Holiday Shopping Tips 101

With shopping season just around the corner, here are some useful shopping tips that can save you some money and help reduce the time spent shopping.

Tips For Shopping In Department Stores

* Make your shopping list before you shop. * Assign a dollar value to each gift and stick to it. * Begin shopping earlier in the year, preferably in the spring or summer. * If you shop at department stores in the late fall, plan on arriving early in the morning and at the beginning of the week. * Go directly to the department where you’ll find your gift items. * Try not to stray from your destination by browsing. * Pay with cash whenever possible or use a debit card. * If there are sales in any given week, try to arrive early and buy several of the same items in case you need an extra gift.  Scan your local newspapers daily. * If you have to use a credit card, bring only one with you.  Pay off the purchase when the bill is received.

* Give yourself two or three days to finish your holiday shopping.

Tips For Online Shopping

* Only shop on secure websites.  Look for the lock at the bottom right hand corner of the website as well as the “https” in the URL on the payment page. * Use one credit card only for all purchases. * Go to coupon sites to check what merchandise is available with a discount. * After you have placed your order, clear your history and cookies on the computer. * Never leave your computer on after you have made purchases.  Clear your cache, history, and shut it down.  (This applies to cable modem users). * Make sure that the website has an address and telephone and/or online communication in case there is a problem. * Most well-known sites will send you an email immediately after purchase to confirm. * Print out all purchases.  Keep track of confirmation numbers as well as tracking numbers. * Ensure that your computer has the most updated security software.

* Check your credit report in January.  You are allowed free access annually.

These are just some tips and suggestions to think about during the holiday shopping season.  You may have found other great shopping tricks that have offered you a pleasant shopping experience.

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