Holiday Shopping Guide

Posted On Thursday, December 3rd, 2009
Filed Under: shopping

Earlier this week I was doing a happy dance. No, I didn’t hit up another Housing Works sale, but I finished my holiday shopping. *round of applause for me* OK, well maybe I’m not completely done, I do have a secret Santa present to buy, but anyway….

Here are some {smart} holiday shopping tips:

Know Before You Go
You must, I repeat must know what you want and who you’re shopping for before you hit the mall. It’s way too easy to get distracted by clearance racks. Yes, an item’s on sale but you’ll probably end up buying several things something you didn’t intend on and don’t need. A simple list with a person’s name and what you plan to buy for him or her is all you need. It’s also great to have a backup gift idea if you’re intended present isn’t available.

Research
Even if a deal sounds amazing, it doesn’t hurt to look for a better one, right? That $100 bag may seem like a good price, but maybe it’s available elsewhere for $80. Instead of having to visit various sites to compare prices, Frucall and Beat My Price do the work for you. Simply enter the product you want to purchase and the sites give you a list of retailers with the best price. And Frucall is great on the go, as you can text a product’s barcode or ISBN to determine if you’re really getting a bargain or if you should go elsewhere.

Speak in Code
My shopping was done completely online this year but I didn’t buy anything without first finding a promo code to enter at checkout. These codes can offer anything from free shipping to 20% off. There are tons of discount code sites but the one I use most frequently is Retail Me Not. With listing for more than 40,000 retailers, you’re bound to find at least one that saves you a few bucks. And for many companies, you can use multiple codes for one purchase. Just enter the code at checkout, hit refresh to see the discount applied and then enter another promo code.

Tweet Tweet
Your favorite store (@MacysINC, @amazon, @Ebay, @overstock, @Nordstrom, etc) is most likely on the social networking site Twitter, so be sure to follow them for big savings. Even if you’re a preferred customer or subscribe to their newsletter, they usually send out tweets announcing a deal beforehand. I learned about the New York & Co. 50% off sale by following @CheapTweet.

Of course the holidays aren’t solely about spending money, but if you’re going to do so, spend wisely kiddies.

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