It’s that time of year! I love the Christmas lights, holiday movies, homemade treats, and even the music. One thing I do not love is holiday shopping at the mall. It is chaos. You will not find me out at 3 am wrestling other customers for a TV or toaster.
My ideal shopping situation is sitting in my PJ’s drinking a mug of tea and buying gifts online as the snow falls. I avoid all of the stress of shopping and still get what I want and save money while doing so.
By this point shopping online is my thing, I try to save money however I can when online shopping so I can make my money go further. Here’s my list of 12 secrets to save money when holiday shopping online.
- Wait for the sale – It’s a game to figure out when your item will be on sale. You want to maximize savings with a sale and online coupon. I know that the Disney Store Online rotates through promo codes, sometimes up to 40%. I would never buy something without scoping out the deals and sales on their site for a few days. It’s absolutely worth it.
- Coupon codes, coupon codes, coupon codes – Need I say more? I do not buy anything online without a coupon/promo code or a really great sale. Google “XYZ Store Coupon Code” and see what pops up. Check out retailmenot.com and couponcabin.com sometimes you can find a really great code. If you’re lucky, you can use more than one on an order. They are out there, it’s free money. Who doesn’t like free money?
- Sign up for Email Updates – Sign up for email updates from your favorite store, they are happy to tell you what they have on sale. What’s even better, you can sometimes get a discount code for signing up!
- Facebook – Like a store on Facebook, again, they will be happy to share with you their coupon codes and sales. Some coupon codes are just for their Facebook fans.
- EBates – I recently started using ebates and I was thrilled to receive $7.15 from a purchase I made at Old Navy online. Free money for doing almost nothing. You can sign up here and receive a $10 gift card when you make your first purchase. After signing up I got $10 gift card to Target and I saved $7.15. So I’m up to $17.15 for just a few clicks of the mouse. All you have to do is go to ebates first, choose the store and enter their site to check out. It’s so easy.
- Amazon Coupons – I really did not know about Amazon Coupons until I stumbled upon the site recently. It’s a gold mine. I saved $30 on a gift I bought. $30 from a website! Definitely check this out before you complete your order on Amazon. So many categories apply, books, electronics, toys, food and household items.
- Look for Gift Card Deals – This might require you to go to an actual store, or not. Check flyers and online deals for gift cards at a lower price such as a $25 gift card for $20. You can use this with your online purchase and save $5. A grocery store near my family offers “Fuel Perks” or money towards gasoline purchases, so they like to buy gift cards for their purchases and then get free/discounted fuel!
- Free Shipping – Do not pay for shipping. Many online retailers offer free shipping this time of year, some offer free shipping if you buy a certain amount of items, and some have coupon codes. Some stores such as LL Bean always have free shipping. Yay!
- Use Google Shopping – Did you know Google will price compare items for you? It’s awesome. Especially when buying bigger items, use Google Shopping to compare prices. If you’re looking for a specific item, search for it and the website will tell you who has the lowest price for your item. Note: Personally, I will only buy from stores that I am familiar with, there are a lot of online retailers that pop up with lower prices but I do not know their reputation so I will skip them and go to a retailer I know is credible.
- Be Cautious of Flash Sales – Sales with a timer are tricky psychologically. It could get you to buy something you really don’t want just because there is a timer on it. Think it through first.
- Create an Account – Avoid checking out as a guest on a site. By signing up for an account with the company, you will receive updates and your order attached to your name will be in the system. This helps a lot if you have an issue or need to return an item, since you are already in the system.
- Check Prices Later – If a product you buy goes on sale after you’ve purchased it, you can contact the company to see if they will refund the difference. It never hurts to ask and you could save!
There you have it, 12 ways to save money with holiday shopping! What tips do you have for online shopping? I’d love to hear your tips and suggestions.
Disclaimer: The ebates link goes to my tell-a-friend account, this means that if you sign up I receive a little bonus for telling a friend.