Holiday season is here, which means it's time to start making your list and checking it twice. This year, holiday shopping will mostly be online, and these holiday shopping tips will help you and your military family find the best items and deals around.
How to Find the Best Deals
Shopping during the holidays can cause quite a dent in your bank account if you aren’t careful. While there’s no doubt that monthly spending increases during this time of year, there are ways to make your online holiday shopping experience a time full of Yuletide cheer. Incorporate these holiday shopping tips and watch as your savings grow!
With hundreds of sites to browse, you have endless options for holiday gifts. Even though it can be tempting to buy from the first store you click on, a smart online shopper takes the extra time to compare prices. Look through a few other stores to see if you can snag a better deal or employ the help of tools like Honey and InvisibleHand to do the work for you.
Get Cash Back
Spending money to then get it right back may seem like a crazy concept, but it’s one you and your military family should take advantage of this season! As you do your online holiday shopping, use sites like Rakuten and TopCashBack to earn savings like you never have before.
All you need to do is go through their websites to find the stores you want to buy from and get cash back on your purchases. You can also earn cash bonuses as a new user and when you refer your family and friends.
Check for Coupons
Just as you normally scrounge for coupons when you shop in-store, you’ll want to do the same as you go through your online shopping spree. If you feel like doing the work yourself, simply search for coupons for each store. However, a much quicker method is going through deal sites like Groupon that compile the list for you.
Sign Up for Email Newsletters
You most likely are a subscriber to a few retailers by now, so the email newsletter is nothing new to you. No matter how annoying it can be to get 5 emails a day from one retailer, it’s definitely worth it when you’re online holiday shopping. Most stores give you an automatic discount just for signing up, plus additional coupons in the future. Worst case scenario, you can unsubscribe once the holidays are over!
Avoid Costly Shipping
The dreaded shipping cost is always a shocker at the end of your purchase, but there are ways to get around it. The biggest holiday shopping tip that helps you save on shipping is simple—start early. When you plan ahead during the jolliest time of the year, you avoid expedited shipping which takes up a large chunk of your order total.
If that option doesn’t work for you, try having your items shipped directly to the store nearest you at no extra charge. A quick trip to pickup the items can save you a good $10 or $20!
Add to Your Cart and Wait
Once you find the perfect gifts for your friends and family, your first instinct is to check out right away so you can move on to other tasks on your to-do list. However, it has been found that closing out your browser and waiting to complete your order can actually earn you a fun little Christmas surprise.
Retailers want to incentivize you to cash out and buy the items in your cart, so they sometimes offer you a discount to draw you back in. Next time you have a cart full of gifts, try this holiday shopping tip and wait a day or two to see if you get some coupons sent to your email.
Try to Price Match
Price matching and comparing prices go hand-in-hand when it comes to finding the best deals on your favorite items. Simply ask a retailer if they would be willing to match the price of the same item sold at another store. While not every store does this, some do because they want to keep you as a customer and beat out their competition.
Make sure to research each retailer’s price matching policy to see what proof you need to get your discounted price. A physical printout or screenshot of the ad are a couple methods you can use.
Use Military Holiday Discounts
As a military family, you have access to hundreds of military holiday discounts that make the holiday season a lot more affordable. From clothing retailers and cell phone providers to grocery outlets, there are deals and discounts for military families that are simple and easy to get. Most stores only require a valid military ID or ID.me account.
Cyber Security Tips
With online holiday shopping on the rise this year, it’s especially crucial to be vigilant as you browse through websites and give out personal information. Follow these cyber security tips to help ensure a safe and secure shopping experience this season.
Download Antivirus Software
The more sites you visit online, the more chances you have of inviting viruses into your computer. Before you begin shopping, make sure you have an antivirus software downloaded to your device. Your Internet provider may give a discounted rate for some, so check on that as you do your research.
Read Product Reviews
One of the most beneficial advantages to shopping online is the abundance of product and business reviews. It can’t be stressed enough how important it is to take a look at these before you decide to purchase. These reviews can help you avoid fake business scams where they take your money and information and the product is never sent to you. They also give you insight on product quality and shipping times too.
If information is hard to find on the retailer’s website and there are no product reviews, you may want to take your business elsewhere.
Check for Site Security
As you search for that perfect pair of shoes or a brand new lawn mower for dad, you need to double check that the vendor’s website is secure and ready for you to purchase. Look for the letter “s” after the “http” in the web address and a closed padlock icon to the left of the browser address. These two features are signs that the retailer is legitimate and that your personal information is protected.
The holiday season is a time for cheer, not fear of outrageous credit card bills. With these holiday shopping tips, you and your military family can find the best deals and savings to make the holidays a merry experience full of joy!