Advertisement
Smart Buying

15 Sites to Help You Find Amazing Holiday Deals

You can save money -- and avoid the crowds -- with these sites that help you compare prices, get coupon codes and more.

Who doesn't like a deal, especially in this economy? That's why we're back with our annual list of Web sites that help you save on holiday gifts.

There are sites that post the latest deals on everything from clothes to electronics, sites that provide coupon codes, sites that help you compare prices, and sites that feature free-shipping and gift-card deals.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Even if you don't end up buying online, it never hurts to find the best deals on the Web before you brave crowded stores. Then you can comparison shop and make better choices.

We've tested and picked 15 Web sites we think are easy to use and will help you save money this holiday season. Take a look:

Hot deals!

If your number-one goal is to score deals this holiday season, start by checking out sites that do the bargain hunting for you. Deal sites scour the Web for discounted items -- saving you both time and money.

Our favorite deal site still is dealnews, which has a team of deal hunters keeping their eyes on a million products at more than 2,000 online retailers. Plus merchants and the site's visitors tip them off to bargains. The deal hunters hand pick the best deals among the thousands they get daily and update the site at least 200 times a day, says Dan de Grandpre, founder and chief executive of dealnews.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

The site also bans stores with poor customer service. Plus, you can sign up for e-mail or RSS alerts for products or stores you're interested in and get gift ideas from the site. Dealnews also has added a local deals section to help you find discounts at brick-and-mortar stores near you.

And the site's Black Friday page is one of the best out there. It features both confirmed and leaked ads (before they're officially released). It also shows when stores that haven't released ads yet are scheduled to publish them.

GottaDeal.com is another great source of deals. You may find some here that you won't find at dealnews (we did recently). And its Black Friday site has a nice feature: an icon that denotes whether a sale item is an early bird special (meaning you have to get up before the crack of down to get the deal).

A reader favorite is Slickdeals.net, a user-driven deal sharing site. It features a few deals on its homepage daily, but its forums are where you'll hundreds of deals posted daily.

Advertisement - Article continues below

You can find lots of bargains at deal-of-the-day sites, such as Woot.com. But it would take a lot of time to check each one of these sites, which list only one deal a day. DODTracker.com does the hard work for you. It lists hundreds of items from deal-a-day sites and daily deal offers from retailers, such as Amazon.com. It shows how long the deal has been posted, time when sale ends, amount of discount (if available) and whether the item still is in stock. When you click on any of the tabs at the top of the homepage (All, Computers & Electronics, etc.), you'll get a page that lets you sort by retailer, product, price, discount and more.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

If you don't want to rack up credit-card debt shopping this holiday season, there is a safe way to pay with cash online -- and get deals. EBillme offers you a way to make secure cash payments when you shop online. Check out its Cyber Monday deals and sales for online shopping.

Find the lowest price

If you know exactly what you want to get the people on your gift list, use a price-comparison site to find the best deal. To be honest, it's tough to beat Amazon.com for price comparison. For most of the items we recently searched for, it turned up the longest results lists and lowest prices.

Advertisement - Article continues below

However, we found two worthy competitors. Pronto.com fetches prices on 70 million products from more than 25,000 online merchants, including eBay. It also lets you sign up to receive e-mail alerts when your favorite brands or products go on sale. Google's shopping search engine, Google Product Search, is great if you want just a bare-bones price comparison tool. What you'll get are lots of results for your search, product reviews, seller ratings and a "local shopping" option to help you find products at stores near you. What you won't see is a home page full of hot products, shopping guides, product categories and colorful images.

Shop with cyber-coupons

To sweeten any deal you find, search for coupon codes to get an even bigger discount. Plenty of sites offer coupon codes (and printable coupons) for online and brick-and-mortar retailers. The nice thing about our picks is that you don't have to register on these sites to gain access to the coupons.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

CouponCabin.com has more than 110,000 active coupons and deals. Its staff searches merchant sites, forums, blogs, consumer emails and even the Sunday Paper for coupons and updates its listing three times a day. It shows when a coupon expires and when it was last tested, so you know it still works. CouponCabin.com also offers a downloadable toolbar that displays coupons and deals if you visit one of its 2,500 participating merchants online.

