I don’t know about you, but with the summer holidays over and done with I’m turning my attention towards the dreaded “C” word. I’m a single parent with a large family so I like to get started early, and use as many tricks as I can to ensure I bag some bargains in preparation for Christmas.

Here are some top tips for saving money with online shopping for Christmas:

  • Sign up for the mailing lists of shops you’re likely to purchase from. For me, that’s toy shops! They often email in advance to let you know when they have a sale or special offer coming up, and may also provide discount codes to people on their mailing lists.
  • Use price matching alongside loyalty points. I am a bit fan of store loyalty cards and always try to shop somewhere I can earn points. Many large retailers also have a price match promise, where they’ll match a price if you find your item cheaper somewhere else. So it’s worth shopping around to see if you can find your gift cheaper somewhere, and then contacting a retailer where you can earn loyalty points.
  • Use a site to help you find the best deals online. You can use some of the online deals at Sello to get a lower price on gifts for family and friends. Sello is a new site which helps you to save on brand new products from independent retailers – meaning you don’t always need to go to the big brands to save money.
  • Wait to check out. This sounds silly, but often if you put items in your basket and then don’t check out the website will send you an email offering you a discount on items in your basket. Just make sure you’re logged into the website before you abandon your basket, or it won’t know it was you!
  • Follow your favourite brands on social media. Lots of compaines are beginning to use special discounts that are only advertised on social media so it pays to follow them!
  • Consider delivery charges. You can often think you’ve found a bargain on one site, and then when it comes to arranging delivery you find that the final amount you end up paying is more than the cost of the product on another site which offers free delivery or in-store collection. It’s also worth noting that many retailers will offer free delivery if your order is over a certain amount so if you have more than one thing to buy you should see if you can bulk them together and buy from the same site at the same time to cut down delivery charges.
  • Search in incognito mode. Log out of everything or open an incognito window in your browser to do your shopping. Websites can track your activity online and see what sort of thing you’re interested in. Some retailers can then use this information to increase the price of certain things they think you’ll want to buy on their site. If you are in incognito mode, they don’t know it’s you viewing the site so you may find you get lower prices this way.

Vicky Charles

Vicky is a single mother, writer and card reader.

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