Mark Barrera is a deals shopper and online reseller who enjoys sharing tips related to smart shopping and frugal living.
If you did everything you could to find deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but still have a few holes in your shopping list, don’t panic. There are plenty of great deals still to be had both in-store and online – as long as you know where to look and how to shop. The holidays don’t have to be a mad dash to the finish line, so take a look at the following shopping strategies, and get all your gift-buying wrapped up in no time.
1. Sign Up For Deal of the Day Websites
Use deal of the day websites like Groupon, LivingSocial, and Half Off Depot to your advantage. They all offer significant discounts year-round, including in the days and weeks after Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Most of the time, discounts are 50% or more – just make certain that whatever you order ships in time for gift giving.
2. Subscribe to Deal Sharing Websites
Websites such as SlickDeals and FatWallet take a lot of the legwork out of finding deals after Black Friday and Cyber Monday have passed, as they send out a roundup of opportunities via e-mail. Of course you can also peruse retailer websites on your own if you don’t feel like signing up, but deal sharing websites do make the job of searching and browsing for offers a lot easier. Check out deals on items including electronics, clothing, and accessories.
3. Wait Until the Last Minute
Although this is always a risk if you’re after a popular product that could sell out, a lot of stores do hold Christmas Eve deals. By that point, retailers are looking to unload leftover inventory and you may score some steep discounts. Approximately 17 million Americans said they planned to shop on Christmas Eve, according to a 2012 Consumer Reports survey, so join the army of savers and snatch up some last-minute gems.
4. Use Your Best Credit Card
The Discover Card offers 5% cash back on online purchases all the way through the end of December, and the Chase Freedom card features 5% cash back at select department stores as well as purchases made at Amazon. The RedCard from target also gets you a 5% discount on all purchases applied at the cash register, if you’re shopping in-store. Just because you might not see a discount up front, doesn’t mean there aren’t effective ways to save.
5. Bundle Purchases to Avoid Shipping Costs
No matter where you shop online, you always want to try and avoid shipping charges. Group your purchases together in order to qualify for free shipping, and pay attention to the spending level at which it kicks in. For example, the threshold is $25 at Best Buy and $50 at Target. If you don’t need to spend that much, you can check out websites like DealCatcher or RetailMeNot for promotional codes for free shipping.
6. Keep Up the Research on Gifts You Already Purchased
Many retailers have price match programs in place where if you purchase an item and then find it at a cheaper price somewhere else, the store refunds you the difference. However, each retailer usually has certain restrictions in place, so do your homework beforehand. Wal-Mart does not accept online ads, and at Staples you only have 14 days after you purchase the item. Also, the lower-cost item must have the identical model number as the one you purchased.
There’s no reason to go into debt just because you want to please the folks on your gift list. Sure, almost everyone would like a new iPad for Christmas but that doesn’t mean it’s your responsibility to purchase one. Focus more on your budget than the expensive gifts that people want, and save yourself the headache of huge January credit card bills.
What ways can you think of to find deals after Black Friday and Cyber Monday?
Photo from Flickr