Tips for Shopping at Christmas 2017
The holiday season seems to be the perfect time to use technology to make your life easier. Any assistance during the holidays would be much appreciated, right? The only problem is that technology—aside from the perfect gadget gift—might not be at the forefront of your mind. To help, we’ve compiled a list of ten pro tips to get you through the holiday season.
- Land-based retailers are continuously finding more and more ways to compete with the competitors online. Both, Target and Best Buy, have recently added online price match policies that pledge to offer the same prices in-store as you can find with select online stores. Both retailers reserve the right to refuse the price match if the online price seems too low, but give it a shot to see if Target and Best Buy will play ball. Most likely if there’s only a limited quantity or you are finding it in a flash sale, they won’t honor it.
- Best Buy has recently been confirmed to price match even local shops such as Micro Center, Fry’s, etc.
Avoid Shipping costs
- Online shoppers are able to get free shipping each year on Free Shipping Day. This year it is Dec. 15, 2017. Go to freeshipping.com for a list of participating stores.
- Join a shipping club like Amazon Prime or plan ahead and do all of your gift shopping at once. (Almost all retailers offer free shipping once you hit a minimum purchase amount.) Apple, for example, will ship your items for free if your purchase total exceeds $50.
- Take advantage of the race for same-day shipping as well. Wal-Mart, Amazon, and Google are currently testing same-day shipping. Wal-Mart will be expanding its current grocery test, to a toys and gifts test this fall.
- Utilize in-store pickup to save money. Purchase your items online through a rewards mall and choose in-store pickup instead. You’ll get the best of online shopping without having to pay for shipping. In-store pickup is free and quick. Sears will let you know that your pickup will be ready within five minutes of your arrival in-store or you’ll get a $5 store coupon. Walmart actually offers a discount on some items for ordering ahead and picking up in-store.
Shop with gift cards
- Buy gift cards at a discount–then go shopping or give as gifts. Check out Raise.com or purchase in bulk from large retailers like Costco.
- Giftcards.com will also give you a list of ways to get gift cards on sale.
- A lot of retailers actually have deals around the holidays when it comes to gift cards, buy one get one free, buy a $50, get another $10, etc.
Send holiday cards from your phone
- Use iPhone / Android Card app to personalize greeting cards from your phone with pictures of the kids, vacation photos, or family portraits. You’ll be able to create the card digitally on your phone and send a paper copy anywhere in the United States for $3.
Buy indie gifts for less online.
- Online independent retailers often sell more interesting and unique gifts for lower prices. A homemade gift is sure to be one-of-a-kind, so take advantage of sites like Etsy, CafePress, Artfire, and Cargoh.
Use a rewards mall when you shop online.
- Shop online frequently? One option could save you up to 45 percent on your online purchases. All you need to do is start your shopping at a rewards mall, then click through to your favorite retailer’s website. This way, you’ll earn a reward on what you buy. Usually, this will be earned cash back, loyalty program points, or miles, depending on the mall you use. Popular malls include Chase Ultimate Rewards Mall, Hilton Honors Shop-to-Earn Mall, eBates, FatWallet, and ShopDiscover.
- Check sales apps for the stores you will be visiting as well as shopping apps like iBotta, ShopSavvy, and coupon sherpa. They offer cash bask as well on things you’d normally buy anyway.
Be sure your deal is a good one.
- With all of the coupons and discounts available, you’re never sure if what you’re buying is really a good deal or if your retailer is just promoting its sale as a steal. Take the guesswork out of deal hunting with Decide.com, a website that analyzes enterprise-level retail data and spits out a number ranking for Decide’s data-driven assessment of the deal.Another quick way is to do a quick Google search. Other retailers may be selling it for a much cheaper price or a better version for the same price (and don’t forget to compare shipping costs!)
- If TV shopping, refer to our previous article, Holiday shopping, so easy it Hertz!
Organizing coupons, photos, gift ideas, and holiday checklists.
- A gift-list app makes it easy to keep track what you’ve bought and how much you’ve spent! Popular apps include: The Christmas List app (iOS) and Christmas Gift List app (Android) or Toshl.
- Evernote, a list-making app, will help you with much more than just taking down a list of items this holiday season. Evernote allows you to collect products and prices from the Internet when you’re comparison-shopping into one location, snapping a photo, scanning in paper lists, and more.
- Passbook is an app for the Apple devices that allow for users to save and store boarding passes, movie tickets, coupons, and more. Coupons.com, a major coupons website, has recently partnered with 34 leading merchants such as Macy’s, Sears, Old Navy, and ULTA Beauty. This will offer Passbook coupons directly from the Coupons.com mobile site. If you’re interested, go to Coupons.com from your phone, click on the coupon you want, save it to Passbook, and then show it to the cashier when you check out.
- As for returns, have you ever been to a retail store the day after Christmas? Everywhere is packed. Luckily, there’s an app to remove your frustrations. Snap a picture of your receipt with ReturnGuru and the app will track your returns, allow easy access, and alert you before your return window is over.
Don’t forget the daily deals.
- The only deals that come to mind this time of year are usually Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. Remember not to ignore your favorite daily deals sites. Popular deal aggregators such as Groupon and LivingSocial offer big discounts on fun gifts and experiences year-round. This way you can treat your friends and family to a special event or item for the holidays.
Turn your credit card into a coupon with card-linked offers…
- I won’t suggest getting credit cards just for this, but if you already have them, go for it. Card-linked offers are coupons linked right to your debit, credit, or store loyalty card. You’ll shop just as you always do, no printing, stacking, or redeeming paper coupons. Then, your savings on eligible purchases will show up on your card account. Banks such as American Express, Capital One, and Bank of America have these offers built into their apps. This means it’s quick and easy to view your discounts when you’re already out shopping.
- Drop, is another amazing app for collecting rewards on your credit debit cards for purchases made.
- You benefit the retailer, not the other way around. Look for the deals, perks, and make the market change around you.
- Apps are your friend.
- Up your Google-fu game
- Read the art of war
- Be organized, plan your trips and spending as much as possible
- Keep track of where you enter your credit card online.
- If you cant FIND something for someone, DO something for them instead.
- Spend Wisely.
- Proverbs 19:2
- Proverbs 14:29
- Luke 14:28-30
- Matthew 25:14-30
- Also if you need any assistance with shopping technology around this holiday season, we offer FREE consulting to help you. Find exactly what you are looking for at the best price with a CookieBytes technician. Feel free to contact us at (810)-545-8344 or use our form on the front page.