People are embracing the digital age and doing most of their holiday shopping entirely online. It’s an excellent alternative for those who don’t have access to a local shopping center, have restrictive work schedules, or need to find something very specific that isn’t available nearby.
Looking for the perfect holiday present over the web can seem overwhelming if you rush in unprepared. However, there are a couple tried and true strategies that you can use to make the gift-giving season easier on both your mind and your wallet. Just remember these three simple suggestions, and you’ll be well on your way to a successful holiday shopping experience.
- Clear Your Cookies
This one may make some less savvy internet shoppers scratch their heads, but it’s a proven strategy that can help you save money. Unfortunately, a lot of popular shopping sites use something called dynamic pricing. What this means is that when you visit the website, it places tracking software on your computer, called cookies. These particular cookies record how often you visit not just their website but competitor sites as well.
Some even track how often you entered related products into search engines. Using this information, the website automatically increases their price under the presumption that if you want this product so much, you’ll pay more for it.
Just to be safe, go to your internet settings and empty your cache before committing to a purchase. It only takes a few seconds and can spare you a lot of money if you’re buying multiple gifts at once.
- Leave Items in Your Cart
If you’ve set up an account at a merchant’s website, picked out what you want to buy and still have a few days before you need it to arrive. This has merit only as a fail-safe against buyers’ remorse, but it can also save you money. Some merchant sites will take note that you seem to be “on the fence” in regards to your purchase and may take steps to offer you a better deal. Web-based shopping sites sometimes work with a considerable mark-up, assuming you’ll pay extra for the convenience.
While it’s not guaranteed, a few of these businesses will be willing to lose a couple of bucks rather than blow a sale altogether. If you leave an item sitting in the digital checkout for a day or two before buying, you may find notification of a surprise sale in your email.
If not, oh well, you still get the item you wanted.
- Purchase a PO Box
If you plan to do a lot of online shopping, then it may be a good idea to invest in a PO Box. These are great because they protect your real-life address from online spammers or identity thieves. As an additional benefit, a PO Box enjoys greater security since each one is located inside a physical post office. This means there is less chance of some random passerby filching the holiday gifts off your doorstep while you’re not home.
The cost of a PO Box can vary based on location, size, and duration of rental. For example, renting a box from the boulder post office in Colorado for three months can range from $26 to $102 based on the size chosen.
These three tips will help you start your holiday shopping online. Make sure you stay safe and secure, find the best deals, and have your items delivered on time!