4 Online Shopping Tricks to Cut Holiday Costs

by Jason on November 22, 2010

The holidays are upon us! And while it’s most definitely a joyful time of year, the realities of holiday shopping can be stressful.

Crowded malls, long gift lists, and limited budgets just scratch the surface, but there’s hope: the Internet is here to help.

And while you probably can’t buy everything on your list online, there’s bound to be a few.

So here’s 4 tips to help you stretch your dollar while you’re at it:

Comparison Shopping

One of the greatest advantages of shopping online is the ability to do instant price comparisons. But while this may seem like a straight forward idea, there’s more to it than picking the lowest advertised price: shipping, taxes and other fees may apply, not to mention discount codes at check-out.

And be aware that the lowest advertised price online often tends to be refurbished items, particularly for gadgets, so read the fine print! Make sure you are REALLY getting the best deal.

Discount Codes

Whenever you’re checking out online, there’s probably a place to enter a promotional code. So even though you may not have one doesn’t mean you can’t use one!

There are numerous sites that publish discount codes online, and just by performing a simple search for discount codes, you might be able to save quite a bit on your purchase!

It sounds like a “dirty little secret” the stores don’t want you to know about, which is why it’s so satisfying when it works… Is anyone NOT doing this?

Free Shipping

Whenever I ask my family why they don’t do more shopping online, the answer is always the same: Shipping.

When I tell them that I RARELY pay for shipping, they are stunned!

“How?!”, they ask. The truth is, the true secret to my first tip (comparison shopping) is knowing where to find free shipping.

Most often, the lowest price I can find online is when shipping fees have been waived. So where do you find these deals?

Many stores offer free shipping with a minimum order. So if you’re at checkout look for that offer, and if you haven’t reached that minimum yet, see if there is another gift you can find at that store before you check out. Also, free shipping coupon codes are very common.

Cyber Monday

The Monday after Thanksgiving is a (relatively) new online shopping holiday called Cyber Monday. If you haven’t heard of it yet, it’s the online equivalent of Black Friday.

Some of the best discounts of the year (online) happen within this 24 hour period. Cashing in on these deals can potentially save you a bundle! And just think, you won’t have to stand outside, in a line, at 4:00 am, hoping that a riot doesn’t break out when the store opens their doors… You can thank me on Tuesday.

I hope these tips are helpful in saving you some money this holiday season…feel free to share any more you might have in the comments! Happy Holidays!

This has been a guest post by Todd, who writes for dealio.com, a website dedicated to helping consumers find the best deals & coupon codes online.

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