As the Christmas shopping season gets into gear, the internet is a great source of gifts. For many items, it is less expensive to buy them online, and you save gas and the bother of going to the store. Plus, if you're planning on mailing the items to friends and family anyway, you may be able to save on shipping costs.
For most people, the beginning of the online Christmas shopping season starts on “Cyber Monday”, which is the first Monday after Thanksgiving. Traditionally, people shop in brick and mortar stores on Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving, when retailers start making a profit, after a loss the rest of the year), and then when they go back to work on Monday, the online shopping begins. So, there are many online sales on Cyber Monday to be found.
Here are some general guidelines for shopping online anytime:
- When you are ready to make a purchase, you should always shop through a site where you earn a % back of your purchase, like Ebates or UPromise.
- One way to determine which cash-back site is the best is to check Ev'reward. You search by store, and they will list what each site gives back as a percentage of the sale.
- Before you place the order, you should search the internet for a coupon code to get free shipping or save money. There are many sites out there, but I'll usually use Swagbucks to search for the store name and “coupon code” to find one. Many times, I've been pleasantly surprised to be able to save even more (and possibly earn Swagbucks for gift cards while I'm searching).
- Many sites will offer price protection. If the price goes down within a stated period of time, you can request the difference between what you paid. You have to keep track of it, though.
Do you have any other tips/tools that you use when shopping online?