The Christmas season is here! Instead of running into the store to get a good deal, navigating overcrowded buses and subways, or struggling to find a parking spot just to wait for hours, many prefer to go on vacation online. Many online sales started on Thanksgiving and continued over the weekend and CyberMonday and beyond.
Here are some tips to make online shopping smoother and safer. You can even save some money.
Use Seasonal Resources
Brad's Black Friday and CyberMonday
Several websites aggregate Thanksgiving weekends and CyberMonday deals so you can see what the big retailers are offering in one place. Click here for Black Friday specials and here for CyberMonday.)
Large retailers use the #CyberMonday hashtag to promote their offers on Twitter. Just type the hashtag in Twitter's search bar . You do not need to have a Twitter account to search, but make sure that the website you click on is actually the merchant's website.
TechRadar lists the best deals on everything from fitness to tracker to game consoles. Click here to take a look
Using a Price Comparison Tool
Even more so than shopping offline, you can save money by comparing prices in the online store. That's because shipping costs vary depending on location and price. Of course, it's time consuming and annoying to go to a dozen different websites to compare prices. That's why you might want to try a price comparison tool. There are two types:
Price comparison search engines
Price comparison search engines give you a Google-like search bar to enter the name of the product you are interested in, and then return one or more results complete with price, taxes and shipping costs based on your postal code. ConsumerReports.com has a good overview of the best price comparison search engines, along with tips for using them (the article dates back to 201
Price Comparison Browser Extensions
Once you install a price comparison Browser extension that works in the background when you shop online, and always alerts you when you see a cheaper price for a specific item. So, say you are on a page on Zappos.com, consider a certain pair of boots and the extension sees a better price for these boots at Shoes.com, it will show a window with the details. Invisible Hand is available for most browsers. You can also find mobile price comparison apps for installation on your smartphone. Just scan the barcode while you are in the shop and you will see if there is a better price nearby.
Free shipping day and other ways to save on shipping costs
A disadvantage of online shopping is the shipping and handling costs, which can be high. But many retailers offer discounted or free shipping if you spend a minimum amount. Usually this discount is not applied automatically. You'll need to enter a coupon code as part of the order process, and you'll need to search for this code.
How to Find Coupon Codes
- Visit RetailMeNot. This website specializes in searching the Internet for codes that can save you money.
- Another way to save shipping costs is to shop on the day of free delivery. December 15 is another retail sale where many retailers offer free shipping and guaranteed Christmas delivery.
Read what others have to say about the product
You can be careful while shopping online because you can not see, touch or check anything before you buy it. Take the ratings of other users who have already bought them. They often detail the quality and value, accuracy of the product description, and other well-known details that could influence your decision.
- Always check Amazon product reviews. Millions of people buy at Amazon for such a wide variety of products that you can count on several good reviews to make a decision; Just go to Amazon.com, type the name of the product you're looking for in the search bar at the top of the page, and scroll down the product page.
- If you want to buy B. in a cell phone, computer, or digital camera, CNET reviews provide recommendations for the best products on the market.
How To Stay Online This Holiday Season  Traders expect record sales through online Christmas shopping in 2017, and even the common scammers are preparing for a profitable holiday season. Fraud cases have also become more sophisticated, but as long as you use your best judgment, online shopping does not have to be insecure. Here are some anti-fraud tips:
Watch out for charity fraud
This is the time when many people raise their charitable donations and look out for some warning signs of fraudulent charities. Research and verify the credibility of an unknown charity by researching it online at give.org. Be wary of asking for support from the police or the fire service, and be wary of charities that claim to help with natural disasters. While there are many honest charities that use your money wisely, every real charity will be happy to provide you with more information or details about their operation.