It is not even Black Friday yet and the stores are already packed with shoppers. Retailers started their holiday sales earlier this year to compensate for the bad economy. They are hoping to get some of your hard-earned cash but they do not have to see you in person to get it, nor should they take more than their fair share. Here are ways to avoid the crowds by shopping online and saving some money in the process.
Step 1: Create a shopping list. Those who enter the shopping process unprepared are likely to spend more money than they intended. Create a shopping list that falls within the budget and stick to it. You don’t need to know exactly what to buy everyone, just know how much you want to spend on each person.
Step 2: Look for coupons and discounts prior to purchasing the items in the online shopping cart. On a Web search engine, type in the product name plus the words “coupon codes” and see what you get. Also, check with stores to see if they offer discounts for senior citizens, military personnel, etc. During the online checkout process, enter the coupon or discount code in the appropriate box.
Step 3: Take shipping costs into account when comparing product prices. A product may have a lower price tag in one online store but when shipping costs are considered, that product may be more expensive than one with a slightly higher price from a store that provides free shipping.
Step 4: Shop early to ensure that packages will arrive at your door long before the holidays. Waiting until the last minute could result in only high-priced shipping options.
Step 5: To find the most in-demand items, visit larger stores like Ebay and Amazon.com because they often have bulk inventories. Shopping early will help avoid a situation where the hot items are sold out.