MoneySavingExpert.com

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MoneySavingExpert.com
MoneySavingExpert logo.png
Web address http://moneysavingexpert.com/
Slogan CUTTING your costs, FIGHTING your corner!
Commercial? Yes
Type of site Finance
Available in English
Owner Moneysupermarket.com
Created by Martin Lewis
Launched February 2003 (2003-02)

MoneySavingExpert.com is a British consumer finance information and discussion website founded by financial journalist Martin Lewis in February 2003 with the aim of providing information and journalistic articles enabling people to save money. In September 2012 it was bought by the moneysupermarket.com group for up to £87M.[1]

Overview[edit]

The website claims that it is the UK's biggest independent money site, with 13 million unique users a month.[2] The site aspires to have an ethical stance with the principles of being free to use with no advertisements,[3] independent, unbiased and journalistic in all its research and money-saving articles.[4]

The website has no advertisements; however, the website contains affiliate links to merchants and receives commission for each purchase made. A small proportion of this income is donated to charity; of this, two thirds is donated to the MSE Charity,[5][6] and the rest is donated to five other nominated charities by members.[7]

Corporate structure[edit]

It is wholly owned by the Moneysupermarket.com group, following its purchase for up to £87m in September 2012. MoneySavingExpert.com remains editorially independent, as part of the contractually binding Editorial Code.[8]

The site's profits are thanks to affiliate payments, which can be £100 or more on the sale of financial products.[9] In the year ending 31 October 2011, MSE had revenue of £16m and profits of £12.6m[10]

Lewis has also caused disquiet in Affiliate Marketing circles for promoting cashback sites [11] where the consumer gets the money for affiliate payments for themselves. This is likely to have had a substantial impact on the revenue his own site makes too.

Site elements[edit]

The MoneySavingExpert franchise consists of 4 key tools:

Weekly MoneySaving E-mail[edit]

Martin's Free Money Tips e-mail is sent to over 7 million people every week[12] and contains a mixture of editorial articles and the best and current tips from users in the site's Forums.

MoneySaving Best Buy Guides & Articles[edit]

The main site has a large variety of articles, from Childcare Vouchers to Cheapest Contact Lenses; Balance Transfers to Boots Bargain Hunting.

MoneySaving Tools[edit]

MoneySavingExpert creates and hosts their own price comparison tools including the FlightChecker, Premium Bonds Calculator, CallCheckers, Demotivator and the Budget Planner.

The MoneySaving Forums[edit]

The site has forums, with over 26 million posts, to discuss matters related to money in general (including loans, benefits, debt, shopping, etc.), as well as a few forums for general chat.

Petitions[edit]

The site has launched three petitions:

  • The first aimed to have the secured loan adverts banned from children's television which the site claims received 45,000 signatures. This campaign was the subject a of Parliamentary early day motion.[13]
  • The second, launched in collaboration with the Consumer Credit Counselling Service and Credit Action, appealed to Carol Vorderman to stop appearing in secured loan advertising.[14] This petition received over 80,000 signatures.[15][16]
  • The third was in conjunction with the site's work on Bank Charges,[17] and was placed on the UK Prime Minister's website, attracting over 70,000 signatures.

Campaigns[edit]

In August 2006 the site started to develop a system to check whether people were in the correct council tax band. Over a number of months an increasing number of people reported £1000s in backdated payouts.[19] On 26 January 2007 Martin Lewis presented a Tonight programme on this following up the successes from the site; it rated 4.5 million viewers and saw the site covered in many national newspapers including the full front pages of the Express and Metro.

During late 2005, the issue of reclaiming unfair bank charges was highlighted and a few small websites started to highlight the issue. The site has been one of the main campaigning forces on this ever since.[17] In November 2006 the original article was updated by a step-by-step guide, including template letters which speedily achieved its 1,000,000th download towards the end of February 2007.[20] Martin Lewis has also regularly appeared across the media to champion the issue. By January 2008 over 4.4m template letters had been downloaded [21]

Other large-scale campaigns for the website include reclaiming council tax,[22] payment protection insurance,[23] reclaiming mortgage exit fees [24] and reclaiming credit card charges [25] all of which have had over 100,000 people using template letter downloads.[26]

The site also provides support for saynoto0870.com, a website that provides geographical alternative telephone numbers to 0870 numbers and similar.

