Dec. 13, 2010 -- As you rush to finish your holiday shopping, avoid the lines and the crowds at the mall. Instead, stay home, put up your feet, and fire up the computer.
#5 Stalk the Sales
If you're searching for the perfect gift, you're probably hoping to pay the perfect price too. But how do you know to buy now or wait? Zingsale.com will stalk the sales for you. Create a wish list, and Zingsale will monitor the web for their best prices. As soon as something you want goes on sale, you'll get an e-mail alert. Zingsale.com also tracks your items' price history, showing the highest and lowest prices over the past 60 days.
#4 Mark your Calendar
On Friday, Dec. 17, more than 1,000 stores will offer free shipping at freeshippingday.com. And don't worry, they promise to get the gifts to your door by Christmas Eve. If you're reading this after the 17th, you haven't been grinched, just go to freeshipping.org. The site provides free shipping codes for many retailers.
#3 Clip Coupons Virtually
Coupons are every shopper's best friend. But spending time online, jumping from site to site looking for the best deals can be a big waste of time. Savebrite.com does all of the work for you. The site is constantly refreshing with the latest coupons and codes. Search by store or by product, and never pay full price again.
#2 Team Up for Bigger Savings
If you're craving a bargain, the best deals may be found with other shoppers. Social group buying sites like Groupon.com, LivingSocial.com, and Screamindailydeals.com offer savings on products, services, and experiences, based on where you live. It's a win-win. Businesses lure in new customers. And consumers get products and services at severely discounted prices, especially convenient through the holiday season.
#1 Make the Stores Compete for You
Shoppers are getting smarter. They're no longer naïve enough to buy a product the first time they see it. Instead they're tracking down the lowest prices by comparison shopping online. Sites like PriceGrabber.com and DealCatcher.com scour online retailers for the items on your wish list. With the click of a mouse, they'll tell you who sells it and at what price. Just scroll through the list to find the lowest price.