I feel it’s safe to assume that since Halloween is now over we can officially label this time of the year as the Holiday Season! Which I am super excited about! I love Thanksgiving and December’s holidays – mostly for the food – but often find the obligation and burden of buying gifts a heavy strain on my wallet, as most do.
I am considering keeping a record or starting a series of articles based on the holiday season (if you feel this would be entertaining or beneficial at all please leave a comment below with your thoughts).
Every year I entertain the idea of making gifts for friends and family in an attempt to save money. And every year I usually wind up ordering gifts online last minute and spending more money than I ever thought imaginably possible.
I’m going to try and change that this year, however, I do fear that old habits die hard, but perhaps with a little reader support we can help each other save some money this holiday season!
This week the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) put out an online shipping guide with advice on getting the best deal if utilizing online shopping this year…
Set a Budget. Create a gift list and check it twice to help you stay on track and not overspend.
Decide What Matters. Especially if you’re buying gadgets, know what your “must-have” features are vs. those that are just nice to have.
Use Search Engines. Type a company or product name into your search engine with terms like “review,” “complaint” or “scam” to find out more about it.
Read Reviews Online. Reviews from other people, experts, and columnists can give you an idea of how a product performs. But don’t put all of your trust in one review.
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Consider Reputation. A brand’s reputation for quality and good customer service can really pay off.
Check Comparison Shopping Sites. They connect to many retailers selling the same product, sometimes at significantly different prices. Keep shipping costs in mind.
Consider Coupons. Some companies offer discounts via e-mail, and some websites collect and list codes for free shipping and other discounts. Search for the store with terms like “discount,” “coupon” or “free shipping.”
Read Return Policies. Not all stores have the same rules. Some charge fees for return shipping or restocking things like electronics.
Decide How to Pay. When you shop online, credit cards can offer extra protections.
Look for a Secure Checkout. Does the website start with https (the “s” stands for secure) when you’re checking out? – Source.
What are your thoughts and/or worries about holiday shopping?