Americans spent over $29 billion online during the 2009 holiday shopping season, according to comScore spending surveys. If you’re planning on buying holiday gifts from your favorite online retailer, there are several ways to pare down the cost of each item, cash in on shipping discounts, and make sure you’re paying the lowest available price. Many retailers have already jumped on the social networking bandwagon, and are ready to dish out discounts and deals via Twitter and Facebook.
Use some of these online holiday shopping tips to get the best price on items you have your eye on, and save some money this season!
1. Take advantage of online coupons. It’s hard to keep up with all of the discount codes and coupons each retailer is sending out each week over holiday season. Head to sites such as RetailMeNot.com to run a quick search for the latest available offers at your retailer of choice. These sites store hundreds of coupon codes that you can redeem directly through the site within a few clicks. This strategy is one of the easiest ways to shop for the lowest price on your holiday gift items.
2. Earn cash back with PayPal purchases. Many online retailers and independent retailers now accept PayPal payments for online shopping purchases, which means you can earn cash back for qualifying purchases. Find out what you payment options are at the checkout page of your favorite retailer, and don’t forget to join the eBay Bucks Rewards Program that lets you earn 2 percent cash back on most items purchased on eBay with PayPal.
3. Run a Google Product Search by item. If you know the exact make and model of an item you want to buy, compare the current price from several online retailers with a Google Product Search. Your search results will show you the latest price plus shipping, and can make it very easy to locate the best price at a glance.
4. Tune into the retailer’s Facebook and Twitter updates. Many retailers are using Twitter and Facebook to send out exclusive deals and web-only specials for fans and followers. Make sure you’ve hit the “Like” button on your favorite store’s or brand’s pages, and monitor your Twitter and Facebook streams each day for the latest offers.
5. Use free shipping discounts. A Shop.org eHoliday Study revealed that over 57 percent of retailers planned to offer free shipping without any conditions for the 2009 holiday season. The 2010 holiday season may present similar opportunities, so keep an eye out for special shipping offers and discounts. You may need to purchase a certain amount to qualify for a free shipping discount, but you should be able to meet the minimums with most retailers when shopping for holiday gifts.