For many folks, the idea of trudging through the cold to battle crowds and long lines at the mall feels outdated. Given how simple and reliable the Internet has become, many people are forgoing the usual trip to the mall and opting to do their holiday shopping on the computer.
Crossing names off your list online is a breeze because almost anything imaginable is available over the Internet. There are websites like Amazon and Wal-Mart that offer wide selections, as well as specialty sites that sell anything from art and books to toys and collectibles.
Here are a few tips for successful holiday shopping and staying safe online.
Hunt for Promo Codes
Coupon-clipping in the digital age is still important, but it looks very different than snipping through periodicals. CNET reported that paper coupons can still be used with online retailers, but promotional codes are the way to go.
Finding a discount promo code is easy. Use Google or other search engines to uncover useful specials and deals. There are a number of websites that users share and pool sales and codes. Paper coupons sometimes have caveats on how much you need to spend or where to redeem the savings, but many online promo codes are available anywhere indefinitely.
According to SecureWorks, avoid any sketchy or unbelievable advertised promotions, as these could lead to unsecured websites. Be especially suspicious of pop-up ads, and instead do your own research for finding sales.
Find the Best Shipping Deals
When surfing websites like Amazon or eBay, it is very likely you will see more than one vendor selling the same or similar products. That isn't cause for alarm or any sort of scam , but rather an opportunity to find the best deal.
Because different businesses across the country use websites like Amazon to sell their products, there can be a wide range of price and shipping options.
Be sure to make sure you understand the different shipping costs. Not only can there be expensive shipping costs for some sites, but because the holiday season is so busy, pick an option that will guarantee timely delivery.
The flip side of the coin, however, is that there are many very well-priced shipping options, and savvy online shoppers will be sure that they only pay the lowest possible prices to get their gifts.
Utilize Rewards Programs
Another way for online shoppers to cash in on savings, including reduced shipping costs, is to sign-up as a member of a loyalty reward program. Online retailers often have great incentives and deals for their members, and for anyone with a lot of shopping to do, this can be a big benefit.
Subscribing to a business' email list is another way to receive exclusive deals and promotions. Businesses may advertise limited sale or offerings, so it is important for online members to check their inbox for emails from their favorite brands.
SecureWorks reported that it is important to read each email carefully, however, as scammers often craft false emails that look like the real thing and send you to a bogus or unsafe webpage.
Take a Break
According to CNET, it can be important for online shoppers to step back and pause every once in a while. This is important for a number of reasons.
First of all, staring at a computer screen for hours on end can be very tiring and problematic for anyone with vision problems. Taking a walk intermittently is important for the mind and body when surfing the Internet.
Secondly, because online shopping is so convenient, taking a break is important for reducing the number of impulsive or desperate purchases made. Like anyone who has visited a mall on Christmas Eve, holiday shopping can get frantic. Pausing every now and then is important for making good choices.
Source: Sunrise Senior Living