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Money & Policy

6 Easy Ways to Save on Holiday Gifts

Forget running yourself ragged to find the best deals. Just use these tips instead.


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Spend Less on Gifts

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Think you already know everything about how to save on holiday gifts? Maybe not. Follow this fresh advice from consumer finance expert Andrea Woroch by clicking or swiping. Happy holidays!

(This article appeared previously on Grandparents.com)

1. Shop Flash Sale Sites, But Do a Little Sleuthing

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Flash sale-only sites, including One Kings Lane (for housewares, gifts, toys and more), Rue La La (for clothing, accessories, shoes, etc.) and Zulily (for kids’ clothing, toys, décor, etc.) offer curated, deeply discounted brand name and designer merchandise every day, so they’re great for gifts. It’s like having a personal shopper gather great products for you.

Just check the site each day for new sales. There are a few caveats, however: Sales often last only a few days, shipping can take longer than regular sites (so you’ll have to shop early) and you must pay for shipping and, if need be, for return shipping.

So always double-check that you’re getting the best deal first: Compare prices at various online retailers and don't forget to see how much each retailer charges for shipping, says Woroch. Also, see what brick-and-mortar discounters such as T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods have to offer.

2. Swap Old Electronics for New

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Your grandchild desperately wants a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One S, but you’re not too keen on forking over $600 for it? Round up all your gently used electronics and trade them in at stores such as Best Buy, Target or Walmart to offset the cost. Check store web sites for details.

You can also sell old smartphones, laptops and iPods at sites like Gazelle. The amount you get varies by product and condition, but a quick check showed you could get $80 for an old working iPhone 5S and $70 for an iPad mini.

3. Get Friendly With Your Favorite Stores on Social Media

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Follow stores and brands you like on Facebook and Twitter and get instant alerts to their sales and offers. Plus, some companies may release coupon codes that are exclusive for customers on social media.

4. Use Your Rewards Points

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Have you racked up a ton of airline miles visiting your grandkids? Use your travel points or credit card rewards to buy your holiday gifts. Some 16 billion reward points go unclaimed every year. Don’t waste yours: check online to see which items you qualify for or cash them in for gift cards.

5. Go For Free Shipping

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Just think how much you could save by avoiding shipping fees. Well, on December 16, also known as Free Shipping Day, hundreds of participating retailers at Freeshippingday.com will offer free shipping, often on top of a discount (in past years it’s been 20 percent off). Gifts are guaranteed to arrive by Christmas Eve.

While some websites will only offer free shipping one day, plenty of other retailers have extended the offer. Toys R Us will offer it until December 19 and Best Buy is offering free two-day shipping through December 21. Target is offering free 3- to 5-day shipping through the end of 2016.

6. Get a Price Adjustment

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Just because you missed a sale doesn’t mean you missed the savings. Keep your receipts and check retailers to see if the item you purchased has gone on sale. Many stores, including Macy’s and Nordstrom, offer a refund if the price of your item goes down within 14 days of your purchase. What you get back could make a nice little gift for yourself!

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