Holiday shopping online? 5 sneaky tricks to get the best deals on the web

  • Dec. 4, 2018 3:35 p.m.

Surfing for deals this holiday season? There are plenty of deals out there, but you can up your savings game using these tips and tricks to sniff out the best offers online.

Install browser extensions. Automatically get coupon codes and ensure you’re getting the best prices by using free plug-ins installed on internet browsers, which run in the background while you surf for deals. They’re easy to install. Honey (JoinHoney.com) will find coupon codes automatically at checkout when you put items in your shopping cart. CouponFollow.com and PriceBlink.com are other good choices.

Use price trackers and price-adjustment apps. CamelCamelCamel.com magically finds you the lowest price on Amazon. Rakuten Slice (Slice.com) and Moolah (JoinMoolah.com) picks up tracking numbers in your emails whenever you buy something and gets you a refund if prices drop.

Get rewarded. Get free gift cards and cash back on purchases from ShopKick.com, Ebates.com, Ibotta.com and Swagbucks.com.

Track sales. Retailers are offering hot doorbuster deals at different times online and in stores. Use GottaDeal.com’s Online Black Friday Deal Tracker to see start times of sales with links to ads. The list can be sorted by store. The site also has an online coupon section.

Abandon items in your cart. Add items to your shopping card and leave them there without paying. Usually, retailers will start sending emails offering additional discounts or free shipping to close the deal. Another trick: Change the ZIP code (Google to find them) when searching retail sites to see if you’re getting the lowest price. Many retailers set online prices based on region.

Free shipping. Paying for shipping is a deal-breaker for most consumers. A whopping 94 percent will take advantage of free shipping online, according to the NRF. This year, Target and Amazon are both offering free shipping with no minimum purchase. Free Shipping Day is Dec. 14, when more than 1,000 retailers offer the service with guaranteed delivery by Dec. 24. Sign up for an email reminder at FreeShippingDay.com. If you have to mail gifts, the U.S. Postal Service deadline for Christmas arrival for first-class mail is Dec. 20.

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