The Christmas business season is here! Rather than running into the store to make a bargain, navigating crowded buses and subways, or struggling to park in order to just wait in line for hours, many prefer to shop online on vacation. 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 Web sites combine Thanksgiving weekend and CyberMonday offerings so you can see what big retailers offer in one place. Click here for Black Friday Deals and here for CyberMonday.)
Major retailers use the #CyberMonday hashtag to promote their offers on Twitter. Just enter the hashtag in Twitters search bar . You do not need to have a Twitter account to search. Make sure, however, that the site you click on is actually the merchant's site.
Use a Price Comparison Tool
Even more than it is When you shop offline, you can save money online at the comparison shop. That's because shipping costs vary by location and prices. Visiting a dozen different websites to compare prices is time consuming and annoying. 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 want and then return one page or multiple results with price, taxes and shipping costs based on your zip code , ConsumerReports.com provides a good overview of the best search engines for price comparisons and tips for their use (the article dates back to 201
Price Comparison Browser Extensions
Once When you install a comparison browser extension, it runs in the background when you shop online, and you will be notified when a cheaper price for an item is displayed. For example, say you're on a page on Zappos.com and look at a specific pair of boots. The extension sees a cheaper price for these boots at Shoes.com. She opens a window with the details. Invisible Hand is available for most browsers. You can also find mobile price comparison apps to install on your smartphone. Just scan the barcode while you're in the store and you'll see if there's a cheaper price nearby.
Try Free Shipping and Other Ways to Save in the Store
A downside to online shopping is the shipping and handling costs, which can be high. However, many merchants offer reduced or free shipping when you spend a minimum amount. Normally, this discount is not applied automatically. You must enter a promotional code as part of the checkout and search for this code.
How to find the promotion 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 purchase on Free Shipping Day. December 14th is another holiday where many retailers offer free shipping and guarantee delivery until Christmas.
Read what other people have to say about the product
You can be cautious when shopping online because you can not see, touch or check anything before you buy it. Take advantage of the reviews left by other people who have already bought them. They often refer to the quality and value, accuracy of the product description and other pertinent information that may influence your decision.
- Always check Amazon product reviews. Millions of people buy at Amazon for so many different products. 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 for ratings.
- If you want to buy electronics this holiday season – for example, a cell phone, a computer, or a digital camera – refer to CNET Reviews for the best products on the market.
How To Stay Safe During This Holiday Season
] Retailers expect record sales in online shopping vacations. This means that fraudsters are also prepared for a profitable holiday season. Fraud has also become increasingly sophisticated, but as long as you work to the best of my knowledge and belief, online shopping does not have to be dangerous. Here are some tips to help prevent fraud:
Watch for charitable fraud.
This is the time when many people increase their charitable contributions, so pay attention to the warning signs of fraudulent charities. Research and verify the credibility of an unknown charity by researching it online at give.org. Be wary of requesting police or fire brigade support and caution from charities claiming to support natural disasters. While there are many honest charities that use your money for a good cause, any true charity will be happy to provide more information or details about their operation.