Saving Money During the Holidays…Online Shopping

When searching for the best deals on that perfect gift, the internet seems to muddle things a little. It is sometimes hard to determine whether nearby stores or online merchants have the best price, when taking into account shipping vs. gas costs, tax, and possible impulse buys at local stores. (I’m notorious for going into Target for one thing and come out with three bags!)

Shopping via internet has several major benefits that shopping at physical stores do not: you can compare prices from hundreds of vendors, find online exclusive coupons, and even get cash back for your purchases!

On the other hand, online shopping doesn’t have the same charm as going into the stores and hearing Christmas music, you often have to take into account shipping prices, and it can be harder to “browse” online than in the stores.

Should you decide to do some or all of your holiday shopping online, here are some tips and sites I like to use.

Ebates. Before you shop, check out Ebates. Ebates has partnered with over 1200 retailers to provide you cash back when you click through their site. of In two years of purchasing normal items and Christmas items online, I have received almost $500 cash back in the form of a check every three months. In addition, Ebates will credit your account with a $5 bonus if you are new to sign-up and make a purchase. My husband loves receiving photo books and photo calendars of our family as Christmas gifts, and right now Ebates is offering 20% cash back for all your purchases on Snapfish!

Retailmenot. Retailmenot.com is a wonderful site that lists every active coupon code for over 130,000 online stores! When you are ready to purchase, simply go to Retailmenot and type in the store you are shopping at. They will list all active coupons for that store, including a “Success Rate” for each coupon code.

FreeShipping. FreeShipping.org is a great site, which I found through Consumer Reports, that provides coupon codes for free shipping at almost 4,000 online stores.

Shopzilla. If you know what you’re looking for, you will want to comparison shop to make sure you are getting the best possible price. Shopzilla is a reputable site that will compare identical items at many different online retailers.

What are your best online shopping tips?

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