‘Tis the season to treat ourselves and our loved ones — and for retailers to pull out all the stops for holiday spenders. Here, tips to get the best deals
However, it’s important to keep a cool head in the shopping mayhem and holiday hype or you might not get what you bargained for. Here, some tips from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to help you get the best deals during the holiday shopping season.
Make an actual list
Impulse buys can turn in to holiday budget busters. Keep your spending in check by creating a shopping list and staying on course. After all, you aren’t really saving if you’re buying something you don’t need and didn’t budget for. You’ll also be better able to resist high-pressure tactics and limited-time-only offers if you set boundaries ahead of time.
If you plan to shop at multiple places, a shopping list can also help you set priorities and figure out the timing — namely which store to hit when, and which route to take.
Sign up for alerts
Deals are everywhere this season, and you won’t just find them in flyers or on TV. Now’s the time to sign up for your favourite retailers’ newsletters, RSS Feeds and social media accounts like Twitter and Facebook. (You can unsubscribe after the holidays if you choose.)
In addition, many stores like Best Buy allow you to create a wish list online and sign up for an alert when the price goes down.
Sign up for rewards programs too
If you aren’t already a member of your favourite retailers’ rewards programs, take some time to do it before you hit the sales. You might be entitled to additional discounts or perks, or double the rewards for using your card.
Already a member? Don’t forget to check your wallet before you go and have your card handy when you reach the checkout. Busy clerks might not remember to ask.
Coupons aren’t the only things worth of collecting. The BBB recommends taking along any store flyers so you’ve got proof of the discounts. (You can print out any offers you see online too.) When you hit the store, you’ll know exactly what was promised and you might be able to use competitors’ ads for price matching.
Try QR Codes
Got a smart phone or tablet? Load it up with a QR (“quick response”) reader so you can scan those funny looking square bar codes you see in ads, newspapers and magazines. (They’re even appearing in stores as well.) QR codes connect you to a website where you can find more information about an offer.
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