COUPON QUEEN: Tips for smart online holiday shopping

Published: December 12, 2012

keyboard keys with shopping key with a shopping cart on it

RUBY BEDI
VANCOUVER DESI

Want to save yourself some serious cash this holiday season? Practice smart online shopping.

During the holiday season we tend to spend more than normal.  Considering the socializing, gift-exchanges, potlucks, parties, wish lists and holiday sales, it isn’t hard to get caught up in all the spending.  A great way to save money and avoid claustrophobic malls is to shop online.  Even if you are concerned about using your credit card for internet shopping, you can still save lots of time and money by doing your comparison shopping online.

Pricing

Not all deals are as great as they seem at first glance.  The price for an online item may look lower than advertised in the stores, but keep in mind any additional costs that you may have to pay such as shipping and duty.  Check the shipping options available because some retailers will allow free shipping as a promo or if you pick up the product at one of their retail locations.  Make sure you also search Google or coupon sites for coupon codes that allow free shipping or additional discounts.  If you are browsing for products on non-Canadian sites, you also have to be prepared to pay the duty on your purchase in addition to taxes when the item gets shipped to you.  Duties on goods vary widely, depending on the product and the country in which it was manufactured.  There are estimating tools available online such as Duty Calculator.

Comparison Shopping

Put on your coziest PJs, grab your beverage of choice and get comfy.  Sounds better than an exhausting day running around town searching for deals doesn’t it?  Google is a good place to start your comparison shopping but there are other tools you can use as well.

There are a number of sites referred to as shopping engines that can help you find the best prices locally, across the country and even internationally.  Some Canadian price comparison sites to check out: shopbot.ca, pricegrabber.ca, shoptoit.ca, and nextag.ca.  If you are a cross border shopper also check out American price comparison sites.

A tool I have just started using is Priceblink.  It is a browser add-on available for Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari or Chrome. What’s cool is that the add-on only appears when you are shopping online, otherwise when surfing it stays hidden. When you are on a site where you are shopping a message bar pops up at the top of your screen to offer coupons, price comparisons and product reviews.  It scans over 4000 merchants to find lower prices for the item you are viewing.  PriceBlink is directed towards a US audience but it is still a great price comparison tool even though it does not cover some familiar Canadian merchants.

There are also sites like redflagdeals.com, pricenetwork.ca, smartcanucks.ca and flyerland.ca.  These sites list deals found by other shoppers, allow you to check flyers from one place and have forums where you can post requests for information once you sign up.

Know the Terms

BEFORE charging your card, make sure to check the return and exchange policies.  They tend to vary widely so it is smart to read them thoroughly before making your purchase so there are no surprises.  Before pressing the submit button to make your purchase, double check all details including the billing and shipping address, the payment information and the total cost.  Print out your documentation and/or receipt or better yet save a tree and save as PDF files onto your computer.  Also, make a note of when your purchase should be arriving so you can follow up with the retailer if you do not receive it.

Happy Holiday Shopping!

Ruby Bedi was a Coupon Queen even before coupon savings were trendy. Her passion for saving money is matched to her mission to help people learn to budget, save, and get out of debt by making smart buying choices.  She can be reached at buzzworthybudgets@gmail.com.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,




Featured

guru-sacrifice

Indian guru lynched after beheading boy, 5, in suspected child sacrifice

IANS Guwahati – Simmering tension prevailed in Assam after a guru sacrificed a five-year-old boy to appease the God of death and was later lynched by…
Continue Reading »

PAK ATTACK

Officials: Gunmen hijack buses in Pakistan, kill 19 passengers and battle security forces

ABDUL SATTAR THE ASSOCIATED PRESS QUETTA, Pakistan — Around 20 armed men hijacked two buses in Pakistan’s southwestern Baluchistan province, killed 19 passengers and battled…
Continue Reading »

premature babies

Canadian pediatricians recommend letting 22-week-old preemies die. Should doctors try to save the tiny newborns?

TOM BLACKWELL POSTMEDIA NEWS Measuring just 10 inches long, Carter Lake should never have made it past his first few desperate hours outside the womb….
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Food watchdog detains corn livestock feed from India over health concerns

By John Cotter THE CANADIAN PRESS EDMONTON — The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it is detaining corn shipments from India used for livestock feed…
Continue Reading »

Canada set to deport Pakistani man accused of ties to terrorist group

By Colin Perkel THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO — A Pakistani man who amassed a collection of high-power guns will be deported as soon as Canadian…
Continue Reading »

Canada set to deport Pakistani man accused of ties to terrorist group

By Colin Perkel THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO — A Pakistani man who amassed a collection of high-power guns will be deported as soon as Canadian…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

sexy legs and breasts

Men prefer brains over big breasts and long legs: Study

IANS London – What do men prefer, beauty or brains? According to a British evolutionary biologist, men prefer intelligence over big breasts and long legs…
Continue Reading »

blood sugar-desi

South Asian people poor at managing diabetes

IANS London – Limited knowledge of diabetes and the belief that the state of their health is out of their control has led to poor…
Continue Reading »

Aga Khan

PM Harper, Aga Khan discuss threat posed by violent extremists

VANCOUVER DESI Prime Minister Stephen Harper expressed his condolences to the Aga Khan Tuesday for the recent terrorist attack on the Ismaili community in Pakistan. The spiritual…
Continue Reading »

tallest man-India-desi

India’s tallest man spends his days in a cage-like structure posing for photos at an amusement park

VANCOUVER DESI Life is not easy for India’s tallest man Dharmendra Singh, who stands at 8-ft 1-inch, his height being the biggest barrier for his career and…
Continue Reading »

indian summer

It’s so hot in India right now the roads are literally melting

At least 1,100 dead in month-long heatwave THE ASSOCIATED PRESS & NATIONAL POST STAFF It’s so hot in India right now that the streets are…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Sunny Leone

Celina Jaitley says Sunny Leone “drove me to seek legal help”

VANCOUVER DESI AND HINDUSTAN TIMES Indo-Canadian actress Sunny Leone, who was living in a house owned by Bollywood actress and activist Celina Jaitley, has been…
Continue Reading »

Ramleela Bollywood

Bollywood babe Deepika Padujone finds rumoured beau Ranveer Singh ‘incredible’ in ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’

IANS Mumbai – Deepika Padukone is “blown away” after watching Zoya Akhtar’s film “Dil Dhadakne Do”, and she is especially impressed by rumoured beau Ranveer…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood badshah tweets first look of Salman Khan's Bajrangi Bhaijaan

Bollywood gives ‘blockbuster alert’ post ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ teaser

IANS Mumbai – There is style, glamour, action, energetic music and dance — all packed in one. The teaser of Salman Khan’s next “Bajrangi Bhaijaan”…
Continue Reading »