SAN ANTONIO — Forget one-time holiday deals.
“We’re seeing a different transformation in the retail market and e-commerce is taking off in ways that are unbelievable,” said Sheldon Jacobson, a professor of computer science at the University of Illinois.
That means you will need to do more research for the best price.
“It’s prudent for people to sign up for a variety of retailers online and have emails come because they’ll tell you when their sales are,” Jacobson said.
This year mindful gifts that focus on self-care or that can be used at home are topping holiday lists.
“We're seeing the desire to send a thoughtful gift to a loved one since we’re not going to be able to spend the holidays together,” said Autumn Manning, President and CEO of Cratejoy, a website that offers a variety of online subscription services.
Manning saw more people ordering from the self-care category, which include beauty and bath products.
You will find bargains online, but save even more with these shopping strategies: Use a shopping portal to earn money for shopping.
“Don’t go directly to a retailer site,” said Ted Rossman, a credit card analyst for Bankrate.com. “Whether it’s a third party such a Rakunten or whether it’s a card specific option like Chase, log into your account there and then you use the company’s link to Nike or Macy’s wherever you shop.”
Look at the retailers where your credit card offers discounts. You can take advantage what is called card-linked offers.
“These are basically digital coupons that go under brand names such a Amex offers, Chase offers, Capital One offers,” said Rossman. “This is also added digital savings. So I have one American Express right now that if I spend $50 or more at Advance Auto Parts, they’ll give me $25 back.”
Check your credit card’s website to see what offers are available.
Plus, look at your credit cards’ buyer protection options.
“Many credit cards will give you two years on top of the existing manufacturer’s warranty,” Rossman said.
He said his wife bought an Apple watch that broke not long after the purchase.
“Our credit card actually paid for the $300 repair because we had one of those purchase protection plans,” said Rossman. “So, if it’s a big purchase, getting an extra year or two on your extended warranty for that new appliance you’re buying or new game system, that can be really important.”
Great gifts at the perfect price mean happy holidays for both your loved ones and your wallet.
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