How Can You Save Money this Holiday Gift Buying Season? Three Tips for 2013

Online shopping safety tips

Did you know that, because Thanksgiving falls later in the year than usual, there will be one less weekend for holiday shopping? For this reason, it pays off to tart early, rather than getting caught in the concentrated rush of everyone trying to purchase overpriced gifts in the last few days before Santa time. Regardless of what holidays you do or don’t follow, though, these three Christmas shopping tips and tricks will probably come in handy.

1. Safe Online Shopping Tips

The internet is a great way to shop, but it’s not without risks. Scammers are going to be on the rise and looking for easy prey as eCommerce sales are expected to exceed $61 billion this holiday season. In many cases, especially when you are dealing with sites like eBay where the sellers might be unfamiliar to you, place your order by the first week of December. This allows ample time for gifts to arrive, and if something goes wrong, it gives you enough time to register a complaint and get the item replaced.

2. Black Friday Shopping Tips

Like getting up at 4am and waiting in outside lines with hundreds of other people? Then you must love shopping on Black Friday. The truth is, Black Friday is a great day for deals, especially on expensive holiday items like electronics. To get the best deals, read up ahead of time on what stores plan to offer, and limit yourself to hitting just a couple big name retailers. Read the fine print, as many stores have deals that occur during specific time windows. Ignore items that you can easily buy everyday, and concentrate on picking up the hard to find deals.

3. Money Saving Christmas Shopping Tips

Did you know that the average shopper spends $704 on seasonal items and gifts? Sometimes this is an acceptable amount to spend, but some years, our wallets are tight and spending a grand on wrapping paper and new iPads for the whole family will put us into debt. Every year, try and incorporate personalized, low cost items into your giving. Instead of focusing on expensive luxury items, instead go to sites like Etsy and Pinterest for ideas and options for personalized, unique, affordable gifts. Remembering someone’s favorite movie, animal, drink etc. and incorporating that into your giving can make for a gift that is more memorable than all the $400 gaming systems combined.

Have any smart shopping tips to share with us?

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