marketing” is a cheaper way of attracting customers than traditional advertising.
Yet Courtney Wylie, vice president of product and marketing at refer-a-friend marketing platform Mention Me, claims it’s actually the original form of advertising.
She told The Sun that it’s just a more advanced version of word of mouth marketing.
“It’s really personal and targeted, and is a win-win for both customers and marketing.”
What are the best referral schemes?
More and more companies offer refer-a-friend schemes to attract new customers.
Below we’ve made a round-up of the best ones. If your favourite shop isn’t listed, search for “refer-a-friend scheme” plus the name of the retailer on Google and it should come up if there is one.
Or if you and your friends don’t shop at the same retailers, website Refer Me Happy lists the latest referral schemes from various companies and offers to pair up referrers and “friends”.
Fashion and beauty
If you refer friends to Boohoo, you’ll get £5 to spend and your friends will get 25 per cent off their first orders each.
Hobbs offers 20 per cent off online for friends you refer, and as your reward, you get £20 off your next purchase over £100.
Missguided offers £5 off full price items online for you and a friend if you pass on a code.
PrettyLittleThing customers can get 20 per off their next order if they refer a friend who goes on to shop. They’ll also receive 20 per cent off.
Energy supplier Bulb offers £50 to you and any friends you can convince to sign up as new customers.
First Utility offers a £50 voucher to the switcher and the referrer. Customers can choose between Amazon, John Lewis or Tesco vouchers.
Ovo Energy gives a £50 M&S, Argos or Amazon gift card for both the referrer and the friend.
Broadband, phone and TV
Many broadband, mobile phone and TV deals have linked rewards if you convince a friend to sign up.
Three, O2 and BT Mobile have various deals offering £25 Amazon vouchers to both sides, and Virgin Media will offer you both £50 credit in some circumstances.
Sky TV customers can earn £50 for encouraging a friend or family member to join, and the new customers will receive the same amount.
Banking and property
Nationwide offers £100 each to customers whose friends switch their current account (including two direct debits), and they’ll also receive £100.
Santander gives a £50 Amazon gift card to each friend customers of the bank refer – and you can refer up to five friends until May 18.
Alliance Trust Savings gives existing customers a £100 Marks & Spencer voucher when they get a friend to open an Isa or self-invested personal pension (Sipp). The person being referred gets £50 worth of vouchers.
Mortgage broker Habito gives £100 cash to the referrer and the friend who takes out a mortgage using its service. You don’t need to be a Habito customer to earn money referring people.
Estate agent eMoov offers £100 in Amazon vouchers if you convince your friend to list and sell their home on the website. The friend will also receive a £100 Amazon voucher.
Uber doesn’t offer the generous deal Nima got anymore, but you can tap “free rides” on the Uber app to find a code you can share with multiple friends worth £3.
Airbnb users can also receive up to £70 for each friend they invite.
PayAsUGym customers can earn £10 for each friend they convince to join. Once your friend signs up and books their first class, you’ll receive £10 off your next workout.
Treatwell, the health and beauty booking app, offers £100 in credit to customers who convince their favourite salon, nail bar or hairdresser to sign up.
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