Charity contributions[edit]

MoneySavingExpert.com regularly contributes to charities nominated by site users. It is estimated that £100,000 may be donated in the 2006-2007 year.[27] In previous years all money has been given to nominated charities based on the percentage of the vote given by site users, but it has been announced that in the future a new registered charity, the MoneySavingExpert.com Charitable Fund, will distribute the money. It has also been announced that a proportion of the money will fund a feasibility study into setting up a "MoneySaving Kids charity" to help educate children about how to be consumers.[28]

In December 2006 the book Thrifty Ways for Modern Days was launched by the site. Uniquely, the book was compiled completely from advice given on the threads of the MoneySaving Old Style section of the site. As the book was created from community knowledge and only edited by Martin Lewis, it was decided that all profits from the book would go to the MoneySavingExpert.com Charitable Fund.[29]

Awards and support[edit]

  • Winner of the New Media award at the Personal Finance Media Awards, November 2005[31]
  • The Guardian newspaper wrote that the site has "a fearsome reputation for deconstructing the deals on offer from the banks and building societies to find out whether they are really good value"[32]
  • The Times listed the site as one of "ten that stun with sheer insight or inspired rich media".[33]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Money Saving Expert: Consumer Revenge". moneysavingexpert.com. Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  3. ^ Patrick Collinson (January 15, 2005). "Proud to be a 'terrorist'". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2006-08-13. 
  4. ^ Martin Lewis. "Moneysavingexpert - How this site is financed". Retrieved 2006-08-20. 
  5. ^ "The MoneySavingExpert Charity Fund". MoneySavingExpert.com. Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  6. ^ The MSE Charity, Registered Charity no. 1121320 at the Charity Commission
  7. ^ "About MoneySavingExpert.com". MoneySavingExpert.com. Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  8. ^ "The MoneySavingExpert.com Editorial Code". moneysavingexpert.com. Retrieved 2013-03-23. 
  9. ^ "Finance Cashback from". Quidco. 2002-09-01. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  10. ^ http://www.londonstockexchange.com/exchange/news/market-news/market-news-detail.html?announcementId=11222203
  11. ^ "Martin Lewis". Affiliates4u.com. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  12. ^ http://www.moneysavingexpert.com
  13. ^ "Early Day Motion - Debt: Not in Front of the Children Campaign". Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  14. ^ Poulter, Sean (2006-05-04). "Vorderman attacked over ads". London Evening Standard. ES London. Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  15. ^ Taylor, Paul (2007-02-12). "Mr Supersaver's on a mission". Manchester Evening News. MEN Media. Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  16. ^ "Martin Lewis' Blog… | 2005 July". Blog.moneysavingexpert.com. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  17. ^ a b "Bank Charges: Reclaim your money". Retrieved 2006-08-27. 
  18. ^ "Early Day Motion - Debt: Not in Front of the Children Campaign". Retrieved 2006-08-27. 
  19. ^ "Council Tax Cashback: Reclaim £1000s". Retrieved 2007-01-20. 
  20. ^ Hickman, Martin (23 February 2007). "From banks to football, the consumers' revolt grows". The Independent (London). Retrieved 23 February 2007. 
  21. ^ "Stats Section MoneySavingExpert.com home page". Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
  22. ^ "Council Tax Reclaiming". Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
  23. ^ "Loan Insurance Reclaiming". Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
  24. ^ "Mortgage Fee Reclaiming". Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
  25. ^ "Credit Card Reclaiming". Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
  26. ^ "MoneySavingExpert.com Stats section". Retrieved 2007-08-28. 
  27. ^ Lewis, Martin (2006-10-08). "New Site Charity Nominations Now Open". Retrieved 2006-08-27. 
  28. ^ Lewis, Martin. "Moneysavingexpert.com - The Charity Fund". Retrieved 2006-08-27. 
  29. ^ Lewis, Martin. "Moneysavingexpert.com - About the MoneySaving Books". Retrieved 2007-02-08. 
  30. ^ "House of Commons. Tuesday 25 January 2005. Notices of Motions for which no days have been fixed ('Early Day Motions')". House of Commons. 25 January 2005. Archived from the original on 2006-07-15. Retrieved 2006-08-13. 
  31. ^ "2005 Bradford & Bingley Personal Finance Media Awards Winners Unveiled". Bradford & Bingley. 9 November 2005. Archived from the original on October 6, 2006. Retrieved 2006-08-14. 
  32. ^ Patrick Collinson (September 17, 2005). "Now time has come to end this mis-selling scandal". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2006-08-13. 
  33. ^ Simon Kurs; Sally Kinnes (January 1, 2006). "Kings of the online jungle". London: The Sunday Times. Retrieved 2006-08-13. 

External links[edit]