With Christmas just around the corner, most people are in a rush to get unique, convenient-to-get and affordable gifts and treats for all. But rather than face the madness of long lines and too much people in the mall, a number of individuals now opt to do their holiday shopping at home through online shopping. Below are the top 5 things you should know about online holiday shopping:
- You can get big discounts on some of the items.
When you browse daily deal sites like Groupon and LivingSocial, you get big discounts of up to 50% that are not offered when you walk in during regular hours at the store. Apart from offering discounts to various retail items such as clothes, bags and electronics, you can also get discounts at eat-all-you-can buffet restaurants, health and beauty treatments such as massages, facials and wart removals, and price reductions on hotel accommodations and airplane tickets.
- Research before making a purchase.
Although some merchants may offer big discounts, some can also offer you the same price you can get at stores. Therefore, it is essential to do online shopping research first before making an online purchase to make sure that you really get a good deal. When you browse in physical stores, you also get the benefit of seeing the item up close and decide if you still want to buy it. Some items may be misrepresented online when they are photographed and presented in a good light. It is also important to research on the manufacturing company to see if it is a reliable and credible industry you can trust.
- You don’t need a credit card to pay.
Most people who stay away from online Christmas shopping usually do so because they think that only customers who have credit cards can purchase items online. Nowadays, online stores and daily deal sites offer various options of payments apart from paying via credit card. Other methods include online via debit card, paying at convenience stores, making bank deposits, and by dropping by at the store or head office to pay in person.
- You should check the validity period of your discount voucher.
Buying items online is not just about purchasing items on sale and then forgetting about it. To be able to truly save money, you should remember to check the voucher you have purchased for item validity. Some products, particularly food items and restaurant vouchers are only valid for a certain period –usually three to six months. Check the fine details of the item before purchasing to make sure that you will be able to use it on the date you plan to use it. There’s no sense buying a discounted restaurant voucher in advance for your husband’s birthday 4 months away when the validity period is only for three months.
- You should schedule redemption immediately.
Finally, you should keep in mind that purchasing a discount coupon from daily deal sites usually require calling to schedule for redemption of the product, as opposed to when you just walk-in to eat at restaurants. As such, you should call to schedule redemption of your voucher immediately after purchasing your discount coupon. This should prevent you from forgetting about claiming your voucher, as well as to secure a good slot for you in the future. If you are scheduling a dinner with a friend, decide on a date with your friend before calling the merchant to schedule the redemption. You can then mark the approved schedule on your phone’s calendar so that you will have be reminded to claim it on the said date.
Online Christmas shopping is actually easy when you know the dos and don’ts of how to shop online. With online discount shopping, you can actually get marked down unique items you won’t readily see at the mall if you just know where to shop.
About the author:
Gilbert Bermudez writes for CompareHero, Malaysia’s leading credit card comparison website. Loves fishing, swimming and a hobbyist.