CouponWinner.com has more than 27,000 coupons from about 9,000 retailers. What we like about the site is its Coupon Scout tool that lets you compare coupons from up to five retailers. Click on a category, such as women's apparel, and the Coupon Scout tool will appear on the left-hand side of the page.

To truly get in the spirit of giving, consider Alex's Coupons. Not only does the site offer coupon codes for more than 1,200 stores, but also it helps in the fight against childhood cancer. Alex's Coupons has donated more than $20,000 to childhood cancer charities.

Gift-card deals

Never pay full price for a gift card again. Plastic Jungle and Gift Card Granny sell merchants' gift cards for less than face value. They'll also buy gift cards you don't want (for 80% to 90% of the card's value).

Advertisement - Article continues below

Buying a discounted gift card to use for your own shopping is a good way to score additional discounts. For example, buy a $100 Gap gift card for $90 (instant $10 savings), use it to shop online and use a coupon code for additional savings.

Free-shipping deals

High shipping costs can be a big drawback to shopping online. FreeShipping.org offers free-shipping coupons for more than 3,800 stores, including Amazon.com, Target and Best Buy. And all you last-minute shoppers don't want to miss Free Shipping Day December 17. More than 700 merchants already have signed up to participate this year and guarantee Christmas-Eve delivery for all items purchased on Free Shipping Day.

Parting tips

On a final note, if you're shopping online be sure to look for privacy and security seals on retailers' sites, know the return and exchange policies, and check shipping deadlines to ensure your gifts arrive on time. (See 10 Online Shopping Traps That Catch Even Smart Shoppers for more advice.)

And to make sure you're getting the best bargain online, look for the item at the best price from a merchant with free shipping and a coupon to lower the cost even further -- the trifecta of bargain shopping.

Happy shopping!

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

11 Dividend-Paying Stocks You Should Think Twice About
dividend stocks

11 Dividend-Paying Stocks You Should Think Twice About

Dividend-paying stocks often can be a store of safety, but 2020 has been difficult on income equities. These 11 picks look like shaky plays despite th…
September 21, 2020
How To Buy a Roth IRA When You Make Too Much To Qualify For One
Roth IRAs

How To Buy a Roth IRA When You Make Too Much To Qualify For One

With their tax-free growth and tax-free withdrawals, Roth IRAs are a great deal — if you qualify. If you don’t, well, there’s still a way to get into …
September 23, 2020
High-Tech Aids for Aging in Place
Caregiving

High-Tech Aids for Aging in Place

Apple Watch and other technology provides fast feedback, comfort for older users, and a powerful assist for caregivers.
September 23, 2020

Recommended

When Is Amazon Prime Day 2020?
spending

When Is Amazon Prime Day 2020?

Circumstances beyond its control have forced Amazon to move its annual Christmas-in-July Amazon Prime Day blowout sale in 2020 to ... later. Is Oct. …
September 22, 2020
18 Things You Can't Return to Amazon
Smart Buying

18 Things You Can't Return to Amazon

Before tossing these items into your virtual shopping cart, be sure to read Amazon's return policy first.
September 17, 2020
No Summer Vacation This Year? What to Do with the Money You’ve Saved
spending

No Summer Vacation This Year? What to Do with the Money You’ve Saved

Maybe that trip to Hawaii you dreamed about didn’t happen, but look at the bright side: You have a nice little windfall to plan for.
September 2, 2020
The Five Top Consumer Complaints
Smart Buying

The Five Top Consumer Complaints

Here are the top five complaints from a survey of state and local agencies from 19 states.
August 27, 2020