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Nov 20th

2018

5 Tips for Bargain Shopping Online this Holiday Season

Online shopping

I bet there is a high percentage of people out there who, like me, say they are not going to spend a lot of money holiday shopping this year, and then end up spending a lot of money. I love buying gifts for people. Perhaps it's the joy of the season, the decorations... I don't know. I just tend to overspend.

What I do know is that online shopping is a great way to save yourself some stress and some money. Cyber experts predict that online sales will reach $123.4 billion this holiday season. That's a lot of money being spent online, which means there is a good chance that there will be a lot of bargains to be found online too.

Don't let the stress of shopping get to you. Try to start your shopping early and find the perfect gift for everyone on your list by following these five money-saving online shopping tips:

  1. Get social media working for you. You may already be following your friends and family on Twitter or Facebook, so make sure you're also following your favorite retailers and brands for access to specials, sale alerts, and contests that aren't advertised anywhere else. Be careful of fake deals though. If you click on an ad or post and are asked to provide personal details and payment information, it could be fraud.
  2. Abandon your basket. Some retailers offer deals if they can see that you have put items in your online shopping basket but you didn't complete the purchase. All you have to do is log in to the retailer's website and shop as normal. Then, instead of going through with the purchase, abandon your basket and close the window. A few days later you might receive an email from the retailer enticing you back with money off your purchase.
  3. Use live chat to haggle your way to a deal. If you don't like the idea of haggling in person, you can do it online and avoid the awkwardness. Many retailers offer online chat services on their websites. All you need to do is type the deal you want or discount code you've been given into the live chat box, and see if it works. It may not work every time, but you won't know until you try.
  4. Get cash back. Sign up for ebates.com, an online shopping portal that gives you up to 30 percent cash-back on purchases from thousands of stores. You shop, a tally is kept of how much you have spent, and then you get a check in the mail four times a year. You can also try clipping coupons (well, printing them or grabbing the code) from sites like retailmenot.com, coupons.com, and savings.com, where you can power-search deals for your favorite stores.
  5. Comparison shop. No more skipping from store to store to do competitive price-shopping. Now you can use online search sites and discount sites such as shopstyle.com, shopbop.com, NexTag.com, and Overstock.com to comparison shop and find great deals.
And, remember, be vigilant about making sure that the online retailers you visit are legit. If it doesn't feel right, get out of the site before you provide any financial or personal information.