Who doesn’t want to save money? If the perennial lines outside box stores on Black Friday are any indication, absolutely no one. But those “savings” can come at high cost when you factor in the lost free time, added stress and more. But retail stores aren’t the only places to score deals this holiday shopping season. Whether you’re looking for a laptop, a TV or something else this holiday season, you can don’t necessarily have to leave the house to get the lowest price. Here’s how.
1. Only shop online
Under no circumstances should you shop on during the holiday season anywhere other than from your computer.
We’re willing to bet that in the time you’ll spend to go to a brick and mortar store, fight through crowds, wait in line and grab the couple of gadgets you wanted (if you even get them), you missed out on many more deals you could’ve snagged from your desk in the comfort of your own home. By staying home and shopping online, you’re not tied to whatever retail outlet you’re physically at at any given point in time. As long as you have a decent computer, you can open 15 to 20 browser tabs and do price comparisons between a multitude or retailers, while avoiding the stress associated with going out to shop in the real world.
2. Make friends with Froogle
What if you don’t want to compare prices between different stores online? We feel you, luckily Google has a tool that you’ll probably love.
Say hello to Froogle, which is Google’s search engine, but for shopping. Looking to buy something and want to find the best prices for what you’re looking for? Just head over to Froogle and type in whatever it is you want into the search box and press Enter. You can also access Froogle by heading over to Google’s homepage, click on the More tab at the top of the page and click Shopping in the drop-down button.
3. Search by model number on Froogle
If you simply type in the name of the product you want, you might get an older version of it, which may not be exactly what you’re looking for. Asus, for example, sells many different variants of its popular Zenbook. To be certain that you’re buying the exact product that you want, whether you’re using Froogle or another site, search using the product’s model number. You can also include the product’s full name, but make sure you also get the model number in there. If you find a site that’s selling what you want, double check to ensure that the model number on the product page matches up with the model number you have on hand.
4. Use deals sites too
Froogle is great, but don’t make the mistake of solely relying on Google to find the gear you want to grab. Deal sites can be a terrific resource to lean on when trying to hunt down what you want at a price that’s right for you. We’re fans of Slickdeals and FatWallet. There’s also a Slickdeals app.
5. Get cozy with coupon codes
So you’ve got Froogle, some online shopping strategies and you’re surrounded by friends and loved ones instead of doing epic battle with strangers on the street for the last [insert product name here]. If you find a great deal, you could try to save a few extra bucks by searching for related coupon codes on RetailMeNot. Not all of the coupon codes you’ll find on Retail Me Not will work, and each code has a success rate next to it, so your mileage may vary. It doesn’t hurt to check though, and a working code could be the difference between you finding a good deal and you committing highway robbery.
By adhering to these online holiday and Christmas shopping tips, you can stay home, avoid the crowds and focus on the important things: Pigging out on holiday food and watching football.