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Best Tips for online Shopping this Christmas

Nobody wants to hear about Christmas shopping in early November but buying your gifts early can save you a lot of money especially online, read our tips below:

Christmas shopping needn't be stressful. Infact, shopping can be easy and as painless as a few clicks of the mouse and you’re done. But there are a few things to consider before you go on your spending spree this year: Finding out about credit card security, delivery times, information about returns, and which are the best sites and days to go shopping will save you time and money. Here are our top tips:

1. When is the best time to buy online?

According to research done by SUM ALL, it found that November was the best month to shop online as early bargains and sales are offered by lots of big online retailers, and according to analysts, these prices can be better value than the January sales! Tuesday is also the best day to buy online if you want to bag a bargain, with Sunday the least likely to make any savings.

2. Check delivery times and buy early

Buying online in November should give you plenty of time to receive your delivery. However, If you have started shopping in December please note the delivery times (especially for some international countries) as some deliveries in this busy period may take weeks. Check the latest delivery information on the site you are purchasing from. The cut-off point for Irish deliveries is around 16th of December, but for some countries your last date for purchase can be as early as December 10th, so make sure you get your orders in early.

3. Shop safely online and watch out for fake emails requesting info

Alway use your credit card when buying items online and never send cash or bank transfer/paypal. All reputable sites will take credit card transaction normally. Make sure your computer has up to date virus software and always logout of shopping sites when you have finished your purchases. Make sure your online shop has a geographical address, phone number, and use sites that you have used before or recommended by friends. Always check returns, delivery and cancellation policies.

Do not use the same password for every shopping site online and keep emails that show your receipt. Lastly, beware of follow up emails from alleged ‘customer services’ with issues that request you to resend credit card or bank details. Every online retailer has a system to deal with payments and will not email you asking to resend information through email. If in doubt, ring website’s advertised customer service number or email to make sure.

4. The best online retailers - always check prices

There are plenty of big names we all know including Amazon, Debenhams, and Smyths who all have easy and safe shopping online. However, big retailers often change prices around the Christmas period so check early and see if the prices are fluctuating for your product. As a lot of big retailers are based in the UK, you'll need to check the shipping costs and delivery time as these will be delayed and may contain customs charges (though check this for every order, not just the UK).

Plus, don't limit yourself to the big retailers. Check other smaller retail websites for same products. Try and keep your shopping to Irish based stores and support local where possible. There are apps and browser extensions that can help you compare prices with all big retailers so you don’t get caught out paying too much.