If you’re planning on doing the bulk of your shopping online this holiday season, then these online Christmas shopping tips are for you. Not only will they help you save money and find interesting gifts, but they’ll keep you (and your bank account) safe and secure. Without further ado, here are some tips and tricks that you should be taking advantage of this December!
Don’t Ignore Those Email Promotions
There are tremendous deals to be found through email and social media promotions. Though it’s tempting to send marketing emails straight to your junk box, the holiday season is the one time of the year that you might want to actually open these emails to see what’s inside. And that is because around Christmas, retailers pull out all the stops to earn your business. And in many instances, the deals that are offered via email and social media are exclusive offers – meaning, you might not find them in the store. Open that email and see what deals are to be had!
Use Coupon Sites Like Slickdeals
Savings are plentiful and easy to find if you know where to look. Coupon sites like Slickdeals and The KrazyKoupon Lady (yes, spelled with a “K”) offer coupon codes, special online offers, and other discounts on a wide range of goods, from clothing to electronics. These sites may be a bit overwhelming at first (they present a lot of information, and not always in the most intuitive manner), but with a little bit of digging, you are sure to find what you’re looking for (and at a discount). Of course, with so many offers to choose from, it’s also entirely possible that you may end up buying something you didn’t know you wanted!
Don’t Use Sketchy Wi-Fi Networks
Public Wi-Fi may seem incredibly convenient, but did you know that unsecured public Wi-Fi networks can pose a significant risk? Even “secure” public Wi-Fi networks, like those at your favorite coffee shop, can be dangerous, as it’s easy to gain access through a well-known password. On an unprotected network, your personal data, including banking and identity information, is vulnerable to theft by hackers. Use an encrypted wireless network (like your data plan) or a secure Wi-Fi network if you must shop from your phone or laptop. Alternatively, consider using a mobile VPN (virtual private network) to safeguard against identity theft. It is also recommended that you continuously upgrade your device; the latest mobile processors, like the Snapdragon by Qualcomm, have advanced security features built-in.
Double-check Your Credit Card Statements
Speaking of sketchy Wi-Fi networks, make sure that you are continuously monitoring your bank account and credit card statements. If your personal information is compromised, you want to be able to address the matter as soon as possible to prevent any long-lasting damage. With a credit or debit card number, your accounts can very easily and very quickly be exploited. Make a point of checking your balance at least every couple of days, particularly during the holiday season, to ensure that your accounts are safe and secure.
Always Check Amazon First (But Don’t Forget Etsy)
If you are looking to save money online, it’s likely going to be hard to beat Amazon. This is particularly true if you have Amazon Prime and receive free two-day shipping on millions of items. However, even with its vast warehouses full of goods, and its diverse and extensive partner network, Amazon doesn’t have everything. If saving money is of less importance than finding the right gift, consider treading off the beaten path and shopping on Etsy or Craigslist. You might just find that diamond in the rough available nowhere else. Yes, the Apple Watch is nice, but can it compare to one-of-a-kind, custom-made jewelry?
Shop Through EBATES to Get Cash Back
It’s one thing to save money by finding deals and using coupons, but did you know that some websites actually allow you to earn money, simply by shopping? That’s what EBATES does. This online platform lets you earn cash back in the form of gift cards and EBATES cash bonuses simply by shopping through its partner network. Simply create an account (new users can sign up from Facebook or Google) and start your shopping journey from EBATES. Retailers can track your “point of origin,” so to speak, and will pay EBATES a commission for sending you their way – a commission which gets passed onto you as cash back. Learn more