But finding the perfect gifts for your loved ones doesn’t have to mean maxing out your credit cards. There are plenty of simple tricks to help you do your holiday shopping on a budget.
In this article we’ll break down some clever ways you can get the most bang for your buck during peak shopping season.
Here are 6 easy ways to shop for great gifts on a budget.
1. Follow your favorite brands closely to find out about any holiday shopping deals
Following your favorite brands on social media or signing up for their newsletters is a great way to know when they’re having sales. Even outside of the holidays, this is one of the most common reasons that shoppers follow their favorite brands online.
Brands are very aware that most shoppers won’t follow them or engage with them just for the sake of it. Shoppers need incentives to do this and online promotions and sales are one of the most common ways brands keep followers engaged. So roundup some of the brands you shop with the most and follow them (at least for the duration of the holiday season). And if you want to be totally sure you’re in the loop of any exclusive offer, make sure to subscribe to their newsletters. Your bank account will thank you for it after your gift giving is done.
2. Check Trustpilot to get a better idea of what holiday shopping deals retailers typically have
Check out your favorite retailer’s Trustpilot profile page for recent reviews (or reviews from last year’s holiday season) to see what kinds of deals people have been getting. Five star reviews typically include information on some way that the company went out of their way to delight their customers, so you’ll probably find some additional nuggets of info hiding in here as well.
Reviews like this one can give you an idea of discount amounts or prices a company may have this holiday season. If you check out their Trustpilot profile page now, you can get an idea of what holiday shopping deals they offered last year so that you go into Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and beyond with a better idea of how much you’ll be spending.
This review is an excellent example of how reviews can guide your gift giving because it answers two of the most important questions that consumers have when shopping online. Reading a single review can reveal whether you can expect a brand to have great promotions again this year — and whether they treat their customers really well.
With all of the expected shipping delays and other challenges this year, mistakes from retailers are going to be inevitable. It’s important to know that you’re shopping with a company that will go the extra mile for you in terms of fixing those mistakes, should they happen.
3. Bookmark your wish lists ahead of time and compare prices
There are many reasons online retailers change their prices, but the biggest one is if competitors adjust their prices. Because of this, online prices can change very frequently. If you’re shopping on Amazon, prices can even change as often as every ten minutes.
To keep your holiday shopping on a budget you need to know what you want to purchase, so it’s a good idea to bookmark these now and monitor the prices for the next few weeks. Checking through your list to see if prices have changed could be a great way to shave some money off of each purchase. Depending on how many gifts you need to buy, these small savings can really add up.
4. Google shopping price comparison tool is great for gift giving
If you typically use Google Shopping, it has a handy price comparison tool with a few useful features you may not know about.
When you click the product you want in Google Shopping there’s a small scale from low to high with the listing you’re viewing placed on the scale. This will let you know if buying it from another seller might get you a better price, or if you’ve already found a good deal.
Under the scale there’s also a button you can toggle that says “track price”. If you aren’t in a time crunch, this is a great option. Google will notify you of any price drops, so you can sit back, wait a little, and feel confident that even if the price didn’t drop—you still got a great deal.
Love Google Shopping? See our guide to the new Google Shopping update.
5. Be wary of scams and check Trustpilot before purchasing from an unfamiliar brand
As the world has moved to online shopping more quickly than anticipated, there has been a huge rise in online scams and fake businesses. The best way to find out if a company you’ve never heard of is legitimate is to do a little digging into their online reputation.
Heading over to their company profile page on Trustpilot is a great way to see what their customers are saying about them. If no such page exists, this may be your first red flag. Companies selling on social media without a legitimate website (or websites with no social media presence) are often also signs that this might be a scam.
The better business bureau also reports that the top motivating factor for shoppers who were scammed is an enticingly low price. As much as we all love a good deal, some prices really can be too good to be true. Make sure trying to keep your holiday shopping on a budget doesn’t end up backfiring and falling victim to one of these scams.
6. Go for Free Shipping Day in the US to make your gift giving a little cheaper
Whether or not you’re willing to admit that you might be a last minute shopper, some years we all end up in that bucket. If you’re in the US, there’s some good news for you. Each year hundreds of retailers participate in Free Shipping Day.
Falling on December 14th this year, participants both waive all shipping costs and guarantee that your purchases will arrive to you by Christmas Eve. This way you can save a little money and feel assured that you won’t be worried about anything arriving too late.
The only thing to watch out for is that some participating retailers will outright remove shipping costs from their site on this day, while others will require you to use a code at checkout to eliminate shipping costs.
A good plan of action is to go to the Free Shipping Day website on December 14th and figure out which stores you’d like to purchase. From there it will tell you all the details around the promotion. Best of all, Free Shipping Day also partners with retailers to offer extra promotions, so you may be saving even more than just the shipping.
Holiday shopping doesn’t have to break the bank
Hopefully some of these tricks will help you do your holiday shopping on a budget. If you find any great deals as you’re shopping, make sure to head on over to the company’s Trustpilot profile page and let other shoppers know about them. You can even think of it as paying it forward for next year’s holiday shopping karma.
Trustpilot is a review platform that is open to all. The companies and profile pages referenced in this article are provided for informational purposes only and are not recommended, endorsed by, or representative of the views of Trustpilot. The Trustpilot companies linked in this post are expected to abide by Trustpilot’s Guidelines, but have not been reviewed for compliance.